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THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 
OF MODERN LIFE 




THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

MEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS 
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. 

TORONTO 



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CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 
OF MODERN LIFE 



BY 
CHARLES HENRY DICKINSON 



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THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 



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Copyright, 1913, 

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
Set up and dectrotyped. Published September, 1913. 



395650 




PREFACE 

object of this book is the spiritualizing of 
the social passion. The undertaking has grown 
from the conviction that this mightiest force of our 
time can attain its reconstructive purpose only as t 
it is conscious of its own implicit spiritual quality, 
and becomes The Christian Reconstruction of Modern 
Life. 

Experienced readers will perceive my obligations 
to prominent scholars and thinkers. Lest the rela- 
tively inexperienced should suppose that positions 
familiar to progressive scholarship are eccentricities 
of the author, special obligation is acknowledged to 
Eucken and Bergson, and to pragmatism in the ideal 
and spiritual apprehension learned, however imper- 
fectly, from the lips of its most acute interpreter, 
John Edward Russell, beloved teacher, revered friend. 
The conceptions concerning the Old and New Testa- 
ments are those derived from the reverently fearless 
scholarship of which the regnant example is Heinrich 
Julius Holtzmann: upon his new grave Christian 
learning has laid its wreath of immortelle and passion 

flower. /To the leaders of the brotherhood and sister- 

vu 



viii PREFACE 

hood of the social passion who shall compute the in- 
debtedness of us all! 

I trust the book will reach those to whom its pur- 
pose is most congenial: not scholars alone, as the 
studious of my own vocation, but also the like of 
those whose eager faces have kindled the inspiration 
of the preacher's message. Among these are illiterate 
men and women, to whom dreary shibboleths would 
have meant nothing, being nothing, but to whom the 
spiritual depths of the social Gospel were translucent; 
and disciplined minds, whose faith, long outraged by 
traditionalism, acknowledged a Christianity given 
back to thought and heart and life; and flaming eyes 
of youth hi glad amazement at what Jesus would have 
their lives be. It is a cause of regret that in a few 
passages it has been necessary to employ allusions 
not familiar to all, in order to avoid wearisome epi- 
sodes that would be much more confusing. s^Yet even 
in these infrequent paragraphs regard has been kept 
for those who entreated, "Write the spiritualizing 
of the social Gospel in words not too hard for us." 
Not by technical learning are vitalities understood, 
but by breadth of interest, and intensity of purpose, 
and enthusiasm of aspiring service. 

CALHOUN, ALABAMA, 
June 14, 1913. 



CONTENTS 

PART I 
THE RADICAL DIVISION IN MODERN LIFE 

CHAPTER 

I. The Two Inheritances 3 

IE. The Two Obligations 14 

m. The Source of Our Civilization 25 

IV. Modern Hellenism 38 

V. The Rights of Our Civilization as against Christianity 58 

VI. The Right of Christianity as against Our Civilization 74 

PART H 
JESUS AND MODERN LIFE 

I. The Two World-Conquests 107 

II. The Historic Realization of the Semitic Principle. . 125 

IH. The Separateness of Jesus from Aryan Civilization 162 

IV. The Task of Civilization 185 

V. The Task of Jesus 214 

VI. Jesus' Accomplishment of His Task 242 

VII. The Reconstructive Energies 277 

Vin. The Spiritualizing of the Social Passion ... 291 

INDEX 317 



ix 



PART 1 
THE RADICAL DIVISION IN MODERN LIFE 



THE 

CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 
OF MODERN LIFE 

CHAPTER I 

_., 

THE TWO INHERITANCES 

THE modern world's divergences from the Christian 
religion are results of an original and fundamental 
difference between our civilization and Christianity. 
The reason of these estrangements cannot be that 
science has opened a new universe, unknown to the 
ages of faith, and that processes of thought and tests 
of reality have suffered change. Nor are radical 
departures from our religious consciousness caused 
by the awakening of new personal and social interests, 
and by the establishment of different standards of 
value from those which directed unsophisticated 
desires to their celestial goal; for belief in the infinite 
is not unfavorably influenced by the enlarging knowl- 
edge of the finite, and life in God is not hostile to 
normal unf oldings of thought and action in any 

realm. 

3 



4 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

But the patent separations express the unyielding 
fact that Christianity is not a development of the 
civilization which is our Hellenic inheritance, but 
came to it from without. And this fact is not an 
historic accident, but the manifestation of a difference 
between our religion and our civilization for which 
there is no superficial synthesis. The agreeable 
phrase, Christian civilization, juxtaposes terms un- 
fused. Civilization is not Christian by virtue of ac- 
knowledging contributions, however great, from Chris- 
tianity and its revered founder, and least of all can 
Christianity pronounce it such unless it has accepted 
the universal dominance of the fundamental Christian 
principle. The Semitic Jesus has no original part hi 
the Hellenic culture, which, transforming the contri- 
butions of previous civilizations, and absorbing in 
its progress every potency it encounters except His, 
is to-day unprecedentedly stimulated by forces new, 
but most germane to its developments. Ever more 
dissonant to its conquering march through the world 
and the times, sounds His voice, never to be silenced: 
Change your estimates, desires, purposes, for the 
kingdom of God is at hand. / 

Beside our religious and our cultural inheritance, 
there are our racial descents, various, uncertain. But 
these became significant only when our religion or 



THE TWO INHERITANCES 5 

our civilization found them material to work upon, 
disposition to mould. We express Athens and Galilee 
according to our heredity, but of Athens and Galilee 
we are expressions. 

The opposite natures of these forces were detected 
from the beginning of their contact with one another, 
by noblest representatives of the classic culture. The 
ethical statesmanship of Aurelius and the spiritual 
aspiration of Plotinus opposed Christianity as an 
unassimilable intrusion. To them especially the 
Christ is he who casts upon the earth the sword of 
destruction against every purpose but his own. 
The victory of the Galilean seemed to defeat the 
obligation of the Hellenic-Roman civilization to renew 
itself from its sources, for the transforming of new 
peoples and the reconstruction of ancient nations. 
The adoption of Christianity was to them the be- 
trayal of humanity; as it always is, in very truth, for 
any other aim than Jesus' transcendent ideal. 

Every rebirth of our civilization has involved 
strained relations with Christian beliefs, sentiments, 
institutions, and aims. Familiar instances are the 
medieval anticipation of the renaissance, the renais- 
sance itself, the /era of the enlightenment, the move- 
ments which we connect with the French revolution, 
the awakening of any young soul to the world and life 



6 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

in it. It is not merely that at such times certain 
ecclesiastical tyrannies must be shaken off and super- 
stitions cleared away, and that new arrangements 
have to be concerted between the expanded secular 
life and the faith which it revises; but the cleavage 
appears between our two inheritances. And this 
notwithstanding faith's advantage from the advance 
of culture, and civilization's gain from the ener- 
gizings of faith. For the enlivening of any element in 
man's nature stimulates the whole. The enfranchise- 
ment of any power, with its openings of new realms, 
necessitates ethical interests and problems, which, 
by an unfailing historic law, become conscious of ; 
their spiritual implications. In epochs of secular 
advance religious interests need not wait the pendu- - 
lum's backward swing. The inevitable sequence of 
an age of idealism from a period of realism is not by - 
the force of reaction, however exclusive may have . 
appeared the dominance of the secular. If in our own * 
time religion seems covered, it lies deep. Therefore 
the futility of stimulating the religious by repressing' 5 
the secular. It is no less evident that upheavals of 
the great spiritual deep fling tidal waves of human 
mastery upon every shore. Yet these interworking 
amusements bring to light the sharper contrasts, in 
the clarified self-consciousness of both Christianity 



THE TWO INHERITANCES 7 

and our civilization. The differences become ever 
more acute with the mightier self-assertions of powers, 
that have not yet found their synthesis, which these 
rivalries reveal as humanity's inevitable task. 

The mutual oppositions of our two inheritances are 
manifest in the turbulent history of our religions 
thought. Its movement has been only partially the 
unfolding of the powers of a self -consistent spiritual 
life, continually surmounting stages of incomplete 
self-consciousness, a process whose grapplings with 
avowed enemies, or whose resistances to inertia, 
retrogression, foreign intrusions, like Gnosticism, 
are elements of the development. But the record is, 
in large part, the attempt to unite Christianity with 
thoughts which belong to our civilization. Touched 
by criticism the unstable compound explodes. 

The toil has not been profitless. It has demon- 
strated the necessity of a faith unencumbered by such 
theology. It has gained some apprehensions of the 
spiritual heritage, which has indeed been its chief 
concern; the untheological work of the great theolo- 
gians survives: we repeat the creeds for that in them 
which is not dogmatically credal. The misguided 
labor has yet maintained a confidence in the ultimate 
synthesis of all life and thought. But faith has been 
distorted in attempts to blend it with the philoso- 



8 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

phies which are outgrowths of our culture, while 
philosophy has been so degraded that genuine think- 
ing has repudiated its historic ministries to faith. 
As faith's handmaid, ancitta fidei, philosophy is a 
menial. When physical science became dominant, 
attempts to express Christianity in its terms failed 
to amuse men long. When social interests are su- 
preme, a Christianity of the social consciousness is 
possible only when the social consciousness of our 
civilization is transcended. In vain does the conserva- 
tive direct us back to the historic creeds and their 
theologies. Those attempts to mediate between 
our Christianity and civilization are not one whit 
more congenial to Christianity because alien to 
modern thinking. Yet the nobler demand for the 
uniting of Christian faith with present conceptions 
is essentially the same as that of the antiquated dog- 
matist, and advances to a new stage of failure to bind 
together our different inheritances. 

These considerations do not necessarily bring our 
faith into hostility to any normal human power or 
legitimate impulse of man's self -realization; but they 
accept the importance of the fact that our religion \ 
and our civilization have different sources. They 
arouse a more active hope of that unity of the human 
spirit hi all its powers which can be vital, permanent, 



THE TWO INHERITANCES 9 

and implicitly universal when every element of life 
is set free to develop itself to its utmost. Human 
powers "meet at their summits," and each must have 
free course that all may be glorified together. Nor 
is there involved even a provisional antagonism. Each 
power of humanity in the measure of its coming to 
itself apprehends its relations with its fellows, and 
becomes confident of the ultimate attainment of the 

i 

unity progressively realized. 

No less significant of the different origin and nature 
of each inheritance is the inveterate conflict between 
the Christian spirit and ecclesiastical organizations 
borrowed from political institutions. These seculari- 
zations result in rivalries between the church and the 
state, the school, society generally. Modern studies 
of the New Testament, with their reverent purpose 
to separate Jesus from whatever in the tradition 
is none of His, find in Him no intimations of such 
constructions. Power of the keys, for one apostle 
or for all, prescriptions of church discipline, rite of 
baptism or eucharist, the very name church or 
any equivalent word, we find to have been thrust 
back upon the Master by the supposed necessities 
of a later generation. Nor are these things legiti- 
mate unfoldings of His purpose, or supplies of His 
omissions. It is not the fact that Jesus, whether 



io THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

because He expected the immediate destruction of 
the world or for any other reason, left His fellowship 
of divine love with no recourse but to copy secular 
institutions. Celestial principles of ministry and 
mutual sacrifice are sufficient to organize this fellow- 
ship, if only His followers had grace and wit to use 
them, and these excellencies can direct their own con- 
cretions for life in the world, that the world by the 
united task of this fellowship may be saved. Sub- 
jections of service avail more for the building up of 
the body of Christ than do assertions of quasi-political 
, authority. The writer of the Fourth Gospel, amid 
the swift secularizations of the church within a century 
after Jesus' ministry, looked back wistfully, for all 
his churchmanship, to an ideal of Christian organiza- 
tion caught from the more spiritual of his apprehen- 
sions of his Lord, and truly imagined that Jesus 
washed the disciples' feet and wiped them with the 
towel wherewith He was girded, and then translated 
His deed into the organizing of His disciples in a love 
to one another like His love to His own. 

What forms of organization might have been un- 
folded in that spirit of Jesus it is idle to speculate: 
what effective unity may be brought to p^ss by fpU 
lowing out His leadings is ourj3repiT>g bniqpps^, In- 
calculable has-been the historic service of the church, 



THE TWO INHERITANCES II 

and incalculable its mischief, and the separate sources 
of benefit and injury are evident. Great promise 
of the normal unfolding of the Christian fellowship 
in unity of love, and aggressiveness of the meekness 
which makes no secular claim, is in the inevitable 
separation of church and state, the breaking of 
ecclesiastical shackles, the rebuffs, of ecclesiastical 
interferences, the impatience, both within the church 
and without, of its polities, the dislike of the very 
word church because of its unspiritual connotations, 

v 

the futile outcomes of efforts to unite competitive 
Christian bodies by arrangements of polity or creed 
which have no effectiveness for spiritual union, the dis- 
regard of her self-assertions, the condemnation passed 
upon her that she is not a servant to wash the feet 
of humanity. In these animosities and disorganiza- 
tions is evident the world's longing for the truly i/ 
spiritual brotherhood, to be life and source and direc- 
tion for all that men have to do. 

In oriental civilizations the process is beginning, 
to express in their own terms the Christianity which 
is invading them. By these efforts also will appear 
profounder conceptions of Jesus and His Gospel. 
And there will be demonstrated no less clearly that 
Christianity is not of Japan and China, even as it is 
not of Italy and Germany. If ever the world's civiliza- 



12 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tions, the new and the renewed, fuse into one magnifi- 
cent efficiency, presumably under the leadership of 
our own culture, then the different source and nature 
of the religion of Jesus will be still more evident, and 
the problem of reconciliation and unity even more 
imperative. 

The clearing away from Christianity of the dog- 
matisms and ecclesiasticisms resulting from our in- 
heritance of culture, involves the issue between the 
Christian religion in its clearest attainable self- 
consciousness and our civilization. Upon this issue 
depends the maintenance, not of religion, but of 
Christianity. V Religion of some sort must ever hold 
the leadership of humanity: the dominance x>f the 
spiritual is in the very nature of human action. For 
religion means ultimate aims, basilar principles, 
quickening spirit. Religion signifies that wholeness 
of life to which every special development, however 
assertive of its autonomy, tends at length. Even the 
denial that life can find unity, direction, and perma- 
nent energy, is a religious denial; nor can it ever be 
final, since it is pronounced by no other impulse than 
that which must ever continue the search. But 
whether the religion to which our civilization can 
give itself shall be a religion of different source and' 
nature, a religion which therefore demands to revolu- 



THE TWO INHERITANCES 13 

lionize the inmost heart of it, and to reconstruct 
every outworking of it, or a religion developed from 
our civilization's own implications, this alternative, 
not to be avoided or compromised, requires a candor, 
solemnity, and earnestness no less courageous than 
when one stood between the Roman emperor's altar 
and the lions. 



CHAPTER H 

THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 

ALL but unique in history is our double inheritance. 
Civilization and religion develop generally as one, 
out of savagery and barbarism incapable of funda- 
mental distinctions. No radical separation of the 
spiritual from the secular was attained by the increas- 
ing differentiations, with resultant rivalries, as be- 
tween king and priest, for wealth and power. As 
human activities unfold a presiding deity is insepa- 
rable from each. As these pursuits become organized 
the gods of them acquire their several degrees of 
dignity, and their mutual relations in the enlarging 
realms of art and thought and statecraft. Only the 
religious realm, lacking distinct self-consciousness, 
has no deity of its own. The tendency to monotheism 
is to the god of the nation. This stage reappears in 
contemporary reversions to barbarism. The divinity 
fervently invoked by a modern nation in war time, 
is not discriminated from the nation in its military 
obsession: murder, lust, and rapine are very properly 

consecrated to this deity, and to it descend the 

14 



THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 15 

victorious Te Deums. What is now anomalous was 
of old normal. In this temper Asshur is both nation 
and god. 

If a permanent confederacy or empire is formed, or 
if several peoples find themselves in possession of a 
common civilization, the deity expands to occupy 
the larger field. The completion of the process is the 
identification of God and the world. If the develop- 
ment is interrupted by the acceptance of a foreign 
religion, the new faith comes undifferentiated from 
its civilization; therefore the Mohammedan conquests 
did not produce a parallel to our situation. Buddhism 
in its mission fields has been too pliant to the culture 
it encountered, and also too remote from life, in its 
own essential negation, to inflict a stress like ours. 
Nearly everywhere except in Christendom there is 
the growth of an apparently single inheritance. 

National catastrophes, disintegrations of empire, 
downfalls or exhaustions of civilization, and infectious 
disillusions with the world drag down religion and 
culture indiscruninately into hopeless demoraliza- 
tions. Yet at such epochs the two strain apart. 
Religion may flee from the bankrupt world and from 
the. desires, evaluations, and aims of life hi the world: 
its deity is then the god of the religious life, or rather 
is the religious consciousness itself, since all else 



1 6 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

is renounced and denied. But this escape from the 
world is no recourse to those whom conditions or 
inner limitations force to acknowledge the actual. 
Their spiritual inheritance, which had been undis- 
tinguished from secular interests now degenerating, 
is proven insufficient. Then, if no other civilization 
with its religion imposes itself, the expatriated soul 
is open to a foreign gospel, which, however originally 
involved in a different culture, appeals as relatively 
unmingled spiritual, for the distinct spiritual need. 

Such a religion the Roman decadence sought, and 
Christianity was the richest of the spiritual goods 
accessible. The Northern barbarians indeed received 
their culture and their faith as one, but they were 
twain, and must at length declare their difference. 
The ancient civilization asserted itself with increasing 
power, all the more vitally because not as an imita- 
tion of the past, except in a transient phase of the 
renewal, but with new energies and original resources 
productive of other forms. The complications and 
conflicts of our double inheritance are upon us. This 
strangely inevitable path Christendom has trodden 
almost alone. 

Yet along this path the whole world must be led, 
and guides of humanity are we. Whatever the results 
of the contact of East and West, it is evident that 



THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 17 

from the vast development of the secular, the whole 
world over, the religious is falling away, the funda- 
mental differentiation has arrived. 

Delusive is the conception of Christian missions 
as the imparting of an alleged Christian civilization. 
The inner contradictions of that phrase are more evi- 
dent to those for whom it is a novelty, and who regard 
our culture from outside. The hope of the triumph 
of Christianity hi non-Christian lands depends upon 
our ability to distinguish its spiritual nature from 
our secular heritage. When the Oriental scornfully 
alleges the defects, oppressions, and abominations 
of Western civilization, even in contrast with his own, 
the Christian answer is not extenuation, or attempt 
at refutation, but, "Not of our civilization are we 
ambassadors." It must indeed be a Christianity 
that uses all attainments of Western culture for its 
ministry of divine love to body, mind, soul, and social 
regeneration, but it need not claim that these tools 
are of its own forging, and it must use them for a 
purpose transcendent of their nature. It must 
actively trust the power of the spiritual to subdue 
all things to itself, but what the forms of these things 
may be in the secular realm, it leaves for other forces 
to determine. 

For the sake of its imperative missionary obligation 



i8 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Christianity must become conscious, in the regions 
it calls its home, of its innermost natm-^ itsjinminglfifL 
spirituality. The work of the Christian thinker to 
penetrate our religion's deepest being, where its 
relation^ to pjl gkf ar* 'fiyrypird, the toil of the 
scholar into the origins of f%g*ifl*y to strip them 
of every intrusion and misleading tradition, are the 
Urgent obligation of the 



missionary era- And because religion and secular 
life must be made one, it is for us to learn, both in 
the recesses of the soul and in devoted service es- 
pecially to the old new lands, the final synthesis 
which can be attained only by fathoming the depths 
and testing the conquering energies of the spiritual life, , 
that our two inheritances, now open to the World's 
appropriation, may be fused in the unity of the spirit. 
Ancient Israel presents a significant parallel. That 
is to say, similar conditions are to be evaluated 
in the two stages of our religion. The legend of 
the covenant on Mount Sinai between Jahveh as 
name previously unknown and therefore deity be- 
fore unworshiped, and Israel to whom Jahveh then 
first disclosed Himself, may not establish a foreign 
source for the historic origin of the faith of the 
chosen people: other ancient lore of theirs contradicts 
the kernel of this tradition. But the indubitable 



THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 19 

import of the story is that Israel's religious inheri- 
tance was found to be in contrast with the Canaan- 
itish influence, which might else have made this 
people rudest of the rude exemplars of the Babylonian- 
Phenician culture and religion in one. Through 
the centuries following the settlement in Palestine, 
the God of a distant Arabian desert contended with 
the undifferentiated civilization and worship of South- 
ern Syria. Jahveh was in the deepest sense a war-god, 
leading the spiritual potencies of His people against 
mightier enemies than chariots and horsemen* It 
was this double inheritance that came to fiercest 
disruption with the great prophets. Their signal 
failure to create a civilization of their own for -their - 
attainments were in the religious realm was the 
greatest advance possible at that stage* Through 
all Pharisaic scholasticisms and against all pagan 
intrusions their achievement remained entire: the 
vindication, for Jesus' fulfillment, of a religion dis- 

* * 

tinct from any form of secular progress, and therefore 
competent to rule the uttermost developments of 
culture, to which it is ever transcendent: 

Our situation, so anomalous and perplexing, may 
awaken in us a certain envy of other times and climes, 
which have kept a comparatively undifferentiated sim- 
plicity of life, as for instance the Hellenic harmony 



20 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and symmetry. When we are called to weep over 
the miseries of humanity in its less complex stages, 
we may be reminded that the relative absence of 
this misery of ours left larger scope for natural buoy- 
ancy. Thus the sorrows of our own time assume a 
deepened pathos. Upon the wealths that have 
descended to us is imposed, as a heavy inheritance 
tax, a double burden to all life and thought. It is 
inconvenient to be heir of all the ages. We are tempted 
to surrender a part; and in that choice the necessity 
of living at all compels the alienation of the religious 
bequest. So multitudes unify life; often to find 
intenser strifes outbreaking in the sections retained, 
with terrible avengings from the excluded realm. 

Yet the situation presents the fundamental, in- 
evitable duality, come to its clearest expression thus 
far. From the beginnings of humanity two natures 
have striven within us: thus the human comes into 
being. From the beginning of human thought there 
have been inflowings from sense beneath, and from 
the ideal above. Two masters have always demanded 
to be served, the importunate body and the inexorable 
soul. To ignore this internal division is to relapse to 
the brute; to accept the ever increasing complication, 
not merely as between body and soul, but along all 
ranges of thought and life, is progress manward. To 



THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 21 

gain the unity beyond possibility of disruption is 
self-realization. We are distracted between brain 
process and thought process never in contact, ever 
parallel; between mind and matter, all the more 
opposed to one another when matter is conceived to 
be in mind, and thought itself is dissevered between 
the organizations of sense impressions and the organ- 
izing power. We are perplexed by materialism always 
confuted by an idealism never able to make its own 
claim secure; by science excluding consideration of the 
superphenomenal without whose postulates it cannot 
say its first word. We demand that God shall be un- 
contaminate by the visible and tangible and we find 
the universe a void except as God is its fullness. The 
aspirations without which life has no meaning are 
mocked by the grim and trivial necessity of daily 
bread. The soul that strains to escape sense is de- / 
pendent upon that intractable beast to carry it up the 
heights. That which one is all but compelled to call 
the dualism of the modern consciousness has its roots 
in our nature and grows with our growth. Thanks to 
Galilee and Athens, the profound cleavage of human- V 
ity's inner life has come to a manifestation clear 
enough for patience and courage to face. The sep- 
arateness of Christianity from the other inheritance 
fulfills at least one condition of reality, as our be- 



j 



22 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

wildered minds have always encountered it. The 
. variance unto the uttermost may perhaps disclose the 
secret of all harmony and worth and joy. 

Christian theology has obscured this inner contra- 
diction by another, sin; so deriving life's fundamental 
(task from a radical perversion. But the appearance 
of a superior moral earnestness here is illusive. For 
the consciousness of the abnormality of sin is weak and 
| formal except when sin is perceived to be divergence| 
I from the normal task; and patience and fortitude to 

! 

unite the bases of life depend upon accepting this 
obligation as the supreme moral endeavor. This 
task in its intensity was the redemptive mission of 
the holy Jesus. The supreme mpraLgood can be 

^ 

nothing less than the complete manhood, maintaining, 
fulfilling and uniting all potencies of our nature. To 
refuse the task is the fundamental sin against one's 
own soul and humanity and whatever divineness 
possesses them. 

To accuse our nature of irreconcilable dualism is a 
blasphemy against oneself which denies itself in its 
very conception. Only the unity of a man can pro- 
nounce him what he is, and cannot pronounce him 
radically dual. The attempt at such utterance sets 
the contrasted elements into a fundamental relation 
and indissoluble wholeness. Let not life attempt 



THE TWO OBLIGATIONS 23 

that which rational thought repudiates, the practical 
denial of either hemisphere. Nor can there be division 
of life into separate compartments to be occupied 
alternately. Then the man is not at home in either. 
He loses both; for then the secular loses significance 
and the religious loses content. A religion which is 
apart from anything to be thought or felt or achieved 
denies itself and disappears. 

Yet any superficial reconciliation the depths of 
life convulse and rend asunder. Here are religious 
interpretations of science that is not science, and / 
scientific formulations of religion that is not religion. 
Here are reductions of the ethical to an intellectual of 
no worth, and reductions of reason to an ethic that 
has lost its place in a rational universe. Here are 
those transferences from realm to realm, by which 
the power transferred loses the citizenship of its 
essential nature; the spiritual becomes superstition, 
retrogression, savagery, idiocy, or aims alien to religion 
corrupt it into the hypocrisies which aroused Jesus' 
supreme scorn. 

To live soberly and achievingly is to accept the two 
inclusive essentials of life, distinguishing each in its 
owii function, yet determining that the higher shall 
give to the lower in its still untrammeled action, 
perennial energy, ultimate significance, and direction 



24 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

to the supreme goal. If Christianity proves thus 
sufficient for life, Christians we will continue to be: 
the Christian is the man who realizes such power in 
the Christian faith. No easy task is appointed him: 
its arduousness is its inspiration. 



CHAPTER in 

THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 

THE assertion of the rights of both our civilization 
and Christianity does not necessarily involve mutual 
antagonism. It may be a friendly suit to test the 
claims of each, for common advantage. The process 
seems to go steadily against our faith. Its ancient 
claims, asserted by the church as volunteer solicitor, 
to eminent domain over every realm of human con- 
duct, are disallowed. Hence unseemly arrogance of 
the successful litigant, and on the other side resent- 
ments of defeat. Yet it is not improbable that the 
very liberation of secular forces may awaken in them 
a more conscious need of an energy deeper, and an 
aspiration higher than are in themselves; while loss 
of the world to tyrannizejnay open the spiritual vision 
to celestial expanses, which shed rain and sunshine 
upon all that has been given to the children of men. 

Other powers have experienced loss of ancient 
privilege with gain of influence. Philosophy has been 
driven from her insolent limitations of psychology 

and the other sciences, to become the science that 

25 



26 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tests, estimates, and unites the unprescribed dis- 
coveries of them all. Economics, pushed into its 
place by insurgent social disciplines, is consulted in 
social questions beyond its former purview. The 
sphere of the state, restricted by individual rights, 
is regulative of vast new fields. Much of the energy 
of our time is remuneratively expended upon the 
mutual limitations of the departments of human 
activity, with the result of relating them more fun- 
damentally, for the increased effectiveness of each. 
So it may be with this task, in which the other dis- 
criminations cuhninate. The work can be better done 
without exultations, rages, or panics on either side. 

In their unprejudiced delimitations of nature and 
function, Christianity and civilization find their re- 
spective possessions exposed to a common enemy. 
The foe is barbarism, equally hostile to religion and 
culture, hypocritically masking its opposition, and 
bringing to each gifts pregnant with destruction. It 
is inveterate antagonist of all man's higher faculties. 
An apostle of culture has named its champions after 
enemies of our religious inheritance: "This uncir- 
cumcised Philistine that defieth the armies of the 
living God." 

J Barbarism is insensibility to culture as inheritance. 
It dotes on the word modern, which connotes to it, 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 27 

not new conditions to be subdued to perennial aims, 
not challenge of fresh fields for the continuous life 
of humanity to possess, but disconnection. It prates 
of modern science, modern education, the modern 
spirit, about half a century old, as if the first toot of a 
locomotive were Gabriel's trump of doom to history, 
and song of the morning stars to a new creation. For 
its heart is set on things, its mind upon the phenom- 
enal knowledge of things, and its energy upon the 
discovery and ownership of things: new things, there- 
fore a new age, a new world, a new mankind! 

But civilization, culture, is inheritance, the contin- 
uous, progressive inner life of the spirit of humanity. - 
It is vital fire passed down the times from soul to soul, 
by loyal torch-bearers. Things are chaos till spirit 
relates them. Spirit is inheritance of an unbroken 
life. Civilization, culture, the former synonym con- 
noting creative power, the latter ideal value, consist 
in significancies and ends which are not of today or 
yesterday, and which may grow in secret, or rise again 
from tombs vainly sealed. Whatever their unexpected 
emergings, their source is far away and their currents 
continuous. Civilization is the unfolding of the re- 
sistless force within mankind, and is mighty to subdue 
all newly discovered conditions and all newly won 
attainments to its own developing nature, pressing 



28 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

on to fulfill life and joy and worth long prophesied. 
Things new or old are nought to it, unless vitally 
possessed. Of first importance is the possessor, 
humanity's indissoluble life, inward spiritual power 
essential, perennial, inexhaustible. 

As Christianity must again and again turn back to 
its springs of living water, so must our civilization 
/ renew its connection, equally vital, with the original 
force of its self-attainments and world-conquests. 
As the founder of Christianity knew the secret of life 
in the invisible, so the Greek genius awoke to the full- 
ness of the soul's life in the visible world. That 
discovery developed and organized itself into the 
Hellenic-Roman civilization, the classic culture, 
classic as culture, Roman as viewed from without, 
Hellenic as felt within. The origin of many things in 
modern civilization is elsewhere, but here is the 
assimilative force that makes such additions elements 
of culture, here is the only fountain-head of that which 
can be civilization to the Western peoples at least. 

Life in its thrill of responsiveness to ever fresh 
appeals from earth and sky, event and object of de- 
sire, in its buoyant acceptance of the challenge of the 
thing to be penetrated with man, this is the joyous 
energy of our inheritance. Unlike the Oriental and 
the representative of our own barbarism, the fathers 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 29 

of our culture were not overwhelmed by the undis- 
tinguished mass of thingSj but they would selectively 
elevate into a possession of the human spirit whatever 
seemed to them capable of such appropriation, as fast 
as spirit could refashion it. So their imagination 
heightened the expanse of Heaven into the counte- 
nance of Zeus, radiant serenity; and light and sound 
and form, contributed by the world to discriminating 
perception and plastic hand and ordering thought, 
were completed in Apollo's supreme artistry. The 
soul, because conscious of its increasing ownership and 
mastery, passed by, for the time being, that which 
it could not humanize, confident that further develop- 
ments of latent power would win larger conquests of 
whatever might appear in the soul's march through 
the world. Therefore the confidence of inexhaustible 
discovery, invention and subjugation. It is an en- 
franchised manhood both in its appropriations and 
its provisional renunciations. It is the opposite of the 
modern barbarism, which is crushed by accumulation 
of things unusable, and whose phenomenal acquaint- 
ance with the external surpasses the acquisitiveness of 
the life within. 

Out of this self-restrained mastery of the world, 
this frank appropriation of just so much as the soul 
can use, were formed the order, organization, pro- 



30 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

portion and harmony of that ancient life, which is 
both remote from the aspect of our time, and also 
congenial to the still conscious inner impulse, our 
inalienable heritage. We long for their vital joy, rap- 
turous abandonment to that which can intensify sense, 
and also clarify thought and invigorate purpose. We 
are put to shame by their repugnance to the un- 
discriminating brutishness which is insensible to the 
associations that both refine and heighten natural 
pleasure. We would regain the sanity of their refusal 
of mystical contemplation that engulfs the mind in 
the object, as does animalism also. This is not the 
contemplation of Aristotle, and not in this sense is even 
Plotinus to be understood. Not theirs the insolent 
aims which presume impracticable tasks, essay ideals 
unrealizable. Here is the combined buoyancy and 
self-restraint that keep the spirit unsated, ever young, 
yet free from the extravagances of youth, and fortified 
against its sentimental sadness and the disillusions 
which else youth prepares for its own destruction. 
It is a joy of action that finds ardent, rational satis- 
factions in the tasks of self-realization and conquest of 
the world. When it dreams betimes, beside some 
clear-flowing brook along its way, it plays with no 
unformed fancies, but with the realities which it has 
made its own. Theirs was the progressive humanizing 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 31 

of the world and self, the secret of unfeverish, serene 
delight, with the inner life as master, yet ruling its 
domain constitutionally, according to the nature and 
laws thereof. 

The representative of this culture does not shut his 
eyes to sorrow, dwells in no fool's paradise. His un- 
shrinking vision apprehends that the soul does not 
attain itself without fortitude and the arduous ex- 
perience which brings this virtue into exercise. Keen 
is his responsiveness to the tragic. Yet he would admit 
the evils of life only as they deepen its harmony and 
serve the soul's conquest of itself and whatever it 
encounters. And when he must endure the weight of 
more mysterious ills he is not without resource. He 
ascribes the invincible woes to that which is remote 
from the human spirit, incommensurate with it. He 
externalizes them, commits them to the domain of 
inhuman, irrational necessity, which, however terrible 
its injuries and spoliations, must not be suffered to 
obliterate the fair city where the human spirit is lord. 

Of this ancient culture art is consummate and per- 
vasive, consummate because pervasive. Persistent 
is the determination so to possess oneself and so to 
dominate all things that the spirit shall be expressed 
in them, and realize itself in the expression; so to 
order the republic of the self-harmonized soul that all 



32 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

the elements of life shall move together as a graceful 
dance and stately procession of beautiful forms. The 
ethical, which is symmetrical, and harmonious with 
reality, is moral beauty. As moral beauty it unfolds 
a realm of social rights and obligations, symmetrical, 
harmonious, where men capable of such artistic citizen- 
ship may live hi the fellowship of a state that co- 
ordinates human interests, and unites its personal 
constituents in an inclusive aim and devotion. 

In politics and ethics especially, the defects of our 
ancient culture are suggested. But it is not the in- 
evitable defects which we have to preserve. Nor can 
their limitations upon personality, which are dis- 
closed by our Semitic inheritance, condemn our 
civilization as such, though the necessity is thus in- 
dicated of that which is more than civilization. Their 
cultural limitations generally, even the subordination 
of personality to the state and their forms of slavery, 
were enfranchisements, historically conditioned, from 
greater repressions. Our limitations are to be over- 
come by the power in which they advanced. 

Their reflective thought invaded realms beyond 
the reach of fashioning hand or the reciprocal actions 
of men, and gave its own order to its objects, yet in 
accordance with their natures, as apprehended by 
the sane judgment. This conquest knows its metes 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 33 

and bounds. Their philosophy found itself when it 
turned from attempts to construe the universe, and 
bent serene, intense brows to the task of normalizing 
human life, retaining as much of the cosmological as 
served this purpose. The thinker, finding beneath 
the human that which is intractable, admits in matter 
an irrational residuum; and also acknowledging the 
inmost secret of the universe to be untraceable, 
reverently withdraws from things too high, and be- 
tween the abyss and the summit, organizes within 
far flung limits that ever expand downward and up- 
ward, his exquisitely penetrated world of rational 
satisfactions, intellectual harmonies, his life free, rich, 
beautiful, of well-ordered, self-restrained buoyancy 
of soul. 

We look back not upon an ancient dream of what 
human life may be, but upon an actual accomplish- 
ment. Though their achievement was inevitably 
beset with crudities and resistances, as the mon- 
strous imaginings of myths descended from barbarism 
never ceased to haunt their faith in the younger 
gods yet only in one realm of high and positive values 
has there been surpassed the Hellenic approximation 
of life to its ideal. Jesus attained a task, to which He 
summoned His disciples, where all contradictions can 
be surmounted, all limitations to the human spirit 



34 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

transcended. Only a toil beyond the twelve of Her- 
akles can be fulfilled, v Jesus fathomed and solved that 
inner contradiction of the soul against itself which the 
Greek's very ideal refused to face. Jesus makes his 
home the innermost sanctuary of His father's house. 
From this citadel, against whosoever does not strive 
to enter, issue continually the destroyers of any lower 
organization of life. All the greater marvel then is the 
Hellenic approximation of life's interfusion with its 
ideal. This achievement of theirs, against assaults 
from every side, comes to us not as a formula, nor an 
aim of effort merely, but as vital, personal influence, 
comparable in some respects with that of the Galilean. 
J The personal power, the spiritual influence of our 
inheritance of civilization, is not for a favored few 
of these later days. The Hellenic culture is not 
aristocratic, as certain of its advocates mistake it. 
The actual exclusions were enforced, not desired. The 
ancient leaders of this culture felt themselves to be not 
exceptional, but representative. Their distinction 
grew from the common soil, and was promptly recog- 
nized in most cases by their contemporaries as an 
expression of the general consciousness. Contrast 
the influence of Homer then, not only as religious 
teacher but as cultural power, and the influence of 
even Shakespeare (the Bible and its derivatives are 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 35 

in another category) in the common thought and life 
of the modern world. Contrast what the name of 
Plato meant generally then and the meaninglessness 
to nearly all but specialists, of the names of Kant 
and Hegel today. Our popular philosophers are those 
who deny philosophy in Plato's sense of it, as ideal 
and cultural. Then the man of creative genius felt 
the call to live most deeply into the life around 
him, to become the most social of men, even as the 
statues of gods and heroes glorified public places, and 
to give back in finer and larger expression, the goods 
he had received from the general artistic and intel- 
lectual consciousness. Our class limitations of culture 
would be to the Greek the grossest of our barbar- 
isms. Today the beloved of the gods feels the doom 
to dwell apart, and to sound his message as against 
the tumult of the tides. Yet beneath the uncouth 
restlessness, feverishness, confusion of our modern 
life, remains the soul responsive to this heritage, 
essentially democratic, universally human. 

To speak, either in gratulation or regret, of the 
decay of this spirit of world-conquering buoyancy, 
of rationally restrained self-development, of artistic *" 
symmetry of life, is to renounce civilization itself. 
That has not decayed, which, at every mighty asser- 
tion of human powers, rises in new forms, creative 



36 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

potencies, protean adaptiveness. The general con- 
sensus of the modern world regards as a superficial 
eccentricity the assigning of the date of its birth to 

v any other epoch than the renascence of the Hellenic 
culture. Not the appearance of new conditions, or 
the combinations of them, not one or another of the 
new discoveries or organizations of discovery in 
thoughts or things, marks off our modern world from 
medievalism, but the resurrection of that ancient, 
perennial modernism, which is the life element of all 
the cultural attainments of the last four centuries. 
v To the Hellenic spirit every forward step of human- 
ity must turn for the understanding of the advance, 

: for the harmony of the later expansions of this original 
potency, for sane and untrammeled joy of achieve- 
ment. The very reactions find themselves dependent 
upon some element of it, which draws them at length 
to its essential. The age -of the enlightenment re- 
ceived from that clear dawn of intelligence the dry 
light of rational thinking, which was then the urgent 
need. The stiffening constrictions of that age we're 
broken through when Winckelmann and Lessing 
groped for the more vital elements of Hellenic dis- 
tinction, when insurgent Gothic romanticism be- 
came fruitful from Faust's union with Helena, and 
the followers of Kant blended both his revolution 



THE SOURCE OF OUR CIVILIZATION 37 

of thought and the turbulent demands of that time 
with the spirit of Plato, and through the political 
life of Christendom the Hellenic freedom asserted 
itself, working out toward Hellenic rationalities and 
harmonies. Into one's own age indeed one must live. 
Its peculiar, inevitable aims and problems must be 
appropriated in serviceable masteries. Yet all must 
be suffused with our civilization's original, but vitally 
expanded and applied interpretation, regulation, 
aim and value of life. Whatever else we have in- 
herited, conquered, and accumulated, save the great 
competitive inheritance, is body for this soul. Here 
is the unifying of our possessions in that which gives 
them worth. 



CHAPTER IV 

MODERN HELLENISM 

OUR time's normal differences from the origin of our 
civilization testify to the power of the Hellenic genius, 
both to produce new forms, altering the aspects of cul- 
ture, and to possess new races. It is because of those 
undying men that we live in a new world, of which 
they knew but a little part of the little part we know; 
in a new universe, whose physical center is displaced 
from earth to we know not where, but whose spiritual 
center they have discovered in the human soul. 
The inventions that have changed the conditions of 
living are applications of the scientific spirit which 
they won. The social problems, which confront us as 
a devouring Sphinx, are to be overcome by out- 
workings of their conceptions of human organization. 
Because the present is an unfolding of their life and 
thought it would be disloyalty to them to try to 
reproduce the antique forms. The fair shapes which 
we are to behold in nature, whose rationally har- 
monious existence they felt, must be more deeply 

humanized than Oread and Triton. 

38 



MODERN HELLENISM 39 

The Englishman who sacrificed a bull to Poseidon 
showed himself as barbarous as an Athenian of 
Pericles' day demanding human hecatombs to Diony- 
sos Zagraios, or monstrosities of Arcadian shrines 
to desecrate the Parthenon. Not the philosophy./ 
of Plato nor even the esthetic of Phidias are what 
we seek, but the force which formed these idealisms 
and the developments from them. The arid learning 
of just Greek things, philological and archeological, 
takes the life out of our inheritance, invaluable as 
are such patient studies when genuine scholarship 
gives its investigations to the service of advancing 
culture. That which calls itself modern paganism, 
whether self-satisfied or disillusioned, stiffens itself 
in their ethical and religious limitations, against 
which they contended, and may become one of the 
eccentric degeneracies of our time. The spirit of 
civilization, as of religion, outgoes its creations, and 
whoever elects to stay in the things created loses 
the spirit which is their life and worth and 
joy. 

The most truly modern developments are Hellenic. 
Yet they are not sufficiently aware of their nature 
to accomplish their implicit purpose. They need 
invigoration from the fountain-head of our culture. 
Our science, for example, is Hellenic in its passion 



40 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

for exact fact, to be gained in freedom from any 
external consideration. But the scientific temper 
and method which we unscientifically fancy the dis- 
tinction of our age, is familiar to comparatively few. 
In extensive tracts it has to fight a desperate battle, 
as in politics and religion, against grotesque scruples, 
prejudices, and self-interests which are self-delusions. 
Its weakness against its adversaries is because it does 
not know the truth comprehended by those pioneers 
of the actual, that the attainment of any fact has its 
importance as a step toward the understanding of 
the cosmos, and that the limitations, which every 
scientific investigation accepts, are justified only 
because the limitation is necessary to the end which 
science faithfully seeks by provisionally disregarding. 
In the loss of this consciousness, our enormous gains 
of instruments, methods, discoveries, and masteries 
of nature leave our science fragmentary, often in- 
significant, and beset by internal strifes. It can win 
mankind, as well as unite its own forces, only in that 
larger consciousness, to be implicit yet unintrusive 
in every scientific procedure; for then science has at 
its disposal both the passion for the universal and the 
esthetic delight in the harmony of things, and wins 
man's heart and aspiration for the most arduous 
intellectual toils. Our science will remain ineffective 



MODERN HELLENISM 41 

as long as it mutilates and atrophies manhood's 
most vital impulses. Science without culture is 
barbarism. 

Characteristically Hellenic is the perception, hardly 
surmised by multitudes of students of the physical 
world, that the object of knowledge is not a world 
separate from man, and cannot be, but is the permea- 
tion of the data of sense by thought, the transforma- 
tion of the formless into that which is purely human, 
the translation of the assumed material into soul, 
while the actual nature of things is, as far as obser- 
vational science goes, not even a problem; as the 
fathers of our culture were content to win the human 
from the presumably irrational, which they left not 
unrecognized, but unregarded. Of their spirit also 
is the corollary, that whatever our intelligence may 
appropriate and transform is for man's enlargement, 
has its end in his well-being and development, and 
science is the inventive and reconstructive minister 
to human worth and beauty and joy. The unfolding 
of the universe accessible to man is man's inner un- 
folding, continual appropriation and completion of 
the world by soul. The opposite temper, so prevalent 
hi our day, the groveling worship, in the name of 
science, of a fancied something that is external and 
mechanical, as if mechanism were not a provisional 



42 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

invention by the human intellect for the appropria- 
tion of the world, is our most revered barbarism. 

Science, when faithful to its source, finds its con- 
quest of the world an invitation into the most ex- 
quisite of the Hellenic mysteries. As the world reveals 
rationality within the range of intellectual demands, 
so feeling and will are projected there, and nature, so 
far as accessible to soul, becomes a cosmos of living 
beings, vitally responsive to normal imagination. 

Natural science is not merely the investigation of 
nature. It is man's investigation of nature. The task 
excludes indeed every unnecessary postulate, is ob- 
livious for the time being of every question that may 
precede or follow, ruthless of result favorable or un- 
favorable to human values. But just by these self- 
restraints, man the investigator asserts his manhood, 
and sets all things under his feet. In this procedure 
the method is more Hellenic than we have recognized, 
and needs to be made still more Hellenic. The Greeks 
taught the human race inductive and analytic think- 
ing. Their short-comings in such thinking were lacks 
unavoidable, in the begionings of science, of the data 
and instruments of analysis, induction, and experi- 
ment. Modern science, with all its enlargements and 
rectifications of their procedures, works by no novum 
organum. The instrument of knowledge which bears 



MODERN HELLENISM 43 

that name was the repudiation of medieval for classic 
method. But the correction was partial, and before 
there could be the expected progress in science, the 
inductive genius which was recovered from the Greeks 
had to be supplemented by their scientific imagination, 
their genial power of rational hypothesis for induction 
to work upon. Of the scope and regulation of this 
principle we have still much to learn from them. If 
our inheritance of culture decays this power must 
decay, and the science which disregards the Hellenism 
upon which it unconsciously depends must become 
exhausted, or at least be turned into less serviceable 
courses. 

It is our duty to regain the Greek comprehension 
of the relation of science to other potencies of the soul. 
Urania dwells not apart from Terpsichore. The 
muses nine, each in the unrestricted freedom of her 
task, form one exquisite sorority, one rhythm of 
beauty, one harmony of exultant greeting to the 
consummate source of light. 

The humanizing of our science in the service of 
social conditions is in the Hellenic conviction that all 
things are to be learned and mastered for the develop- 
ment of the human. To the Greek, human life meant 
social life. The social passion is both Hellenic and 
Christian. But its problems must be regarded as 



44 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

fundamental interests of our inherited culture, if the 
final, Christian unriddling of them is to find practical 
applications. 

The Hellenic social inheritance, unrecovered by the 
renaissance of the fifteenth century, has but just 
come to rebirth. Our anti-social monsters seek to 
devour it in its Heraklean cradle, and its earliest task 
is to strangle them. The genius of that elder day con- 
fronts our barbaric luxury and lust of Persian things; 
our bigness, with insolence of being big; the toil of 
the many unremunerated by the beautiful and ra- 
tional; the all but absence of a public life of festal 
character, amid noble creations of art continually 
impressing the minds of all; the dull, hard, squalid 
joylessness of those who are caught in the grinding 
wheels of our industrialism. Our inheritance in- 
dignantly demands a universal social life that shall 
be free, rich, beautiful, of well-ordered, self-restrained 
buoyancy of soul. 

It is possible to recover the elements, of our heritage 
while missing the lif e of it. The parts are of value only 
in their vital unity. The man of culture sees life in 
this wholeness. He has grasped the essential of the 
inheritance, whether he is so fortunate as to learn it 
from its original forms, most representative and 
plastic, or as it appears, no less genuinely, in its 



MODERN HELLENISM 45 

derivatives. The light of it exposes the crudenesses 
and barbarisms that beset our present conditions, the 
shameless purposes that deny inner values and de- 
form every institution. From his eyes fall the scales 
of an alien traditionalism, from his limbs drop the 
fetters of repressive convention, from his nerves 
pass the fever, fret, and restlessness, the devastating 
curse of modern life. He enters luniinous amplitudes. 
All the more of value is disclosed to him in the legit- 
imate developments of our time. He appreciates 
them as from that abiding source of good, penetrates 
then- essential worths, knows why they are, how they 
came to be, and what normalities they may serve. He 
is efficient above other types, master of his own time. 
But he loses the favor of the Olympians if he desires 
to recover the universal inheritance just for himself, 
or for a class; if he seeks it in his own exceptional 
fortunes, not in his participation, sympathetic a 
efficient, in the common lot. Then he becomes false 
to the democratic, universal nature of this good, and 
also false to more austere obligations from another 
source. To know this heritage vitally is to see that 
its inmost spirit claims to be the spontaneous joy and 
enfranchised progress of the common people. For 
they are Hellenic of heart. This is the goal to which 
they are striving, though often by ways that lead 



46 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

nowhither. They respond to the presentation of this 
ideal; therefore the man of culture penetrates this 
.^heritage of life with conscious purpose broadly to 
impart it, and to direct its resurgences to a life of men 
generally, which shall be free, rich, beautiful, of well- 
ordered, self-restrained buoyancy of soul. 

The chaos of industrial strifes must turn to this 
ideal for direction. The implicit demand of the 
world's toilers, in their intensifying rage, is not, as 
calumniators of humanity blasphemously assert, de- 
bauchery and lust, nor the smug creature comfort of 
the bourgeois Philistine, whom the craftsman abhors; 
not any external condition nor rhetorical abstraction; 
but just real living in the world, life of the only civil- 
ization possible to the Occident at least. By this 
aim reformatory social energies are unified. By this 
as the first test, are to be judged the proffered social 
remedies. Do they regard conditions merely or the 

By this as the first test, present 



conditions must be estimated. Are they producing 
and distributing wealth for the interior wealth of 
every kind of man? How far are they capable of 
securing equal and abundant access to this physical 
and mental good, that demands, compels, and utilizes 
conditions, which are important to it as conditions 
and only as conditions? 



MODERN HELLENISM 47 

From one social extreme to the other this funda- 
mental reconstruction is necessary. At the baser 
extreme it is so difficult to inculcate that it may have 
to force its way there; because there the barbarisms 
are not regarded as enemies to be overcome, but are 
rapacities to be gratified, distinctions to be inhumanly 
vain of; and because counterfeits of culture delude- 
minds perverted by blatant successes and debauched 
by ignoble exploitations; so that our civilization, may 
be forced to reassert itself from the social depths. 
Yet all contributors to civilization, from laborer to 
capitalist, may find the implicit object of their striving 
in an industrial organism of mankind made possible 
by the Hellenic aim. 

. In the energy of this inheritance, ministry to the 
common people unites with their own groping as- 
pirations. There is the growth of the city beautiful, 
its beauty most militant among the warrens of pov- 
erty. There is the passion to bring the vital worths 
to the most destitute, not only through decorous en- 
vironments, but also through music and .plastic art, 
through athletic exercise and rhythmical recreation, 
through various introductions to the world of wider 
thought and more deeply apprehended loveliness. 
In these beatitudes the Christian compassions and 
ideals are indeed supreme inspiration, yet the Hellenic 



48 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

alliance is essential, clearly to think out and prac- 
tically to work out that ministry in which the two 
inheritances are at one. 

Our inheritance of culture is belligerent against 
every human limitation and distress. Conditions 
that make impracticable anything but brutishness, 
accursed exploitations of these conditions, criminality 
with obscene privileges of self-propagation, war in 
field or mill or market-place, against nation or class 
or woman or child, intemperance and every other 
bestiality, prostitution's flaunting hell, will disappear 
only when our civilization is so urgent of its own worth 
that it can no longer endure them.v<A.s the social 
interactions, that grow continually closer and wider, 
no longer permit the more favored to put these evils 
out of sight, though they exist in an oriental city or an 
African wilderness, civilization cannot endure to con- 
tinue along with them, but must indefatigably enter- 
prise against them. The finest aims clarify and in- 
tensify themselves in the conflict. As the redemptive 
mission of Christianity is conditioned upon the deep- 
ening realization of her celestial nature, so civilization, 
in its warfare both preventive and curative, must ever 
learn more deeply the developing power of her in- 
heritance. 

The public school, the school of the people, the most 



MODERN HELLENISM 49 

evident at least of the instruments of our culture, is 
becoming more aware of its heritage. Its sins against 
civilization have been grosser than its trangressions 
against Christianity, alleged by ecclesiastical enemies. 
Its iniquities include the rampant Philistinism of its 
mechanical drudgeries and soulless repressions of 
individuality. The recognized need of vocational 
training, under present industrial conditions, tends 
against these barbarisms, in its stimulation of personal 
powers for social ends. Yet the movement is pregnant 
with individual repressions and social demoraliza- 
tions unless directed by the conviction that every 
man's vocation, manual or other, must be united with / 
universal interests; that the personal instruments K 
of progress need largeness of life to accomplish their 
special functions in the world's tasks; that men cannot 
be efficient hands unless they are clear brains, joyous 
hearts, and magnanimous purposes. The best of 
our public school teachers, those obscurely greatest 
educators of our time, are seeking to combine the 
necessities of a stern industrial system with the 
broader interests, which can make the present form 
of that regime endurable, and lead society to human- 
ized conditions. Their type of education, in its com- 
bination of the practicable and the ideal, with its 
acceptance of the requirements of a transient phase 



50 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

of social progress, and its transformation of them into 
opportunities for the development of the universally 
human, extends its enterprise beyond children and 
youth into every age, especially among the newer 
elements of our population. 

As the beneficent results appear, the burden of 
resourceless compassion is lifted from our hearts. 
It is changed into the inspiration of social benefit, 
to those especially who suffer disillusion upon our 
shores, who endure barbarous repressions of freedom, 
gladness and beauty, by the coarsening and blighting 
materialism of our industries. In these disinherited 
their heredity abides, its forces spring up invincible 
against the most obdurate repressions, and the hearts 
of the lowly respond to the finer things. It is a might- 
ier struggle than Marathon, this conflict between 
modern barbarism, baser satraps than Artaphernes 
at its head, and the spirit of our inheritance of civili- 
zation, asserting itself in the Hellenic heart of the 
people. Their victory must indeed be fought out by 
industrial, commercial and political forces, in alli- 
ance with the healings and inventions of science, but 
by these powers as humanized by the immortal 
genius of our culture, and directed not to material 
things except as instruments of the enfranchised 
soul. 



MODERN HELLENISM 51 

Culture, like religion, when disappointed in its 
normal leadership may spring up from the heart of 
the people. Yet this impulse comes to fruition when 
the normal leadership is shamed back into its proper 
work. As religion organizes itself into an institution, 
the church, so civilization has its representative insti- 
tution, the university. In the American system of 
higher education the university includes the college, 
whether formally and locally related or not to the 
more imposing body. As the church must endure 
pitiless inquisition into its stewardship, so the univer- 
sity stands ever accountable for the administration 
of our cultural inheritance. Civilization's judgment 
arraigns the university first, as religion's judgment 
begins at the house of God. The unillumined by 
religion are the judges of the one: the disinherited of 
culture form the tribunal of the other. 

The university is not to be blamed for assigning a 
less prominent place than formerly to the humanities. 
This change is of the classic spirit in its subordination 
of every realm to the expanding life of man. The 
aims of the curriculum must be broadly vocational, 
rather than cultural in the separative, contemplative, 
and aristocratic connotations of that word. For these 
practical and vital aims belong to our civilization's 
original energy. Specialization serves culture by 



52 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

preparing each man for Ms own function in the social 
order. The enormous expansion of things to be 
known enforces the self-restraint of intellectual mod- 
esty, which is not the least valuable element of our 
inheritance. But the American university in general 
deals too much with detached things, too little mindful 
of their mutual relations, their functionings in unity 
of thought, enjoyment and purpose, separated from 
which they are barbarisms. A university does not 
deserve its name by teaching everything possible, 
but only when it teaches each thing as in the universal, 
in the symmetry of the one culture. 

University faculties have sloughed off superficial 
pretenders to a straggling scholarship. But this 
gain is canceled when there appear hi their places 
men of a scholarship as spurious, which is ignorant 
of its relations, therefore ignorant of its own signifi- 
cance. Such persons may have their use in contrib- 
uting certain materials to be vitalized by real men; 
but at best they are Gibeonites, hewers of wood and 
drawers of water for the children of the inheritance. 
Then* aloofness from wider interests tends to bring 
the professorial title into popular disrepute, while no 
man is more honored by all than he who devotes 
specialized knowledge to the general progress. To 
the perverted specialization, religion is either unin- 



MODERN HELLENISM 53 

fluenced by thought, or there issue from these men, 
not the searching criticisms made by their broader 
colleagues, but superficial and indiscriminate assaults 
upon faith. Such teachers stamp their barbarism 
upon their pupils. Of institutions so infected it is , 
said, "They impart education, but not culture." t/ 
The last half of the judgment is correct. 

Such influence reinforces the vulgarities of an age 
whose material progress has commercialism as its V 
obverse. Higher education in America especially 
has become to multitudes of students the means of 
that which is pronounced success by the crowd in 
its baser moods. To this degeneracy the loyal rep- 
resentatives of culture in our faculties are indignant 
witnesses. Said one of the most revered teachers of . 
his generation to a former pupil; "It is not now as 
when your class, in so large a proportion, gave itself 
to the fundamental questions of life and mind for 
then: own sake. The commercialism of the time has 
infected, permeated student life. The college course 
is generally regarded as the way to commercial / 
success. Against such enemies one has to champion 
the soul." 

With the most barbaric of contemporary barbar- 
isms many a college and university has contracted 
entangling alliances. Learning's title to the world's 



54 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

wealth is the sublimely beneficent use of it. Because 
of the university's material contributions alone, the 
silver and the gold are hers, and the cattle upon a 
thousand plains. This claim is most respected when 
sustained with unhnportunate dignity. For the 
university to accept its orders from wealth is only 
less shameful than for the church to grovel before 
plutocracy. Plato's Academy would have accom- 
plished little for mankind if Tissaphernes had been 
president of the board of trustees. It is unfortunately 
incorrect, however agreeable, to say that institutions 
of learning financially dependent upon the makers of 
monopoly are unaffected by their patrons' judgments, 
/tastes and aims. One proof to the contrary is the 
complaisant silence of many colleges, universities, 
and their faculties, before the current economic and 
social issues that involve plutocratic interests. They 
leave the defense of our civilization's most precious 
rights to those less qualified for the task, and serve 
the honors of culture to her deadliest enemies. As 
the church must be church militant against spiritual 
S evil, so the true university is university militant 
against the hosts of barbarism. 

Heavy is the responsibility of the American uni- 
versity, for the conflict between civilization and bar- 
barism has its storm-center in our land. We have 



MODERN HELLENISM 55 

seen the fair beginnings of an idealistic national litera- 
ture overwhelmed by the stolid, squalid realisms of the 
last half century. Now the elastic forces of culture are 
rising again, notably in the plastic arts and philosophy. 
Of still deeper significance is the growing conscious- 
ness of learned men, that the goods of intelligence, / 
rational pleasure, and ideal aim must win the life 
of the people; and the response is especially hopeful 
in the newer elements of our population. In this 
dignity of lowly ministry the American university / 
may find her cultural, ethical, and spiritual redemp- 
tion-. 

The imperative of our age is a new Renaissance, as 
much deeper and more inclusive than that of the v 
fifteenth century, as different in its forms to be 
wrought by new conditions and by the unfolding of 
problems unprecedented. Not a Renaissance of art 
or literature merely, but conscious fusing of every 
activity and potency into vital unity, greater power, 
broader scope, nobler aim, unanticipated conquests 
over nature, vaster organizations of human life, - 
ameliorations out of the discipline of centuries, 
plastic accumulations of experience; all for the more 
abundant inheritance of life free, rich, beautiful, of *"~ 
well-ordered, self-restrained buoyancy of soul, to be 
mankind's universal liberation, as both the original 



56 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

democratic genius and the social passion of our time 
require. 

This impulse will indeed revive classical studies, 
by methods less scholastic, directed less to the re- 
stricted discipline of a set of mental faculties, more 
to the invigoration of the universal sympathies, 
interests, and powers. But the classic revival must 
not be narrowly construed in any wise, nor limited 
to a favored detachment. The true Hellenism can 
also be learned from its modern developments, nor is 
there a single enforced specialization in which it is not 
revealed. It is the permeation of every task, pleasure, 
achievement, and organization, with the immortal 
genius of their source. 

</ In this renewal of humanity all may unite whose 
hearts have been divinely touched. In tasks most 
limited and obscure there may be efficient alliance. 

The man of culture is he who comprehends his work 
in its relations, and so masters it as to make it a vitally 
related component of our inheritance of civilization; 
and in a universal culture votaries are needed in 
every work from highest to lowliest. And as, in 
religion, many are Christians who are ignorant that 
their life is of Christ, so in culture many walk with 
the risen and immortal spirit of Plato, their eyes 
holden, but hearts burning within them as he talks 



MODERN HELLENISM 57 

with them by the way. To these also may be made 
known the power, which shall then send them forth 
exultant, to proclaim that the ancient life is risen 
again, to be the unmonopolized heritage that redeems, 
transforms, completes, and harmonizes every secular 
task, and natural pleasure, and world-completing 
impulse of advancing humanity. 

The two great inheritances are at one against the 
common enemy, at one in their insistence upon the */ 
soul. In this mutual recognition, many of their 
former antagonisms are allayed, though for a sterner 
competition for the leadership of humanity. Through 
a part of their course at least, our civilization and 
Christianity walk together, and their institutional 
representatives move on shoulder to shoulder up the 
heights. As the university is converted from its 
detachments, to the organism of culture, and to the 
accordance of all her disciplines in that harmony, 
she becomes more receptive to the absolute unity 
which our religion claims to be. Yet in the alliance 
of our two inheritances lies peril to each. The rights 
of our inherited civilization as against Christianity, 
and the right of Christianity as against our civiliza- 
tion, must be adjudicated, that neither may incur 
detriment, and that each with clear self-consciousness 
may find the other in the unity indissoluble. 



CHAPTER V 

THE RIGHTS OF OUR CIVILIZATION AS AGAINST v 
CHRISTIANITY 

THE most important competitions are between 
evolved historic forces; not between things or in- 
stitutions; not between nations or races or other 
divisions of men, the outlines of which change con- 
tinually, as their interests shift and merge; not be- 
tween principles in the abstract, but between prin- 
ciples in their abiding concretions. The fundamental 
rivalry of our time is not between classes, as rich and 
poor, nor between generalizations and categories, as 
science and religion, sacred and secular, labor and 
capital; but between the two great inheritances, in 
the one or the other of which every interest finds its 
significance and implicit aim. To phrase the basal 
competition as between good and evil is only formally 
true. Good and evil are abstractions too, till they 
come to reality in living issues. When, through dis- 
ciplinary processes, the latent good in human causes 

asserts itself, then these causes are ready to have 

58 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 59 

their rivalries adjusted, for the supreme realization 
of concrete good. 

The beginnings of order, reasonableness, and pur- 
pose dawn upon our blindly controversial time, when 
we see that humanity is now groping after that life 
in the world which is Hellenic in origin and nature. 
Much discipline is needed to make the aim clear. 
This is what men seek, if their rages shall find their 
own meaning, by ill-considered strikes and labor riots, 
by Utopian dream and anarchistic destructiveness. 
This is the cause of revolts against the church, as 
actually or supposedly obstructing the currents of 
life. Hence come atheisms, Heaven-defying blas- 
phemies, assaults upon the foundations of social 
order and personal character. In such a charity is 
to be interpreted the irreligion and license among 
the world's toilers. Every repression of these im- 
pulses, whose antisocial expression belies their na- 
ture, and must for their own sake be repressed,, 
every attempt to cheat them of their implicit desire, 
to misdirect them, to keep them in impotent isolation 
from one another, postpones their discovery of the 
aim that purifies them, and of their legitimate alle- 
giance which unites them under their invincible 
standard. When this implicit purpose is compre- 
hended, the two inheritances, confronting one another, 



60 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

may see the ground of warfare annulled, and arbitra- 
tions of patient wisdom may discover for both the 
uniting cause, end, and energy. 

But how is a division of rights possible between 
these two forces? In no realm can either concede the 
other's monarchy without violating its own funda- 
mental impulse, without disloyalty to the normal 
interests it holds in trust. There is nothing so secular 
that our religion does not demand to infuse it, nothing 
so religious that our culture can forbear to assert 
itself in it. "Business is business," "One world at a 
tune," "Jesus of Nazareth, what have we to do with 
Thee!" these exclusions are as impossible for Chris- 
tianity to tolerate, as the ecclesiastic's demand for 
an authority above reason is repugnant to the ac- 
cumulated forces of our civilization. All such de- 
limitations, in individual assertions, or social relations, 
or national or international affairs, are continually 
obliterated. All such concessions rouse fiercer aggres- 
sions. 

The answer is evident: it is a division not of field 
but of function. In every realm of act and thought 
each power has its own right to maintain, its own 
nature to unfold; in a word, its own function. 

Attempts at delimitation of realm are natural 
enough. These are the divisions obvious to super- 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 6l 

ficiality. What so simple as that two powers which 
have difficulty in adjusting their respective claims 
should part company, Abraham for the Hill Country, 
Lot for the cities of the Plain! From what inunda- 
tions of complexities is one safeguarded who divides 
himself into water-tight compartments! What a 
relief to have either our faith, our agnosticism, or our 
atheism let alone! Smug the satisfactions of the 
fortunate individual, the superior social class, the 
prosperous nation, the generation that keeps its 
favorite complacencies from intrusions of fact and 
reflection. How are churchmanship and statesman- 
ship simplified! Familiar analogies assist, state and 
national boundaries, houselots, divorce laws. These 
parcellings, with their favorite distinction, the religious 
and the secular, pass for clear thinking. They are 
futile attempts to exclude thought; and across the 
boundary lines, into the vacuous domains, all forces 
of thought and life rush to-fierce encounters. 

But the distinction of function in every realm of 
life has advantages as welcome to f orcefulness as they 
are repugnant to mental and moral indolence. In 
such distinctions one may really think and live, one's 
whole being implicitly operant every moment, in 
every detail of action, according to the due measure 
of every functioning. Function works with function 



62 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

in subordinations, organizations, and leaderships of 
life, which is then fundamentally and progressively 
harmonized. According to the thoroughness of the 
division of function is the efficient cooperation of all 
the powers of the one soul, the one humanity. 

What are the functional rights of our civilization as 
against Christianity, in the various realms where 
both operate? 

Most common has been the assertion made in be- 
half of science to exclusive appropriation of realm. 
Hopeless self-contradictions have resulted. The 
claim has been forced to restrict itself to physical 
science, with attempts to extend this domain, often 
with the assumption that the physical covers all that 
is to be known. But science has no test of its own to 
distinguish the physical from aught beyond, except 
in the sense of limiting its own undisturbed procedures, 
nor can it affirm that there is nothing beyond, nor 
pronounce upon the ultimate nature of anything it 
works upon. From no field which has been unscientif- 
ically claimed for its exclusive possession is science 
able to exclude the poetic recognition of life in nature, 
responsive to life in the human soul, nor the vision 
that the Heavens declare the glory of God and the 
firmament showeth His handiwork, nor that distinc- 
tively Christian view of the world of which the deepest 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 63 

expression is in the words of Jesus: "Not a sparrow 
falleth to the ground without your Father." Here is 
a purely Christian conception of the all-inclusive 
power, with a relation to its work that is Christianly 
conceived, and that involves a distinctively Christian 
attitude to this power and its creatures. Whether 
one or all of these conceptions can be maintained, is 
a question which our science can neither answer nor 
silence. 

The rights to be accorded to science are not of 
realm but of function. The right of any function is. 
not diminished because it is related to others, and 
works with them to the construction of soul, humanity, 
universe. When the exclusive claim of science to any 
realm is surrendered there is ample recompense in the 
extension of.inviolable~privilege into all realms, for in 

/ 

every field observations must be taken, facts collated, 
classified, and reduced to continuous processes, with- 
out help or hindrance frojh any prejudice or any worth. 
The function of science extends into every variety of 
religious experience and' into every historic manifesta- 
tion of the spiritual. Its critical analysis has its place 
beside the dying saint's rapturous vision, beside 
Stephen seeing the Heavens opened and the Son of 
Man standing at the right hand of God, beside Jesus 
Himself in his profoundest overwhelmings by the 



64 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Father's love. It sentinels His tomb, cross-examines 
the witnesses to His resurrection, weighing the evi- 
dence without regard to the passionate hopes and 
fears that await the verdict. It has no faith nor un- 
belief; it is indifferent to moral interests, insensible 
to the doom or destiny of soul, humanity, or universe. 
Indispensable is this implacable investigation in every 
realm, where it ,delivers results which must be ac- 
credited without reserve, for evaluation by other 
functions. 

The right of science in Christianity, often confused 
with the warfare between science and sundry dogma- 
tisms, opens a still deeper functional cooperation. 
The right of free investigation into the world as it is, 
is introductory to an Hellenic freedom of action in the 
world as it is found to be. 

It is impossible to derive the whole range of our 
ethic from Christianity. Inquiry into the origin and 
nature, of Christianity makes evident the fact, that 
its founder did not contemplate any such social con- 
ditions as those of our time, with their peculiar de- 
mands upon conduct. He dwelt in a circle of interests" 
not directly related to the ethical field of modern life. 
The attempt to fulfill the importunate obligations 
of existing conditions by immediate application of the 
teachings of Jesus, must either distort the latter, or 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 65 

leave the vast complication of modern life a moral 
anarchy. But the ethic which we inherit from the 
founders of our culture was formed in a civilization 
essentially the same now as then, genetically one in all 
its evolving course. The principles are at a different 
stage of development; their applications are for a 
different aspect of civilization; but the principles in 
their present form are normally unfolded for a world 
of culture similarly conceived. 

Yet the free functioning of our cultural ethic cannot 
be an exclusive appropriation of the field of conduct. 
For there are moral issues of our day no more antici- 
pated by the founders of our civilization than Jesus 
and His disciples forecast its issues of another range. 
The spiritual consciousness inherited from Jesus, 
different from our cultural consciousness in ends, 
grounds, and informing principle, connotes a radically 
different moral consciousness, end, ground, and in- 
forming principle, for every element of activity out- 
ward and inward. In every field of modern action, 
in every personal self-realization, in every service and 
sacrifice, we are in a world unprophesied by either 
Hellenic or early Christian. Unless one or the other 
of the great inheritances disappears an issue which 
the deeper study of them will show to be impossible 
there must be the free functioning of both ethical 



66 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

inheritances in the unity of that which vindicates it- 
self as the supreme good. 

Philosophy as the intellectual construction of 
reality has rights which cannot be affected by any 
form of religion, or by anything outside the intellectual 
construction itself. Its processes are as independent 
as the methods of the special sciences. But we no 
longer expect to grasp reality by the mere explication 
of these processes. The data of philosophy include 
all developed Hellenic attainments and interests, 
secular and religious, and in respect to these its con- 
structions are both regulative and subordinate. 
Philosophy extends also over all that belongs to our 
unfolded Semitic religious experience, including Chris- 
tianity and the founder of Christianity. No claim 
made in behalf of the religion of Jesus can raise it, 
as revelation, above the reach of our cultural philoso- 
phy, or sink Christianity, as irrationality, beneath 
it. The philosophy of religion cannot permit its 
subject-matter to limit the methods of investigation, 
as developed from the Hellenic fathers of clear and 
well-ordered fundamental thinking. But these meth- 
ods, regulative and inclusive of all the attainable 
religious experience of mankind, seek and serve the 
reality of that experience. Along these obvious 
lines our inheritance of philosophy finds the rights 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 67 

and limits of its exercise with respect to Chris- 
tianity. 

When we inquire into the right of our inherited 
civilization in the religious life, we face a different 
condition from that which our culture meets in science, 
conduct, and philosophy. For these, in themselves 
considered, are either elements of life or reflective 
constructions of it: religion is life's wholeness, includes 
and energizes all. In no religious experience can two 
ultimate religious principles tolerate one another. 
One religion may receive thoughts and achievements 
from another, but it does so in order to change them 
radically, to set them to a use transcendent of their 
original aims. The all-inclusive is all-exclusive. A 
religion which does not assert its absoluteness forfeits 
the right to be considered. Syncretism is a self- 
contradiction. The syncretistic overtures of Oriental 
religions to Christianity are invitations to a suicide 
pact. The attempt to form a religious consciousness 
from the elements of various religions is the surrender 
of religion to that other power which undertakes the 
synthesis, and is the denial of religion's very nature 
as life in its completeness. The character of each 
religion so manipulated is caricatured, for every 
religion that can offer itself to the world asserts itself 
as universal principle, all-pervasive Spirit, absolutely 



68 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

jealous God. Yet the freest sea,rch is by no means 
precluded into the nature of religion, in order to attain 
religion's final principle, which may or may not be 
identical with any existing faith. These reflections 
become concrete when the self-witness of Christianity 
is regarded. Christianity must be either entirely 
accepted or entirely rejected in its essential nature. 
It repudiates any syncretistic concession. Whatever 
contribution it accepts (and it claims all things) 
it receives that it may transform. 

Just for these reasons our cultural inheritance has 
its inviolable religious rights. Its primal right is to 
have its own religious claim considered. For we in- 
herit in our civilization, as truly as in our Christianity, 
a religious conception of the universe, a religious 
wholeness of thought and being. Our civilization 
has endured because it is not fragment but vital 
organization. Thus our culture and Christianity 
are in sharpest mutual antagonism in the religious 
realm, therefore in all realms. And unless some 
spiritual consciousness deeper than either conquers 
both (and this is all but inconceivable, for no such 
consciousness has germinated in the Western world, 
to which the deepest Oriental faiths are in opposition) 
there can be no peace between these twain till one 
destroys the other or transubstantiates it. 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 69 

The essential nature of the religion of our cultural 
inheritance can be best comprehended in its funda- 
mental contrast with Christianity. To that our 
course of thought has not yet come. But the re- 
flections already made disclose a single, persistent 
religious consciousness, fundamentally, implicitly uni- 
versal, unfolding in the whole range of our Hellenic- 
Roman civilization. We recognize this one vision in 
the elder poets of Greece, in her dramatists, and in 
the thinkers of all her schools, however divergent. 
We perceive that this religion, even in its finest forms, 
is the explication of that which lay deepest in the 
hearts of the people. If aspirations of a different na- 
ture seemed to enter a universe otherwise conceived, 
as by Plato or Plotinus, these are either extravaga- 
tions, from which the Hellenic spirit returned, or they 
are pronounced, by a deeper appreciation, to be the 
larger unf oldings of the Hellenic genius and essentially 
true to its nature. The modern revivals of the an- 
cient culture, begun in secularities however absorbing, 
or exploited by the church, unfold their own inevitable 
religious consciousness. 

It is a frivolous assertion, unworthy the eminent dis- 
ciples of an imposing religious genius, that Christian- 
ity is the only religion which the world can consider 
seriously, that the only alternative is Christianity 



jo THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

or no religion at all. Such an assertion, to be fair, 
must compare the essential spirit of Christianity 
with the essential spirit of other faiths. For religious 
competitions are between ultimate principles, as 
energizings of life in its completeness. They are rival- 
ries of universe against universe. They are competing 
organizations of all that is. Against such a Christian- 
ity such a Buddhism will assert itself in vain, unless the 
Occident experiences at length the Orient's universal 
disillusion. But against the inmost spirit of Chris- 
tianity there is persistently competitive a religion 
essentially of the spirit in which the fathers of our 
civilization worshipped reverently and lived achiev- 
ingly. 

This religion can be powerfully affected by Chrisr 
tianity and yet remain essentially anti-Christian. 
Surely no devout soul that has learned of Jesus can 
fail to be profoundly influenced by Him. But it is 
possible in all honesty to accept many things from 
Jesus' life, teachings, personality, unfolding of His 
historic influence, and yet to put them to the service 
of a life and pi essentially different from His. Multi- 
tudes do this unconsciously; many, better instructed, 
with a clarifying of definite intent; up to those who 
know and teach a religion which gratefully receives 
from Jesus purity, devotion, and compassion, beyond 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY ff 

the devout pagan of the olden time, but turned to 
that universal conception, that inclusive aim of life, 
for which the Galilean did not live and die. This 
is a "modern paganism" which is the opposite of the 
fleshly and hideous decadence which usurps that title. 
This Hellenic life, free, rich, beautiful, of well- 
ordered, self-restrained buoyancy of soul, a life 
deepened, broadened, disciplined personally and soci- 
ally by the experience of centuries, possessor of vast 
wealths which include visions, joys, energies of the 
founder of Christianity, and developments from Him, 
cannot be excluded from any realm. It is a life 
that permeates all interests; it is religious therefore in 
its action in all realms. Brought face to face with 
a radically different -spiritual consciousness it right- 
eously asserts itself in competition, nor can it concede 
a single one of its own attainments, nor limit their 
scope, vdts unlimited freedom scorns an authority > 
external to the human soul. Inalienable are the rights 
of an exultant vision of a world good and beautiful, 
its goodness and beauty to be realized by humanity's 
seK-attainments and world-conquests; right of re- 
sponsive joy to every invitation of earth and sky, 
with awakenings of nobler gladness by the challenge 
of resistances to be overcome, exploited, and per- 
meated by the soul; right of resolute action in all 



72 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

conflicts and problems, as these unfold, to subjugate 
every condition to human progress; right of the 
invincible spirit of youth, intensifying and deepening 
to the last day of mortal life, and expectant of new 
worlds of conquests yet to be. 

Against every repression and limitation these forces 
rise with indignant mastery. Against every bribe 
of Heaven or threat of Hell, they are as Shelley's 
Prometheus before the futile wrath of Zeus. Against 
every voluptuous solicitation of faith the temptress, 
to find security and rest in her caressing arms from 
the problems, strifes, and agonies of real living, they 
are as Orpheus rendered insensible to the song 
of the sirens by his own mightier harmonies. The 
only religious appeal except its own to which this 
spirit can listen must accept the critical acumen of 
its historical investigation and rational analysis, 
and welcome its demand to live. When an appeal 
that fails of these requisites is made in the name of 
Christianity, we must reject it, oppose it, destroy it, 
for the truth's sake, and for the sake of men, who live 
by the truth, estimating any apparent or incidental 
loss of character and spirituality to be of small ac- 
count against the higher good. A Christ that does 
not fulfill this life in every range of its functioning 
cannot be the Lord of life. To accept that Christ 



CIVILIZATION VERSUS CHRISTIANITY 73 

is to pass into condemnation. The Christianity which 
the religious demands of our cultural inheritance may 
consider must not only welcome their freest energies, 
but intensify, complete, and perfect them. 

Yet a Christianity which meets only such impera- 
tives is a Christianity of which this spirit has no 
need. For that which would then be offered to it is 
within its own implicit possession. Why not man- 
fully unfold itself , not beggarly receive from another? 
Thus we are brought to the ultimate demand which 
our cultural inheritance makes to Christianity. Chris- 
tianity is challenged to open to it a new universe,, 
before whose glory the spirit of our civilization falls 1 
in contrite confession of its own insufficiency and need. 
If in this new spiritual universe, above the attain- 1 
ment of our Hellenic inheritance in its uttermost un- 
foldings, our civilization, newborn, may fulfill itself 
by denying and transcending itself, then Christianity 
is able to subdue us utterly, and Jesus is enfranchised 
humanity's eternal leader and Saviour. 



CHAPTER VI 

TEE RIGHT OF CHRISTIANITY AS AGAINST OUR 

CIVILIZATION 

*' CHRISTIANITY'S first right is the right to be itself. 
However intertwined its history with the develop- 
ments of our civilization, it keeps an underlying con- 
sciousness of ineradicable difference. When civiliza- 
tion becomes most enfranchised from the interferences 
of our religious inheritance, triumphantly asserts its 
own rights, and is confident of self-sufficiency, so that 
an age of brilliant cultural progress seems ready to say 
to Christianity, "I have no more need of thee;" then 
the Christian spirit most radically asserts itself, un- 
folds its powers from its own source, and differentiates 
itself most clearly from the competitive inheritance. 

Least favorable to Christianity are the times of its 
imperious intrusions into the functions of civilization. 

/Its conquest of the Roman Empire, its medieval dom- 
inations, Protestant state churches, theocracies of 
Geneva and New England, were gains of the world 
in which it all but lost its own soul. Dethroned from 

its usurpations, exiled into its native wilderness, it 

74 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 75 

may again find its Lord and itself. Though in the 
search there are wanderings and perplexities, losses 
and distresses, yet the compulsions of the pilgrimage 
are redemptive disciplines, that will never suffer 
Christianity to be merged into the cultural achieve- 
ments which it is its purpose to transform. The 
mightiest renascence of our inherited culture forced 
Christianity to the most vigorous renewal of its self- 
assertion against the world. 

This search makes its way into the depths of the . 
inner life, summoned by the needs, guided by the 
affirmations fundamental to personality. If the 
essential or ground of Christianity is sought in any 
external authority, as the ecumenical creeds, the 
church, the Bible, Christ as external authority, or in 
any combination of such externalities, whether any 
or all of these are conceived to be above reason, or 
somehow assessors .with reason, the dominant re- 
ligious tendency of Our time refuses to follow. Or if 
it be alleged that the demand of the inner life is for 
such authority, the assertion is a contradiction in 
terms, for spirit cannot depend upon anything external 
to itself without renouncing itself. Such a Christian- 
ity pronounces its inferiority to the cultural inher- 
itance. For the latter 's impulse is not to thoughts and 
aims of the past as external standards. Our inherit- 



76 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

ance of civilization affirms itself the progressive spirit 
of humanity .j/Especially does our civilization's reli- 
gious impulse emphasize personality, the inner spirit- 
ual universe and the indwelling God. ^Christianity 
can compete only by asserting itself to be humanity's 
profoundest spiritual self-realization. 

Thus far Christianity and our civilization in its 
religious strivings are at one. What distinguishes 
them? Simply this: that Christianity's inner king- 
dom is the center of Jesus' religious consciousness, 
the sanctuary of Jesus' spiritual life. Whether a 
religion which is not this be regarded as greater or 
less than this, it is not Christianity. It may belong 
to the competitive inheritance, none the less so for its 
reception of Christian influences. On the other hand, 
the religious aspirations of our cultural inheritance 
become Christian, whatever they call themselves, by 
whatever ways they fulfill themselves, whatever their 
separations from Christian organizations and institu- 
tions, the moment they accept Jesus' religious con- 
sciousness and enter the sanctuary of Jesus' spiritual 
life. 

But at this point there seems to be encountered a 
contradiction, which our cultural religion is in a posi- 
tion to urge, between a religion of the inner life and 
the religion which identifies itself with an historic 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 77 

occurrence. The question is also involved, whether 
any expression of the spiritual made in the course of an 
historic development can in any sense be final. There- 
fore we have continual attempts at constructing a 
Christianity without Jesus as its essential, or a Chris- 
tianity whose Christ is construed as other than the 
Jesus of history, whatever the devices employed for 
relating the two. A deeper spiritual insight ceases to 
call such a religious consciousness by the Christian 
name. Only in the inner depths of the spirit, it is 
urged by many of those who refuse .such compromises, 
do we find God, and our own selves, and the spiritual 
universe. "His witness is within." And also, it is 
contended, here alone is certainty. How can we be 
sure of that which comes to us through variable re- 
ports of fallible witnesses, or rather, through those 
who distort their testimony? What would befall us, 
if, making faith dependent upon Jesus, He becomes too 
indistinct f or faith to grasp! Conceive Christ, if you 
will, it is said, as the ideal formed by religious imag- 
ination out of the aspirations of humanity; but do 
not confuse that ideal with the external, the temporal, 
the uncertain. 

Surely our spiritual relation to the historic Jesus 
must pass if it signifies a religious consciousness less 
certain, inward, and eternal than these objections 



78 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

demand. But against them is a consideration most 
congenial/ to the spirit in which these objections are 
made, j/lt is the Christian assertion, which Christian 
experience presents as its conviction, that Jesus is not 
the creation of our highest religious ideals, but the 
creator of them. This indicates the possibility of a 
deeper religious inwardness than any other, involved 
in the identification of our religion with Him. 

Something of the historic Jesus we may know, and 
that which we may know of Him may be the inner- 
most spiritual possession. A thorough historic agnos- 
ticism is complete agnosticism, which as such cannot 
assert itself without denying itself. There is no knowl- 
edge which is not historic knowledge. Historic is each 
man's knowledge of himself. No immediate impres- 
sion has any significance save as it is compared with 
a previous impression, which then gains significance, 
and the two are included in what can only then be 
called experience. Thus experience begins. Identi- 
fication is essentially historical. To lose one's own 
history is to lose oneself. To lose one's own religious 
history is to lose one's spirit. Out of an historic ex- 
perience comes the development of self, including that 
which pronounces our deepest spiritual affirmations, 
in their unity, immediateness, and certainty. Our 
history is our spirituality. 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 79 

In this historic self-knowledge we distinguish the 
certain, which is indispensable to our innermost being, 
from the less intimate elements of our experience, with 
their confusions of places and dates, and their blur- 
ring contours. Yet these elements contribute to the 
clearness of the inward historic certainty. In propor- 
tion as we maintain and recover them, clarify and 
relate them, does the inwardness of the experience 
grow in power to form itself. The more distinct and 
inclusive our memory of these the better able are we to 
distinguish the incidental from the important, and 
the more masterfully do we unify and unfold our 
spiritual life in its contents and tasks. 

Those lives are most significantly self-grasped which 
find centers of energy in their historic unfoldings. 
Those personalities most realize themselves who live I 
in the dawn and growth of a great love, of an arduous/ 
obligation accepted and loyally adhered to; and above \ 
all, as the Christian confesses, in the transforming 
commencement and the transcendent developments of 
that faith in Jesus which makes His endeavor our 
battle, His victory our overcoming. 

The history of each self is formed in the history of 
other men and of humanity. Every personal con- 
sciousness is a social consciousness, each personal 
history is wrought in relations with other personalities. 



8o THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

If we conceive a human being shut out, from the be- 
ginning of his existence, from conscious intercourse 
with other human beings, that would not invalidate 
his social nature, formed from other men, nor the 
social quality of his personal history, which is the 
development of that social nature; it would keep 
rudimentary his intellectual, moral, and spiritual 
powers. Each man's significant history is intensely 
social, especially when he concentrates and individual- 
izes his interactions with others into a normal and in- 
tense self-consciousness. Poor and shallow is the 
religious life of every man who keeps it relatively un- 
social, unhistorical. Deep religious experiences are 
for those alone who seek to make their own the reli- 
gious attainments of mankind's great past and arduous 
present, and to live the mightiest spiritual life by 
entering most deeply humanity's historic life. 

This aim is not, to receive such attainments as if 
they were abstractions from the historic struggles 
which won them, but to absorb into our own history 
the historic search, struggle, and passion of the 
achieving souls. The truth that is separated from 
this historic movement loses vital meaning. We re- 
ceive from our fellow-toilers their spiritual toil, which 
is their innermost being, and our personal history then 
becomes one with theirs. Therefore great spiritual 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 81 

movements are historic movements. A religious tem- 
per like that of the Enlightenment, loosening itself 
from history, loses itself in superficialities, till, out 
of the depths, the historic life of the human spirit 
reasserts itself. And the great developments of this 
vaster life group themselves about the great historical 
experiences of mankind, births of political freedom, 
consummations of spiritual discovery, about the su- 
premely achieving souls, above all about Him who 
walked in Galilee and died on Calvary. By these 
historic victories men live. In the supreme historic 
personalities is the lif e of the human spirit. There |s no 
depreciation here of that type of historic investigation 
which traces the relatively mechanical connections 
and organizations of historic phenomena. These have 
their place, contributory and subordinate to the his- 
toric life of every man in the historic life of humanity. 
This historic experience, which each individual 
shares, has certainty as forming the inner and historic 
personal life of mankind. History's witness is within. 
Here we find again the distinction between the es- 
sential and the incidental, and also the contribution 
made by the latter to the former. The less certain 
things serve the clearness and scope of the inward 
historic certainty. In proportion as critical and con- 
structive historic science recovers, elucidates, and con- 



82 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

nects them, does the inwardness of humanity's ex- 
perience gain power to energize us, and the more 
masterfully does humanity grasp and unfold its 
spiritual life in its contents and tasks. Thus the 
modern critical reconstruction of Jesus' life, in fear- 
less independence of traditionalism, is demanded by 
intense evangelical conviction. Many results must 
indeed always be provisional. Even of reported words 
and deeds of His which are inwardly characteristic 
of Hun, we may not be sure whether they were spoken 
and acted by Him, or were merely onflowings of His 
thought and expressive of His life. Those things con- 
cerning Jesus without which He would not be Jesus 
are in the realm of inward historic certainty. The 
provisional recoveries, clarified and connected to- 
gether into an ever closer approach to the essential 
personality of Jesus, are an invaluable contribution 
to that inward historic experience of Him as an abiding 
energy, which Christianity affirms the central energy, 
of humanity's spiritual life. 

Historic humanity, and each soul .in it, can most 
deeply possess its inward spiritual certainty as it 
finds its historic life-center. Whether Jesus is that, 
can be determined only by a deeper study than these 
preliminary considerations attempt. Our contention 
at this point is simply that Christianity does not 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 83 

necessarily fail in that inward spiritual conviction, 
which is its primal test, by identifying itself with the , 
spiritual consciousness and task of the historic Jesus. 
And the Christian confession is not to be disregarded, 
nor its significance, that Jesus is not the creation of 
human ideals, but the creator of the supreme of them; ; 
none the less so for taking into Himself humanity's / 
ideal strivings and new-creating them in unity and 
power. 

Also, if the central principle of the spiritual life . 
can be attained at all, it must be attained at some 
epoch of history, which may be that of Jesus. Qur 
own time cannot arrogate to itself such discoveries, 
in exaltation of itself against another age past or 
future, whether by claiming to find that secret, or by 
determining that it cannot be found. The implications 
of that principle must indeed ever unfold, be formu- 
lated ever more clearly, applied ever more widely, 
continually beyond any prevision. But whenever 
that principle is historically realized as center of 
humanity's^ illimitably unfolding life, there is man- 

i 

kind's innermost sanctuary and source of power. 
In this reception of Jesus into the depths of the 
soul, there are two amazing things. One is Jesus, 
the other is the result of accepting Him. But the 
inward acceptance itself is natural and familiar. 



84 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

It is nothing less than the innermost of Jesus that 
we are to receive; not His formulations of faith to 
determine our thinking, not His expressions of faith 
in conduct or precepts of conduct to constrain our 
action. Such acceptances of Jesus are in danger of 
accepting as His, words that He did not say and ac- 
tions that He did not perform. But even if we could 
have certainty in these respects, such acceptances of 
Jesus are in principle rejections of Him. They are 
externalizations of life, which He sought to renew 
inwardly. It is Jesus' innermost Spirit which has 
power to new-create the soul in His spiritual liberty. 
Only in this perception may we be able to see that all 
His acts and words, thoughts and feelings, struggles 
and victories, are of this essential in Him. It is this 
ever deepening search of the innermost of Jesus that 
makes our lif e His increase of living in us, a search that 
penetrates to Him through all that the reports of 
His words and deeds present to us, and calls into its 
service every development of faculty and experience. 
Then we become by His power new-created men in 
a new-created spiritual universe. 

The essential of Jesus is His own spiritual life in 
His actual attainment of it. Every departure from 
that renders Christianity empty and powerless, till 
irresistible inner forces sweep us back from vain in- 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 85 

ventions concerning Him, to His real self. The calam- 
itous substitutions began early in Christian history. 
In apostolic days, against Jesus stood the Messiah 
who was expected from a realm external to humanity. 
As men dreamed of the external future Christ, so they 
fancied the preexistent Christ, external to humanity. 
Into this dogma the alleged miraculous birth was 
taken, as testifying to His fundamental separateness 
from men. Then the Christ became to the church's 
Hellenized conceptions, the Logos, to whom the so- 
journing of a few years in the flesh was an incongruous 
episode, and whose saving power could be directed 
only to apotheosize men, that is, to dehumanize them. 
Then He was exiled into the Nicene trinity, where, / 
to vast sections of Christian thought, He has remained. 
He has become priest and victim of a superfluous 
ceremony of reconciling God to men. He has been 
sacramentally paganized. Or the Christian mystic, 
longing to recover Jesus, has sought Him in imagin- 
ings at once too psychical and too esoteric, which 
separate Him from the central place and creative 
power of the inner life. A recrudescent Platonism 
has conceptualized Him into "the essential Christ," 
or "the ideal Christ." 

In consequence of these separations, the formative 
power of the Christian life has had to be sought 



86 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

elsewhere than in Jesus, and sought in vain. One 
result is the phenomenon of an hesitant Christianity 
to which Jesus is only incidental; for those vagaries, 
passing out of fashion in the world's thought, leave 
nothing to fill the void. The departures from the 
real Jesus, with His abiding moral and spiritual power, 
which is His real presence in renewed humanity, 
have indeed been efforts to express His infinite value 
to men. But these efforts, due in part to the alien 
influence of our Western civilization, reached the 
opposite of their intent. j/They removed Him from 
that inmost being of human life, where we may receive 
irom Him the grace to look up to God with His 
confiding filial devotion, into the faces of our fellow- 
men with His redemptive brotherhood, and out upon 
the world with His mastery of it to the soul's eternal 
purposes. 

Those efforts have been solicitous to save the 
divinity of the Saviour. This assertion Christianity 
must pronounce essential to the absolute sufficiency 
which as a religion it must claim for itself, the salva- 
tion being of Jesus; but they failed of their intent 
by losing this salvation's origin, nature, and power. 
With wavering faith in Jesus Himself, they have gone 
out to conceptions of Him which His character and 
mission repudiated. 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 87 

Yet genuine Christian faith, wiser than its creed, 
has ever opened the human spirit to the inflowing 
of Jesus' concrete personality. In our day especially, 
Christian thought is sweeping on to the real Jesus. 
If the present tendency is too much occupied with 
the events of His career and the details of His teach- 
ing, and too little with His personal remoulding of 
humanity, yet through the attainment of anything 
that belongs to Jesus, the religious consciousness 
penetrates to the reality of Jesus, to His spiritual 
life of sonship, brotherhood, victory over the world, 
and finds Him the new-creative energy of men. The 
return of thought to the real Jesus has been led by 
the faith, that the life which liveth in us is the hu- ' 
man life formative of human life as God would have 
it lived. 

The life that Jesus lived in the flesh, that we may 
live that life in the flesh, may be found to include all 
the essentially religious strivings, aspirations, and 
visions of mankind, as an individual life alone can 
really include them. His representativeness does not 
detract from His originality, but is His originality; 
for all these spiritual powers He united in that faith, 
devotion, love, holiness in one, which made a person- 
ality distinct and individual, and which does not 
overwhelm other personalities, but draws them up 



88 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

continually into that spiritual realm where He is 
Lord. The spiritual life which He imparts, while 
inclusive of religious values generally, has always 
a distinctiveness new-created from the originality of 
Jesus. 

When Christianity ceased to be an historic novelty, 
when it became domiciled among men, in innumerable 
contacts with other interests, the uniqueness of its 
fundamental principle became the more evident. 
The consciousness of the internal difference deepens 
in times when the confessors of Jesus are repeatedly 
drawn away to those religious conceptions, activities, 
and aims, which are of the general religious experience 
of mankind, and when Christianity is tempted to 
conform itself to the religious tendency of the hour, 
for then Christian life and thought irresistibly re- 
assert themselves from Him in the freshness of a 
rediscovery. The incessant change in the forms of 
Christian thought and action, as historic changes 
impose unprecedented demands, makes the wonder 
greater that never in this continuous flow is its deter- 
minative current mingled with other floods of the 
spirit, except as it transforms them into its own 
impulse. The illimitable unf oldings of this life reveal 
the inexhaustibleness of its historic origin. 

Therefore whether men came into the convictions 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 89 

of the Christian religion from lives debased or noble,i 
self-centered or serviceable, they testify to a funda- 
mental revolution; they confess themselves new crea- 
tions in a world where old things have passed away 
by becoming new, where to their illumined vision 
opens that which eye had not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither had it entered the heart of man. The initia- 
tions of Christian experience are not infrequently 
catastrophic, clashings of spiritual universes, and this 
may be whether the revolution is from life-purposes 
large or mean, from conceptions materialistic or 
ideal. Yet such dramatic revulsions are not necessary 
to vindicate the uniqueness of Christianity. More 
convincing is the manifestation in a Christian life 
that unfolds with the general unfolding of human 
faculties, in clearer and deeper consciousness of dis- 
tinctive nature derived from Jesus its original. 

The inwardness of Christianity is the acceptance of 
the spiritual universe of Jesus. The inquiry of the 
disciples is, "Master, where- dwellest Thou?" Its 
search is to come and see where He dwells, and there 
to abide with Him. The life derived from His life 
will indeed express itself in forms that He never con- 
templated, in actions and organizations that He never 
forecast, to penetrate and subdue realms of which He 
had no knowledge. But hi all these transformations 



90 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

v 

y the innermost vitality is the heart of the actual, the 

yr 

historic Jesus. The increase of faith for which the 
disciples must pray, is that increase of faith in Jesus 
* which appropriates His faith. It is He that saves, 
not any construction of Him, which, presuming to 
make Him greater, makes Him less, or may lose Him 
altogether. It is this personal Jesus who also evokes 
a personal confidence, love, loyalty, devotion, which 
Christianity alone possesses, and which makes its 
confessors more than conquerors through Him that 
loved us, and which renders Him, in the unsearchable 
depths of His personal life, accessible even to the 
most ignorant and to the little child, in a power that 
unfolds all men's inner life into His likeness. 

But an objection seems to arise in the Christian 
experience itself, an objection similar to that which 
we have considered, but urged from another view- 
point. This faith in the Jesus of history may appear 
to separate our faith from its object. He lived far 
away and long ago, but that power which is to form 
the spiritual universe within us must be in immediate 
touch with us. Therefore men have substituted for 
the historic Jesus the "ideal Christ," suggested by 
the Man of Galilee, or imperfectly expressing itself 
in Him and passing on. Or men have announced 
the discovery of a "living Christ," to take the place 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 91 

of the historic Jesus. Christian mysticism seeks to 
sublimate the historic, to wrest its absorbing object 
away from the distant and the past. And the experi- 
ence of simple hearts that are increasingly conscious 
of their Lord's presence, and who declare with interior 
conviction "the Christian life a friendship with 
Christ," may easily make the Jesus of the Synoptic 
Gospels only preliminary to the indwelling Christ.. 

In favor of this objection to the identification of 
Christianity with the historic life of Jesus, it must 
indeed be acknowledged, that the demand for the 
immediateness of the personal power that new-creates 
our spiritual being is of the essential of religion, that 
unless Christian experience has this immediateness 
in ever deepening realization, its Lord becomes 

^ 

"A dead fact, stranded on the shore 
Of the oblivious years." 

t 

And it is also to be admitted that a current answer 
to this difficulty is most unfortunate in its expression 
at least. We cannot be satisfied with the answer 
that faith has a power to conceive its object as present, 
while in reality it is long ago and far away. But 
both the objection and the answer, which is suggested 
by the fear of an unethical and enervating type of 
mysticism, fail to see the inwardness of faith's posses- 



92 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

sion in the actual personality of Him who of old walked 
in Galilee. 

Our knowledge of Jesus, as of every other, is me- 
diated by that which is in space and time. But of no 
man is our knowledge phenomenally originated, by 
inference from sense experience. So all thinkers 
acknowledge, whose views are not limited to sense 
experience. We know our fellowships because our 
personality is social in its nature. Whenever any sense 
experience suggestively mediates to us a personality, 
then personality meets personality in the unity of the 
inward spiritual universe. ^-Spirit is where it ener- 
gizes, an affirmation confirmed by every soul that 
loves. And this is no less certain of men of the past 
than of contemporaries. Spirit is when and where it 
energizes, an affirmation confirmed by every soul 
that lives in the power imparted by a great soul. 
Whatever the relations of personality to time (and its 
relation to space is not any more restrictive) person- 
ality is not constricted by time in any wise. Time is 
for the soul, not the soul for time. Whatever person- ' 
ality's use of time, it is use of it. And the presence 
with us of one who energizes within us is the presenpe 
of his actual, historic personality, not of some other 
thing. 

This is most clear in the mighty personality of the 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 93 

actual Jesus. All that we learn about Him, as we say, 
takes us to the inmost soul of Him, unless we are con- 
tent to make Him an external authority or standard. 
They who saw Jesus and heard and touched Him were 
no nearer to Him spiritually, that is, really, than 
may be today. Not so near indeed, for they did not 
know the essential of Him as well as we may know it.*/ 
It is not that the words and actions of Jesus pass with 
undiminished power down the centuries and across 
far spaces of land and sea: between the innermost 
spirit of Jesus and our spirit there are no centuries, no 
spaces of land or sea. The assertion of the tran- 
scendence of soul to the phenomenal order is made 
whenever the inspiration of a great soul, by whatever 
mediations brought to us, kindles our souls into new 
life. And this is most evident, when, from a reported 
word of Jesus, from a record of His service, from our 
constructive insights into the organizations of His 
words and deeds, we- experience His very power pos- 
sessing us, His very life arising within us. 

Yet humble faith and 'obedient love entreat a re- 
sponse, even as they are conscious of an indwelling. * 
The Fourth Gospel, whose message of Jesus' life in 
His disciples is severely ethical and spiritual in spite 
of its metaphysic, has not only the words "I in them," 
but also, "They in Me." It is not for us to formulate 



94 TEDS CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

His heart of inexpressible tenderness who dwells in 
the innermost life of God forevermore. But as love 
has the inalienable conviction that those holy ones de- 
parted, whose character and vision we have incom- 
pletely made our own, still care for us with affection 
which puts to shame our infrequent thought of them, 
so, but yet more vitally, must it be with Him whose 
redemptive power is the immediate salvation of every 
believer. 'It is very truth that "the dead live when 
we think of them;" true, beyond the wan fancy of a 
dreamy subjectivism, to every man who has begun 
to know the ethical actions and reactions of the inner 
lif e, the indivisible realm of souls. ^/The saved cannot 
be more deeply conscious of the Saviour than He is 
conscious of the least of the saved. In that conscious- 
ness is our deeper life. This does not change, but 
deepens the significance of the historic Jesus, for He 
is the same Jesus who is ever mindful of His own. 

In the historically evangelical conviction is formed 
the sane Christian mysticism, which refuses to de- 
grade its ethical and spiritual fellowship with its Lord 
by any sickly fancies pertaining to the realm of sense, 
and allying themselves with a belated conceptualism. 
Or when we feel or express what Jesus is to us in 
imaginative terms of the lower order, we must be 
careful to remember that they are but symbols, by 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 95 

which the ethical and spiritual life of Jesus in us must 
suffer no detriment. Where the presence of Jesus is, 
in moral and spiritual power, there may be also, to 
certain temperaments, or to attainments new or deep 
of His moral and spiritual life, normal reflections of 
that immediateness in forms which it is not lawful to 
utter. The ecstatic trait of Jesus has its place in the 
disciple. But .to those who seek such experiences for 
emotional gratification it must be said, "That way 
madness lies," a madness infecting moral judgment 
and spiritual integrity. The Christian aim is, that 
the ethical, spiritual power of Jesus shall consume all 
that is not of Himself, and create His own life within 



L/ 



us, and make us, in all holy and serviceable living, 
instruments through which His own redemptive task 
may strive on. The historic, the real Jesus is all the 
ideal Christ we need. It is this Jesus who is ever with 
His own, and more profoundly indwelling presence 
there need not be and cannot be; while we await 
patiently that fulfillment which is not of a different 
order, though of an incomparably higher range: "I 
will come again and receive you unto myself, that 
where I am, there ye may be also." 

Thus Christianity need be none the less religion ol 
the inmost spiritual life for identifying itself with . 
Jesus. Nothing more than this assertion is sought to 



96 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

be established at this point, in these preliminary con- 
siderations. It has indeed been impossible to speak 
of the identification, essentially characteristic of the 
Christian faith, in any other language than that of 
humbly exultant certainty. But there is implied no 
desire to force that conviction upon critical reflection. 
With the same limitation of intent we turn to the 

y second test which Christianity must meet. Does its 
identification of itself with the historic Jesus prejudice 
the following claim, which it must make in order to be 
considered at all: the claim to be the vital principle 

of humanity in humanity's widest scope and furthest 
unf oldings, to be humanity's realizing, energizing, and 
completing power. 

In passing from one's inner self to the life of human- 
ity we are not leaving one realm for another. We are 
intuiting the inner personal lif e more clearly and feel- 
ing it more intensely. In the depths of its own per- 
sonality every soul finds other souls in inalienable 
fellowship. The impossibility of accounting for our 
knowledge of our f ellowmen by inferences from sense 
impressions, necessary as these are to stimulate and 
mediate that knowledge, connotes the inner com- 
munity of men with men, the spiritual nature of 
unions of thought and aim and love. Personality is 
socially realized because social in its nature. Essen- 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 97 

tial to the inviolable center of each personality are 
receptions, outflowings, and communions of life with 
life. Without these self were blank and nothing- 
ness. 

There can be no limit to this internal, essential fel- 
lowship. My own self I must seek in every man the / 
world over, in every rational being the spaces through. 
No man of the past is dead to me. From every soul 
of the future my soul must be revivified. Every 
enmity is my variance with myself, agony of self- 
disruption. Every righteous conflict with another is 
only for love's sake. In every aloofness I forsake my- 
self. Every indifference to another is suicidal. With 
every antagonist I must be reconciled, and that in the 
depths of his spirit and mine. Here are inviolable 
personal reserves, spiritual self-preservations of souls 
that will not meet souls in any depreciations of .per- 
sonal dignity and holiness. The self-attainment is 
by self-imparting, which presses on to bear all burdens, 
to suffer in every misery, to expose itself to every 
injury, to reconcile, to redeem. 

These fellowships of life wherein I gain and give 
myself are with men in their communions with men, hi 
a fellowship with universal spiritual life most individ- 
ually, personally intuited, conceived, felt and willed. 
The more deeply my soul is stirred, the more do I 



98 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

penetrate this boundless fellowship, this all-inclusive 
unity. Of this, few are distinctly conscious, for few 
have discovered their own innermost being, yet this 
unity is the ground of every human relation and the 
premonition of its perfecting. It is a humanity to be 
achieved, a spiritual universe in its becoming. From 
every soul to every soul, in every touch of soul on soul, 
there is the summons of unconditioned love, however 
vague or inarticulate: "I am thine and thou art mine, 
for the innermost of personality is thine and mine. 
Descend thither, find thyself, that thou and I may 
find one another, and all men, and mankind, and all 
who are yet untraced in the endlessness of souls at 



one." 



This universal unity of human fellowship, individ- 
ually realized in the innermost of the soul and the 
spiritual order, does not transfer us into a realm of 
abstractions. Here is unmingled concreteness. We 
have to do with realities, not concepts; with immediate 
life, not with translations of it into thought; with ex- 
perience, not reflection, save as reflective, conceptual, 
generalizing thought makes the reality clearer, so 
becoming an element of it. All the unity that has 
been wrought or is to be accomplished is in the actual 
living of real men. The whole process is of living 
personalities, attaining themselves and one another 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 99 

in historic work and play, struggle and achieve- 
ment. There is no antinomy of the historic and the 
ideal. . . 

In this real drama all other rational creatures are 
included, else they would not be in rational relation 
with us; for the ground of rational relation is this 
personal social self-realization; and we have learned 
to repudiate the possibility of anything out of rational 
relation with us. It is but a step to the transforma- 
tion of everything that is, down to the simplest exist- 
ence and through all the stars and star mists, into 
this one personal universe, achieving itself in vital 
relations of a universal social life. Nor can this truly 
historic endeavor of all things ever be sublimated 
into a different kind. Forever this spiritual universe, 
which we now call humanity, is simply vital, historic 
experience, whose higher forms indeed we cannot 
forecast, any more than we can trace the forms below 
us, but whose concrete historic quality is essential. 
Therefore there is no separation from this fellowship, 
no change into another order, for those to whom all 
physical seemings are overpassed. Nor is conscious- 
ness of individuality dimmed when we see that the. 
final unity and sufficient power is the energy of the 
omnipotent ordering, the all-penetrating love. For 
it is just this immanent divine which makes the con- 



ioo THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

crete unity of beings and their unfoldings wherein 
He worketh. 

Of this history, concrete, actual, for it can be 
nothing less, Christianity affirms that Jesus is the 
central energy. Our present argument is not that a 
central energy is essential. Our argument is not, 
at this point, that Jesus fulfills the requisite conditions 
for this power, if it is essential. But we urge that 
there is no disparagement to the deepest, the most 
spiritual conception of humanity, when the Christian 
confession is uttered (and here again there is forced 
upon us the language of humbly exultant certajuity, 
which we would not force upon any man): "From 
Jesus I receive the vision and energy/for my eternal 
task in the one historic life, in the universal spiritual 
order. From Jesus I receive it, not from any * essen- 
tial* or 'ideal Christ,' I receive it from Jesus in His 
doing of this historic task; and since it is received from 
Him and not from another source, I proclaim Him 
sufficient and essential for the task of every man." 

All this history of humanity self-realized is indeed 
in God and God is in it all. But God cannot be in it, 
save as He is in its limitations and struggles, or rather 
that we may not fall into unreal abstractions in 
every limited and struggling soul. And God's central^ 
unifying energy in it, we may look for in a soul that 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 101 

is limited, that struggles, and achieves the task of 
personality in humanity, a task whose real nature 
our study has yet to seek. 

When and where this soul does its individual work, L 
fulfills its personal task, makes no difference, if only 
it is when and where it may be accessible to all souls. 
The possibility at least of the immortality of all 
souls is requisite, that this soul's accomplishment may 
reach them all, and that they may complete this 
soul's influence upon them, each in its own individual- 
ity and its endlessly unfolding inward fellowships 
with other souls; but this requisite is given in the 
affirmation of concrete, spiritual humanity. 

That which this soul accomplishes must, in its in- 
fluence upon others, its life in others, be unfolded as 
variously as there are persons to live and works to do. 
Christianity affirms that the power of humanity's ' 
self-realization is a man individual, historic, who 
attained life's essential energy and peace, whence 
He pours out regenerative direction and competency 
upon all who will receive Him, for the realization of an 
harmonious spiritual universe; and that this man in 
His task, fulfilled in and through the limitations 
of time and place and circumstance, inheritance and 
temperament, through moral struggle and spiritual 
growth, is the center of God's redemptive working. 



102 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

The right of Christianity to present itself to the 
competitive inheritance as identifying itself with 
Jesus of Nazareth, is all that is contemplated at this 
point. In the depths of personality the right main- 
tained itself. In that inner life -in its universal social 
realization the right maintains itself. And no less 
must it be considered as we toil along life's dusty 
roads, with the carpenter of Nazareth. 

As we enter with Jesus life's penetralia, we feel 
ourselves endued with a transforming power, that 
goes back with us new-created men to new-create 
whatever confronts us. The distinctiveness of this 
spirit is manifest in its leaving the externals of lif e 
unaffected, save by revolutions working to the sur- 
face from depths transformed. Eccentricity of con- 
duct, fantasticalness of opinion, aloofness from any 
human interest, are repugnant to it. They caricature 
Christianity into an external thing in competition 
with other external things. The disciple of Jesus 
speaks no unctuous phrase, affects no holy tone. 
I He receives genially whatever forms of truth and 
beauty are set before him by the successive phases 
of history. He comes eating and drinking, guest 
equally gracious in house of Pharisee or Publican, 
most at home in the huts of the lowly. He is frankly 
man of the world in accounting noting human 

^ ^ & ^" 



CHRISTIANITY VERSUS CIVILIZATION 103 

foreign to himself. In humanity's battles he fights 
in the high places of the field, appreciative of all 
loyal allies, though they be ignorant of the cause 
and unconscious of the great protagonist. He is 
child with every child," keeps unquenchable the hope 
and passion of youth, exults in the heat and burden 
of the day, which he would mitigate to men's power 
to endure, receives into his reverent sympathy the 
pathos, and majesty of old age, yet is ever conscious 
of the eternal beneath life's transiencies. He rejoices 
with them that rejoice, and with a higher joy. He 
weeps with them that weep, in redemptive sorrow. 
Dear to him are men's household words, for he 
knows their derivations from the supernal ten- 
derness. He receives all things into mind and heart, 
from the heights of the sky, from the primordial 
star mist, from every mysterious origin and ex- 
pansive strife of life in every form, and transforms 
them into his own nature. There is no beauty 
that is not his deeper delight, no passion that is not 
his intenser flame, and over against every experience 
of gain or loss, success or disillusion, he flings wide an 
entrance into the myriad-portaled city of the soul. 
Jesus' acceptance of the common possessions of man- 
kind is because He knows Himself to be of a spirit 
which is able to subdue all things to itself. This is 



104 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

the divine breath that broods upon the waters of our 
social chaos. This is the transforming light upon the 
void and desolation and darkness of human conditions. 
This is the effectual word that creates the spiritual 
universe, which shall be when all the forms of things 
have passed. 

Thus far we have been occupied with the radical 
division of modern life between the two inheritances, 
the Aryan and the Semitic. The nature of each in- 
heritance remains to be considered. Only by such 
an inquiry can we hope to find their mutual relations; 
and only hi this way is attainable that unity of life 
which is the deepest longing of our time. 



PART SECOND 
JESUS AND MODERN LIFE 



CHAPTER I 

THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 

THE Aryan genius is world-appropriating: the 
Semitic genius is world-transcending. 

The difference between our civilization and Chris- 
tianity .grows in significance, as we observe then- 
separate developments from diverse origins, find 
ourselves engaged in competitive obligations and con- 
fused between mutually opposing endeavors to 
reach a unity of life. The situation has made us 
suspect that we are involved in one of the deepest 
problems, if not the final problem, in forms more 
perplexing than have beset any previous age. 

Surely the question that confronts civilized man 
and Christian man is not, whether we are to conquer 
the world or be conquered by it. Civilization as 
such, and Christianity in its assertion of the soul, 
proclaim that it is man who must conquer. . In this 
affirmation they are at one, and by this affirmation 
they discern their common enemies. But they sepa- 
rate in their determinations of the nature of the con- 
quest. It is the appropriation of the world by the 

107 



io8 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

human soul, says culture; the affirmation is most 
clear and vigorous in the Hellenic fulfillments of 
culture. Not so, says Christianity; the soul conquers 
the world only as it makes itself independent of even 
an appropriated world. 

All thoughts, desires, and interests, which either 
contestant deems of value, range themselves under 
the one or the other of these principles. Later times 
than ours may see this distinction more clearly: no 
time, it would seem, can feel it more distressfully. 
From this rift in our own age opens the interminable 
problem, which each age, as each individual, must 
solve for itself. We stand before two distinct prin- 
ciples, each claiming to be supreme. We contemplate 
two mutually exclusive ends, each of which presents 
itself as final. By the perception, choice, and realized 
outworking of the one or the other of these alterna- 
tives, must all elements of life be determined, every 
task accomplished, every condition rectified, and every 
human potency liberated. If the one by which the 
soul's victory over the world is to be gained allows 
the other any scope, it must be as contributory to the 
unconcessive higher principle and aim. The conquest 
of the world by humanity! All things put under the 
feet of man, who is crowned with glory and honor! 
This impulse directs us to the pregnable summits of 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 109 

the universe. Above every height towers the human 
soul. But is it the appropriative or the transcendent 
power that has the right to say, I have overcome the 
world? 

World-appropriation involves world-completion. *, 
Nothing in the world comes and gives itself into man's 
hand. Passive acceptance of a good, were that con- 
ceivable, makes it a blank. A generation which in- 
herits a wealth that it does not continually recreate 
goes bankrupt, smitten with penury of soul. We 
appropriate anything only by completing it from our 
own selves. Every psychical action upon sense im- 
pression strives to complete as it appropriates. Every 
external datum awaits our fiat. This primal neces- 
sity stimulates the human spirit to follow along this 
path, to infuse ever more of itself into its appro- 
priation of the world, to complete all things into 
beauty and order. To complete the world, the spirit 
must in that labor complete itself, to the uttermost 
self-development and self-mastery, for its domination 
and perfecting of all things. Because the world yields 
to the elaborations of this impulse, we delight in it, 
as an artist delights in his own creation, and as God 
rejoices in the works of his hands. Because the world 
resists, we delight in it still more, with the joy of a 
conquest in which our powers expand; unless we may 



no THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

find at length that the resistance is too strong for us. 
That misgiving the Hellenic genius thrust resolutely 
away, though never unaware of it, in order to enter 
and possess realms which are less the gifts of the gods 
than the soul's own achievements, a world worthy 
to be possession and delight of self-attained humanity. 
World-appropriating and world-completing is the 
principle of our inheritance, from the splendid origins 
of our civilization. The first descriptive word suffices: 
to appropriate is to complete. 

World-transcending implies world-destroying. The 
world has lost value to the soul that has risen 
above it. 

"Heaven's consummate cup, what need'st thou of 
earth's wheel:" 

though the cup was fashioned on the wheel. There is 
need of sobriety here, lest in essaying to surmount the 
world we attain the void, lest losing the world we lose 
instead of find our own soul. The soul that knows 
its transcendent destiny is indeed dependent upon 
flesh and sense and all their elaborations, for its dis- 
cipline and development. If it ignores them, as do 
the mystics who lack humility, it sinks into a nothing- 
ness from which no new creation can arise. Yet it is 
in opposition to the world that it realizes itself, and 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS in 



whatever the world contributes to this self-realiza- 
tion is to be transformed into spiritual quality, and as 
world quality ceases to be. .' If it should be found that 
everything acquired by the Aryan genius may be thus 
directed and transubstantiated, the transcendent aim 
would be none the less, but all the more evidently, 
world-destroying: nor in such use of its means is 
this principle postponed, obscured, or compromised. 
World-transcending and world-destroying is the prin- 
ciple of our Semitic inheritance. The first descriptive 
word suffices: to transcend is to destroy. 
f The principles bear racial names, because the fore- 
most representatives of each principle are respectively 
of the Semitic and the Aryan race. These principles 
are not abstractions or generalizations, but are con- 
crete and historically militant. The most valuable 
contribution of each race to humanity is its working 
out of the one or the other principle, which is thus its 
characteristic genius, its essential quality. Not that 
either principle confines itself to either division of 
mankind, or that any accident, as of mixed blood, 
would necessarily be important. There has never 
been a normal man of the Aryan family who has not 
felt the impulse to af=-<av"he soul enfranchised from 
the world: to eve-y Semite the world has often pre- 
sented itself as his heart's desire. This complexity 



m 
l/Tl 



112 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

is in the earliest traceable manifestations of the human 
spirit. The two tendencies grow together with human 
growth. Each has been dependent upon the other. 
Each contributes to the other's energy. The soul that 
would appropriate the world must stand above it in 

astery. Otherwise the world has no significance. 
The soul that would transcend the world must have 
the world to develop the soul by, through opposition 
and transformation. Else the soul has no content. 
But it does not follow that each of these tendencies 
has equal rights, as in a synthesis where each may 
pursue the united aims of both. Such prevalent com- 
promise is but dimly conscious of the principles in 
competition. The two principles, vague and con- 
fused, tend to mutually exclusive self-assertion, ig- 
noring which most men are left to antagonisms of a 
life divided against itself. There is flung upon the 
earth the sword that rends asunder. No man can 
serve these two masters and attain an undivided, con- 
centered and self-realizing manhood. 

The alternative becomes most significant when we 
find that our attitude to the world, either to appro- 
priate it or to transcend it, determines the soul's con- 
sciousness of itself, of humanity, and of God. 

These words, world, soul, humanity, God, connote 
all but inextricable confusions of huiiaan thought. 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 113 

Each blends with the others, loses itself in the 
others. 

The word world is the vaguest of them, because 
the world is the most difficult of access, and it com- 
plicates the other conceptions almost beyond hope of 
solution. When we seek to obliterate its confusions 
by saying, The world as world is not r everything is 
soul; then its remonstrant persistency seems to answer, 
The soul is not, and humanity is not, everything is 
world. We^ attempt to lift the world up into God, 
and fear lest we have dragged God down into the 
world. The world is we know not what, except that 
it is the distracter, perhaps the destroyer, of the spirit- 
ual universe. What help may we gain from that to 
determine the nature of the other three mysteries? 

The difficulty gives the answer. The world is that 

\ which the soul has to overcome. In this progressive 

j overcoming the soul gains the realities of the spiritual 

-* universe. Whatever we affirm of the soul, humanity, 

and God, is -vague and imperfect prophecy, whose 

rudimentary value is dependent upon our partial 

attainments in the conflict with that which ever 

opposes. All preliminary definitions of reality are 

tentative, confused and self-contradictory. Complete 

definition would be infinite realization. If we could 

say our eternal yea and nay in the perfect utterance of 



H4 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

its meaning then our warfare would be accomplished. 
There are indeed overwhelming spiritual convictions 
won in the progress of the strife. In these we antici- 
pate our triumph and reinforce our struggle. The 
constant opponent itself we declare to be in the spirit- 
ual universe, which is the all in all, for indeed against . 
that opposition the soul becomes conqueror. But the 
world is spiritual only to the soul that makes it so, 

! 

\ and only by the strife that makes it so is our kingdom 
j won. Here is the business of every man, and his all- 
inclusive business. This is the one historic toil of 
I humanity. We may let the world conquer us if we* 
I will. But if we choose to be men we must be men 
I engaged in conquering the world. Only then can there 
I be for us, soul, humanity, God at all. But in the 
world-conquest there is disclosed the great alternative, 
whether by appropriating the world or by transcending 
it, we may attain soul, humanity, and God. * 
/ The attitude to the world determines, first, what 
the soul is. Modern thought emphasizes the relation 
of consciousness to its object, discerns the accom- 
paniment of the physical organism to every mental 
action, acknowledges the futility of the attempt, by 
any means mystical or magical, to withdraw the soul 
from the world. The intensifying of this emphasis 
has led from morbid introspection, empty speculation, 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 115 

and the self-centering which is self-devastation, out 

into observation and science, wholesome objectivities, 

and an ethic of practical aims. The soul knows itself, 

j feels, realizes itself, in the measure of its awakening 

j to the world. There has developed in our time the 

[ conception of the soul in terms of activity, with 

thought as means to action, and itself of the nature of 

! that which it serves. Thus in its encounter with the 

world, the soul gains itself, and becomes more clearly 

\ self-cognizant, self-feeling, and self-determining. And 

' the world which it encounters is increasingly subdued 

to mental distinctions and organizations, is made the 

means of realizing the more abundant life of man. 

But there break in upon us great Semites, and some- 
thing in our inmost self forbids to evade or to repulse 
them. "The world passeth away and the lust for it." * 
They do not mean simply that each man has to die, 
that enjoyment decays with the decay of physical 
powers, or that the possession of worldly goods is 
subject to accident. But they are pronouncing judg- 
ment upon the world in its relation to the soul; that 

its appropriation cannot be the soul's end. They are 

/ 

affirming of the soul that its nature and destiny are 
not to be found in the appropriation of the world. 

Yet the world that passeth away is substantial 
antagonist. They call the soul to arms against it, 



Ii6 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

but not to the appropriative conquest of it. "What 
shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and 
lose his own soul!" The Semitic prophets are not 
like the Aryan Buddhas, who bid us withdraw from 
the world, retreat from the strife. They keep us in the 
midst of secularities. Their complete Gospel is for 
/ those who are most constrained by physical neces- 
sities, that in the world we may assert the soul against 
the world, by its transcendence of the world. 

Again, humanity is determined by its relation to 
* the world. This means more than that the decisive 
personal alternative extends to all men. Humanity 
connotes vital interrelations of men, organizations 
unto a life that embraces all men, and which confronts 
the alternative, humanity's conquest of the world by 
appropriating it or by transcending it. 

That humanity is determined by its relation to the 
world is, in its popular interpretation, one of the most 
familiar conceptions of our time. The most brilliant 
achievement of science is agreed to be the tracing of 
the order of nature up into man, or the tracing up of 
mankind, not out of this natural order, but as the 
most complete unfolding of the natural order that is 
known to us. This discovery has more than theoret- 
ical interest and interpretative significance. It dis- 
covers the innumerable bonds that unite us with the 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 117 

physical world. Along these vital connections it 
finds remedies for disease, cooperative adjustments 
to vast physical forces, applications of inheritance and 
variation, rectifications of a life which turns from 
barren speculations and presumptuous desires, en- 
largings of a life that sanely acknowledges nature its 
mother and the world its home. We lose much of 
this advantage if we seek to restrict evolutionary con- 
tinuity to physical organizations. The discovery 
makes its beneficent way into mental elaborations of 
sense, into vital feeling and normal aims, into harmo- 
nious political and social organizations, that is, into 
the progressive constructions of a broader and hap- 
pier humanity. In this epochal discovery humanity 
is determined by its relation to the world. 

The result is the mighty reinforcement of the Aryan 
resolve, to subject the world to the spirit of humanity 
by the appropriative and completive world-conquest. 
Our spiritual affirmations welcome the furthest 
possible extensions of the physical into the life of 
mankind, for thus is heightened our estimate of that 
in our humanity which physical evolution does not 
account for, and which is not derived from it, however 
closely intertwined with it. Else* every significance 
and worth is swept away, including significance and 
value to be pronounced upon the physical process 



Ii8 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

itself, or the denial of its significance and value. Our 
age is awakening to this perception, that the further 
the natural evolutionary process extends into the 
organization of each life and of humanity, the higher 
must be the nature of the spiritual which is beyond 
that process and which is the final determiner of it, 
and the more extensive and intimate must be man's 
conquest of it. The consummate achievement of 
natural science thus far is to become the awakener of 
spirit, the mighty instrument of personal self-realiza- 
tion, the unfolder of interior worths. It is more 
clearly impossible than before to consent that the 
world shall conquer the soul. In this higher sense then, 
humanity determines itself by its relation to the world. 
This reassertion of the human spirit by the very 
power which seemed about to overwhelm it, is kin- 
dling the prophets of humanity to affirmations of more 
sublime unfoldings. Humanity's task engages the 
world more broadly and closely, the task of an un- 
precedented world-conquest and a larger self-realiza- 
tion. There is nothing in earth or sky which the 
aggregating forces of humanity need deem mightier 
than its own rediscovered self. These forces become 
more deeply conscious of their unity as man combines 
with man, power with power, in the conquest which 
is to be won by all mankind for all mankind. The new 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 119 

energy, grasped first by lonely thinkers, now gaining 
companionship, and impatient for its poets and artists, 
who will appear to express it when it is felt more 
deeply in the heart of the common people, is already 
imparting a general buoyancy, now in its beginnings. 
By the rectification of every repressive condition, by 
the breaking of every chain, by the subjugation of 
realm after realm, force after force, the one life of man- 
kind, humanity, forms itself by the union of souls in 
their great task. So each personality finds its stronger 
and more joyous self in the self-realization oj: humanity 
by its appropriative conquest of the world. 

This awakening is accessible to the Semitic prin- 
ciple, if only Christianity, in the day of its opportunity, 
will free itself from repressive traditions, clarify it- 
self from obscurations, and assert itself without com- 
promise in its essential simplicity and power. The 
Semitic evangel comes with austere criticism and com- / 
pletive inspiration. Humanity is to the Semitic 
genius the kingdom of God, a militant conception 
which belongs purely to the world-transcending con- 
quest. Current interpretations of this phrase in the 
other sense are its denial. Its realization of humanity 
is in the accomplishment of mankind's spiritual 
potencies in holy love. The world is essential to it 
only in its task of transcending the world. In the 



120 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

passing of the world the spiritual fellowship abides, 
with its fulfillment of every soul. Every Aryan 
conquest of the world, and every Aryan progress of 
knowledge of the world and of power over it, the 
Semitic spirit uses in its contest of different quality. 
All the works of the competitive inheritance it directs 
to the transcendent purpose. What shall it profit 
humanity if it shall gain the whole world and lose its 
own soul? 

Finally, the soul's attitude to the world determines 
its consciousness of God. This consciousness is im- 
plicit in the other two which we have regarded. In 
this consciousness we are penetrating the depths of the 
others. Absolutely religious, directed Godward, in 
Him and for Him, is either conquest of the world by 
the human soul. 

I/Not that our consciousness of God is derived from 
the world. The Heavens declare the glory of God only 
to him who has beheld that glory in the Heavens of 
the soul. The whole earth is full of His glory only to 
the soul that He has filled. Experience of the world 
leads to experience of God, only by awakening a 
spiritual consciousness which is not of the world, and 
which cannot be drawn from the data of sense and 
their organizations by mental processes. Even when 
this different apprehension asks the world to reecho 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 121 

its affirmations, the answer is given in the various and 
conflicting voices of a world which must first be con- 
quered by the soul, and the overcoming of which is 
the revelation of God in it. The world affirms spirit 
only so far as spirit conquers it. 

The attempt has failed, to evolve the religious con- 
sciousness of mankind from man's experience and 
interpretation of the world. This experience has 
awakened a deeper experience, and every religious 
interpretation of the world, whether attempted by 
savage or civilized men, has applied a consciousness 
which came forth from a sublimer mystery to explain 
the perplexities of a lower range. The view is winning 
an ever wider assent, that at the root of mankind's 
religious development is a consciousness of God, vague 
indeed and unpurified. We need not be surprised to 
find in crude peoples, along with bewildered animisms 
and gross totemisms, some gropirigs after the power 
unique and creative. Conscious religion began when / 
this consciousness began. This movement is found to 
manifest itself further back than we had supposed 
possible, and its origins are implicit in human con- 
sciousness from depths beneath our imagining. This 
is the ineradicable power that draws men out of the 
superstition which ever seeks to pervert it. It is this 
implicit faith which endued the early prophets of 



122 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

humanity with incalculable energies, and which ever 
sweeps up from profundities of the human spirit at 
the crises of individuals and humanity. 

The soul's attitude to the world determines what 
our consciousness of God shall be, but the attitude 
is assumed by the soul as conquerer of the world. 

The philosophy of religion has only recently ap- 
proached an adequate recognition of the place of the 
world in the conception of religion, adding this relation 
to that between God and the soul, at the same time 
giving to the word soul its personal-social meaning. 
Yet the venerable definition of religion, whose many 
variants only restate the original terms, "The soul's 
union with God," has not yielded to another with the 
world added, but has unfolded the significance of the 
v word union: in relation with the world is the soul's 
union with God achieved. Now that the soul is con- 
ceived in terms of action, its union with God cannot 
be regarded as fundamentally contemplation, or 
feeling, or any intellectually monistic or esthetically 
mystical absorption of the soul hi God. It is a union 
ethical, essentially spiritual, as originated by the holy, 
infinite, and eternal One, and answering back to Him. 
It is the union of doing His will. It is the union of the 
servant with his Lord, wherein service attains the 
perfect freedom. It is the union of the son with the 



THE TWO WORLD-CONQUESTS 123 

Father, perfected in the prayer, "Thy will be done." 
In this union contemplation and feeling are present 



but subordinate. This is the divine union of the whole 
man of us, and of humanity organized for its divine 
task. The field of this task is the world. The task 
is the conquest of world by spirit. The ethical, 
spiritual union with God is its inmost meaning. From 
Him, in Hun, and unto Him, we overcome the world. 

This religious conquest of the world is either world- 
appropriating or world-transcending. 

The former as well as the latter is religious, and so 
proclaims itself when conscious of itself. The Hellenic 
divinities were gods of men's tasks, and with impulse 
to unite themselves in one divine will, for the accom- 
plishment of the supreme organization of world-em- 
pire. For men to attempt works which were not of 
the will of the gods, by powers not of their inbreathing, 
was insolence, sin at its extreme, incurring remediless 

destruction. The classic philosophy is religious. Its 

i 

ethical transformation unfolded itself, in faithfulness 
to its inner nature, unto receptiveness to a deeper 
spirituality. The very phrase, Genius of our Civili- 
zation, bears this religious character, and they who 
imagine that our inheritance of culture has lost this 
quality, know not what spirit they are of, nor what 
is most significant in our civilization's present un- 



124 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

foldings. There is still aflame the intense religion of 
God in His appropriative world-conquest through the 
human soul. The Aryan, in his Hellenic consumma- 
tion, differs from the Semite not in being less reli- 
gious, but in that his religion is determined by the 
appropriation of the world, in the power of deity, to 
work out divine ends. 

To learn the Semite's religious conception of the 
task of the transcendent world-conquest, and his ser- 
vice of God in the world, whereby he attains union with 
God, we turn from these introductory formal consid- 
erations to historic realizations. In this field of con- 
crete and vital competition the Semitic distinctions 
from the Aryan world-conquest become clear. 



CHAPTER H 

THE HISTORIC REALIZATION OF THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 

THUS the human spirit, when it rises above life's 
lower ranges and becomes aware of a world to be 
subdued and of itself as world-conqueror, stands 
at the parting of the ways, and must overcome either 
by appropriating the. world or by transcending it. 
The paths, all but indistinguishable at their entrances, 
lead to goals a universe apart, yet the vast regions 
which each has to traverse must become one kingdom 
of the soul. This is the inclusive historic process, 
necessary to humanity's self-attainment, if humanity 
shall ever succeed hi attaining itself. For from the 
supreme adventure, the two great hosts, or detach- 
ments of them, may turn back at any stage of the 
progress. Each advance is haunted by the impulse 
to choose the other. The different purposes are con- 
fused with each other. It is hard for either to win a 
clear self-consciousness. Yet the two aims of world- 
conquest gradually work out their distinctiveness and 
separateness. In two races, the Aryan and the 

Semitic, the two principles are respectively stronger 

125 



126 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

than in any other, and these races are therefore com- 
petitors for the leadership of mankind. Through 
confusions, unfaithfulnesses, temporary obliterations 
of purpose, each tends to define itself in the one or 
the other of history's radical oppositions, whose 
complete explications are indispensable to the final 
historic synthesis. Other races contribute elements of 
the great alternative, which become significant 
when received by the races which best represent, 
respectively, its terms. It is the Aryan genius which 
is world-appropriating, the Semitic which is world- 
transcending. 

The Aryan finds himself in our Hellenic civilization. 
Semitic powers issue in Christianity. As Aryan and 
Semitic respectively, our civilization and Christianity 
may be understood genetically and universally. 

The racial names thus applied have larger mean- 
ings than that of physical descent. There are blend- 
ings of races, which it is now the fashion of some to 
exaggerate in reaction from racial antipathies. There 
are interchanges of influence so strong that men who 
are physically of one race have the spirit of the other. 
One's birth into civilization or religion is not of blood 
alone. He is Aryan who has the mental traits which 
are, as a matter of fact, generally associated with 
Aryan physical descent; and "They are not all 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 127 

Israel who are of Israel." One may lose one's birth- 
right, or voluntarily exchange it for the other. More 
significant than the alleged descent of Jesus from the 
seed of David, is the uncertainty whether He had more 
of Hebrew or Aramaean or Greek blood in His veins. 
He was typical Semite because He chose to be. To 
Semitic influences He opened His whole soul. One 
need be none the less Hellenic if one is Mongolian, 
African, Malayan, Indian, especially if one is con- 
scious of inheriting elements which are to be added 
to the Hellenic culture; nor need any man be less 
Christian for non-Semitic blood. No race is shut out 
from full citizenship in either city of the soul. Aryan 
and Semitic signify two currents of historic influence; 4 " 
the racial names are appropriate, because the out- 
workings have been in general along racial lines or 
from racial representatives. Yet the racial terms lose 
their pertinence the moment we cease to make their 
chief connotations mental and spiritual. 

Primitive Semite and precultural Aryan show only 
slight differences, the importance of which appears 
less, the closer they are scrutinized. In early stages 
generally of similar evolutionary grade, the resem- 
blances now engage our ethnology more than the 
differences, so of custom, religion, or social institu- 
tion. The idiosyncracies which seemed most marked 



128 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

are found to be comparatively superficial impressions 
made by different environment. It is the expressions 
which differ: the quality expressed is much the same 
from jungle and steppe to pole. The tasks, aims, 
and reflections are alike when under like conditions. 
The early phases of religion surprise us by their 
homogeneity among all peoples. The alleged im- 
plicit monotheism peculiar to the primitive Semite 
has gone the way of the dogma of a primitive monothe- 
istic revelation preserved by a Semitic people. But 
these early likenesses do not affect our historic sense 
of the great alternative, nor of Aryan and SemUe 
as representatives of its two determinations. I/For 
the alternative is of humanity's more developed life, 
when the consciousness has beome relatively clear 
that there is a world to be conquered and a human 
spirit strong to conquer it. Below this stage, though 
with strange anticipations of its separative problems, 
are barbarisms, frequently recrudescent in later 
developments. Mankind journeys on as it were 
together, a spiritually undifferentiated multitude, 
though expressing itself in various speech, leaving 
many stragglers in its track, till the survivors of the 
march enter together the realm of world-conquest, 
and there find the parting of the ways. 
When, later, an influence spreads from some 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 129 

center of development, sudden and wonderful are 
Aryan or Semitic acceptances of Aryan or Semitic 
leaderships. Those, lands of the Macedonian or 
Roman Empire which were predominantly Aryan, 
were regenerated by the Greek genius, though in the 
decline of its reproductive power. No less remarkable, 
when the unfavorable conditions are considered, 
was the response of the Northern barbarians to the 
senescent Greek spirit, its impartations confused, in 
many respects neutralized, by alien Christianity. 
These peoples took advantage of the decay of their 
cultural original, to develop new powers of world- 
appropriation, which found themselves more and 
more germane to the Greek, less and less accordant 
with Christianity. Today how marvelous the awaken- 
ing of the Slavic nations, how swift their advance, 
the moment their soul is set free from the prison-house 
of tyranny and ecclesiasticism, to hail the radiance 
of the Aryan god of day! The Greek influence upon 
Semitic peoples, notwithstanding all their spas- 
modic discipleships of Greek philosophy and art 
and their imitations of European manners, betrays 
its superficiality by falling away at every shock. 
But the Semitic world of Mohammed's day, at a 
dawn of the consciousness of world-conquest, devoted 
every energy to the most exclusively transcendent 



130 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

conception of deity that has ever smitten the heart 
of man. The Mohammedan constraint has been 
mighty upon populations neither Aryan nor Semitic. 
Its Aryan disciples, save where the Aryan spirit has 
passed into its negation, have wrought their character- 
istic changes upon it, and Aryan renaissances, in 
proportion to their vigor, subdue it to the Aryan 
quality. 

The influence of Semite and Aryan upon other races 
is suggested by the world-wide awakenings of our day. 
the Japanese and Chinese, the Semitic ideal, the 
Christian evangel, seems remote, and the Aryan 
genius congenial. As these peoples rise out of lower 
stages of undifferentiated culture and religion, stages 
whose influence may prove less persistent than we 
supposed, they join the Aryan advance. It may be 
that a chastened Christianity will be forced for a 
long period to seek its conquests among lowlier 
peoples, many of whom we are abandoning to the 
propaganda of a Semitism inferior to our own re- 
ligious inheritance, and will learn her Lord's exultant 
thankfulness to the All-father, who has hidden the 
mysteries of His kingdom from the wise and prudent 
and has revealed them unto babes. The impassive- 
ness of India to Occidental ways, so far as India is 
Aryan, is a phenomenon of a different order. For 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 131 

there the Aryan genius has passed beyond us of the 
West, into a phase to which our less developed Aryan- 
ism makes slight appeal. 

The materials of the Hellenic civilization, which is 
the chief representative of the Aryan progress, are 
from Semitic sources. The Babylonian culture, 
which we are forced to call Semitic, instead of Sume- 
rian, because it presents itself to us as the culture of 
the ancient Semitic world, was full-formed before the 
^earliest historic settlements of Greek peoples. From 
Semitic origins came thoughts and forms to the 
I custodians of Aryan progress. This fact, which seems 
' to contradict the historic significance of the funda- 
mental distinction between the Aryan and the Semitic 
principles, indicates that a Semitism strong enough 
to propagate its distinctive principle is forced to 
work out its own nature, faces an arduous task of 
historic self-realization. 

When historic imagination transports us to an 
ancient city of the Babylonian plain, we are in the 
heart of that which seems world-conquest by appro- 
priation of the world. The primal energy is supplied 
by unintermittent exploitations of natural forces/ 
That which were else barren steppe must be trans- 
formed into Eden, by harnessing Euphrates and 
Tigris to irrigation work, and through the necessity 



132 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

of that conquest power is created in the human spirit 
\for larger appropriations of the world. Vast are the 
procreant floods drawn as from these rivers to water 
all the Paradise of man. The intensity of that ancient 
secular life flames in our faces, from then* memorials 
of delight in the world, of passionate love, ambition, 
and h.te. From such impulses to appropriate the 
world grew arts and literatures, legal systems, political 
institutions, irresistible strategies, ethical organiza- 
tions of life. 

All was indeed hi the names of the gods, who were 
patrons of their cities, leaders of their armies. The 
pride of Babylonia, and of Assyria, continuator, ally, 
and competitor, expressed itself in colossal buildings 
to the glory of deity, yet the spirit of even their 
cultus seemed predominantly of this world. The gods, 
though public functionaries, in that age when the 
religious and the secular were undifferentiated, are, 
in their inner natures, deistically remote from men. 
Though the Babylonian mythology springs from the 
conflict with barren soil and tumultuous flood, the 
life of the gods, elementally turbulent, is lived apart. 
From their starry habitations, their watery expanse, 
their mountain of the North, few and difficult are the 
paths which human aspiration may climb or divinity 
descend. Even the delicate feet of Ishtar, who is 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 133 

riotous with the luxuriance of the agricultural year 
and languishes with its recurrent barrenness, grace 
no ways of men, but wander among the demonic 
powers of the lower world. Into the void between 
the divine and the human rush all conceivable demons; 
and while formal deference is paid the most high 
gods, the actual supernatural interest is magic and 
incantation, that hostile powers may be propitiated 
to assist, or intimidated to let alone, human interests 
which lie this side the. dusty grave. 

This material culture dominated Western Asia 
for at least three miUenniums of magnificent selt- 
assertion, against invasions which it either beat back 
or subdued to its own nature. Into this focus of 
civilization the nations were drawn, and out of it 
they passed renewed, transformed. Panbabylonian is 
the world's earliest recoverable civilization immemo- 
rial. Babylonian are materials, forms and thoughts 
of the Hellenic culture. In many elements of life 
we also are men of Babylonia. Their mighty rivers, 
yoked to human use, shall fructify the soil of secular 
harvests perennially. That word Panbabylonian has 
more of secular than of religious significance, not- 
withstanding that their myths of the qpds became 
folklore of Israel, and their beliefs are inscribed on 
the first pages of our Bible, are resurgent in the last 



134 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

book of the New Testament, affected prophetic con- 
ceptions and the thought of Jesus. Though songs 
of the spirit breathed from their intense hearts, and 
theur greatest poem known to us, The Epic of Gil- 
gamesh, is tragedy of disillusion both with the present 
life and spiritual aspiration, the influence of Baby- 
lonia is far from originative of Israel's manifesta- 
tion of the Semitic spirit. Against Babylonia and 
.Assyria, the precursors of Christianity waged their 
fiercest warfare for the world-transcendence of the 
human spirit, and overcome in triumphs not of earth 
and time. 

Yet this Semitic civilization, from which the consum- 
mate Aryan derived materials, forms and thoughts, 
impresses us, the more we study it, as of a different 
nature from the Aryan, with a difference not of de- 
gree but of Jdnd; not a lower stage of continuous 
evolution which needs only to set free resident forces, 
not an implicit prophecy to be fulfilled when other 
historic conditions appear. The impulse to world- 
appropriation was intense, but this was an impulse, 
welling up from the undifferentiated depths of human 
desires. Not the impulse, however developed and 
manifold, but the genius of world-appropriation, is 
distinctive. How far does the soul assert itself in this 
appropriation? How far does the world-appropriation 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 135 

become world-completion by the human that trans- 
forms its objects, vitalizes, rationalizes, and organ- 
izes them? The ancient Semite accumulated materials, 
forms, conceptions, and forces of civilization, for the 
Aryan to change into another genus. 

The limitations of Babylonia and Assyria, their 
pauses, failures, retrogressions, and disasters, do not 
in themselves prove that essential unlikeness, yet they 
seem to be characterized by the absence of a power 
which was to be manifested in the Aryan race in the 
days of its opportunity. Our discoveries of Baby- 
lonian exploits, literaryj plastic, or mechanical, 
of their institutions, legal, industrial, and political, 
are so recent that our dazzled eyes fail to discern 
clearly the innate deficiencies in comparison with 
Hellenic-Roman creations. Their inability to con- 
ceive in general more than one type of government, 
their incapacity to rule subject peoples, the very 
continuance for ages of a civilization of which the 
earliest representatives known to us are all but as 
typical as the latest, the final failure of recuperative 
power, substantiate Hegel's judgment, that we have 
here mass, instead of organism self-moved. 

The difference between Babylonianism and Hellen- 
ism may be thus expressed: the former was pushed 
on, the latter was led on. The great tasks which 



136 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Babylonia accomplished, and Syria and Phenicia as 
influenced by Babylonia, originated in necessities 
which must be met if men would live at all, and were 
forced on further along the path of impulses common 
to civilized and uncivilized men. The barren plain 
[must be irrigated; the great rivers must be harnessed. 
When conditions apparently adverse proved to be 
most favorable to increase of population, cities 
grew like the incredible harvests of the land of the 
two rivers. Comfort, luxury, and power came as it 
were of themselves, with their inevitable contrasts 
of exploitations, oppressions, and tyrannies; and the 
swarming hordes and divergent conditions must be 
regulated at least. By a similar necessity, lusts of 
wealth and power must be gratified. The inevitable 
developments awake inevitable responses in human 
hearts, ever sensitive to joy and sorrow, ever passion- 
ate to live. But none of the stimulations, even in the 
Phenician cities, seems to outrun the forces that push 
it on. Nowhere do we find that which thrills Hellenic 
life, a spirit that leads men on faster than any neces- 
sary tasks and natural demands can impel them, and 
in new ways; the genius of an advance spontaneous, 
creative, and synthetic, employing indeed given 
materials of civilization, yet possessing original uses 
of them. This power alone is competent to the task 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 137 

of appropriative world-conquest for the unfolding 
spirit of man. 

In that ancient Semitic civilization there are inti- 
mations at least of the world-transcending path. 
Its gods are transcendent. Though nature deities 
necessarily, they tended to associate themselves with 
those aspects of nature which seem to be separate 
from the ordinary course of things in man's immediate 
environment. They were gods of the mysterious 
waters, especially of those above the firmament, 
gods of the inaccessible stars. When connected with 
man's world, although the inevitable sense of human 
dependence upon deity recognizes the graciousness 
of the supreme benefactors, it is then* destructive- 
ness, terribleness, and aloofness that make the stronger 
impression. Therefore the Babylonian myths, prev- 
alent in the Semitic world, were not incongruous 
forms for the severer of the religious conceptions of 
Israel. 

The transcendence of deity, unethically conceived 
and out of fellowship with human life, leaves men to 
run riot in the physical, and instigates propitiations 
monstrous and obscene, more degenerate in Syria 
and Phenicia than in the source of Semitic life. Yet 
in our recoil from uncouth forms of the transcendent 
conceptions of deity, it is necessary to recognize that 



138 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

even these forms have a part in man's transcendent 
conquest of the world. The call to world-transcendence 
can be uttered by a deity even cruelly transcendent. 
Though the holiness which says, "Be ye holy, for I 
am holy," is first conceived as physical separateness 
from the world, and as compatible with earthly 
passion, yet the possibility has been opened of the 
recognition of a moral separateness in God, an ethical 
holiness which summons human aspirations to spiritual 
communion. From a Semitic deity dwelling apart 
from His worshippers in a wild sky that flames above 
a mountain wilderness, from the God most Semitically 
inaccessible, whom it is death to approach, whose 
nature is destructive vengeance, placable at the 
caprice of a will unaccountable, it is from this 
Jahveh, more than from the fairest of the divine 
humanities of Greece, that ethical regenerations of 
the transcendent world-conquest can unfold, when 
men's troubled vision has pierced the clouds and 
darkness of their early imaginings, to the justice and 
judgment which are the foundation of His throne. 

Even in Babylonia, the religious consciousness to 
which deity is remote, and which renounces hope of 
the world to come, since devoid of a divine fellowship 
with assurance of eternal worth, is yet a consciousness 
of the transcendent in another order of being, and 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 139 

thither ineradicable impulses aspire. Therefore the 
Gilgamesh epic and the later hymns are significant of 
the deeper implications of ancient Semitism. In 
that epic, humanity, at its utmost of heroism, stands 
beneath a Heaven too high for hope, and is oppressed 
by divine powers which are insensible to human 
longings. The most splendid accomplishments are 
continually brought to futility and sorrow. The 
quest of immortal life has been achieved only once by 
a child of man; when grasped by another, after ago- 
nizings that exhaust the possibilities of manhood, an 
ineluctable fate snatches it away. Yet the chastened 
heart of an humbler singer, as he chants the divine 
majesty, may find itself not far from the transcen- 
dence it adores. Small as is the, amount of such utter- 
ances recovered by us, they bear witness to the pres- 
ence, in a civilization so materialistic, of a Semitic 
genius sufficient, when it finds itself, to win the spirit- 
ual leadership of mankind. 

Semitic influence upon the fetichism, totemism, 
and animism of Egypt wrought strange commin- 
glings, sometimes glorious transformations. But the 
intractable elements of the civilization and religion 
of the Nile kept Egypt relatively apart from other 
history. The influences attributed to her appear to 
be reflections of non-Egyptian qualities given back 



140 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

with strange Egyptian modifications, rather than im- 
partations of that which is distinctive, and therefore 
most secretive, in the genius of that unfathomable 
people. 

The Semite entered the straight path to his goal, 
when a gathering of Arabian tribes found their chief 
deity in a natural phenomenon that impressed them 
as most apart from the rest of nature and most de- 
structive; whether lava-smoke, as seems the more 
probable, rent with flaming explosions, or roaring, 
gleaming thunder-cloud, into which the original 
impression seems to have been changed by later con- 
ceptions. That wild worship could have contributed 
little to the development of religion had it not been 
swept into a convergence of historic forces, through 
which those detonations still utter the words of the 
Eternal. To the unendurable glories of that sanc- 
tuary came a people with powers set free, by recent 
escape from oppression, for man's conquest of the 
world. Wonted to a cultivable soil, they were greedy 
of another. They also sought a God to lead them 
thither, for the gods of their accustomed worship 
had been left behind in Egypt, and they found in 
the mountains of Paran that irresistible terror: 
Jahveh is man of war, Jahveh of the hosts of Israel! 
A tradition of a numen of the desert whom the nomad 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 141 

ancestors of some of them had served in ancient 
days, identified this newly accepted deity with that 
dread power which had been relinquished when his 
worshippers migrated into the possessions of other 
gods. None the less was the acceptance of Jahveh 
a new experience, a spiritual birth, a conscious ac- 
ceptance of a deity as the exodus of their history, 
as the creative potency of that which must become 
a national self-assertion. The deliberate choice of 
Jahveh at such an historic crisis unconsciously changed 
the fundamental conception of Him and transferred 
Him from nature to history. The new faith rose 
above the worship of the mountain clans who origi- 
nally revered Jahveh, in that it required a covenant 
offered by the prophetic representative of that deity. 
In the fact of such a covenant, in however vague form, 
were ethical and spiritual potencies inexhaustible. 
Led by Jahveh of Hosts the tribes turned to their 
fierce invasions of Palestine. In their behalf He left 
His shrine, and another sufficient sanctuary could 
never be found for Him. He could not be domesti- 
cated in His new conquests. After every victorious 
demonstration of power, He is back again in His ter- 
rible mountains, whence repeatedly at the entreaty 
of His people He sweeps northward like an over- 
whelming storm; till in the course of centuries His 



142 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

remote dwelling-place rises into a Heaven that mounts 
beyond the stars, whence He descends at His people's 
need in fearful wrath against His enemies. Whatever 
unages they made of Him were symbols obviously 
insufficient. Whatever traits of human weakness 
they attributed to Him His lightnings consumed. 
Other deities which they Worshipped as lords of their 
new lands could not stand in His presence. God 
of fearful reprisals, flaming jealousies and furies un- 
accountable. Yet His vast grace was as untraceable. 
Not by any natural connection, but by His own favor- 
able will, is Jahveh their God. To Him they rightly 
ascribed their deliverance from Egypt, when as yet 
they knew Him not, except that their redemption 
was in His name, with mighty hand and stretched-out 
arm, before whom the Egyptian pantheon abased it- 
self. Thus the religion of Jahveh was in germ a reli- 
gion of redemption. God of inexhaustible redemptive 
will and power, His ways not as our ways, nor His 
thoughts as our thoughts, God who transcends the 
physical and the natural human, for man's transcen- 
dent conquest of the world. 

A religious genius of the first order was necessary 
for the beginning of Israel's religion. Moses stood 
nearer to primitive conceptions than any other of the 
great prophets of humanity known to us. Above 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 143 

the mists of the Mosaic legends towers the man who 
had made his own direct and personal covenant, at 
Jahveh's gracious and terrible initiative. His cove- 
nant God, whom he had found expressed in a natural 
sublimity which was to him supernatural, was essen- 
tially derived, not from any 'experience of the world, 
nor from any element of human life as involved in the 
world, but from that incalculable power which rises 
from unfathomable depths of the human spirit at the 
crises of history. 

This man who spoke Jahveh's will, standing apart 
from the world and other men, in fellowship with that 
awfulness, was able, because of this isolation, to sway 
men and events to Jahveh's most hidden purpose, and 
was the leader of mankind into ethical and spiritual 
communion with God. He was the pioneer of a 
spiritual faith that strove incessantly to disentangle 
itself from the confusions of deity with His works and 
to exalt the conception of the divine into the pure 
spiritual. It was an ethical religious consciousness 
expressed in the thought of a constitutive relation 
between God and man, which was virtually underived 
from anything but God's will to institute the relation 
and man's faith to accept it. Through such faith came 
unlimited power to organize human life. The law 
was given through Moses. It was a law whose essen- 



144 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tial character was grace and truth, unfolding into 
deepest experiences of the divine righteousness, faith- 
fulness, and loving-kindness. 

In the Jahveh whom Moses declared, was implicit 
the God of Elijah, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Jesus. This 
divinity of the mountain wilderness, apprehended so 
dimly and through manifestations accessible to a 
religious consciousness so primitive, is sufficient to 
exalt mankind into the transcendent victory over the 
world. Even there the fundamental difference was 
disclosed between the Aryan and the Semitic concep- 
tions of the divine Spirit. God flooding with Himself 
earth and sky and human life upon the earth and be- 
neath the sky, that is Aryan: God separate from the 
world and from human life as involved in the world, 
creating a new spiritual life in man for the spiritual 
realm where God is all in all, this is Semitic. 

Religious tendencies furthest apart are easily con- 
fused with one another, because both lack the dis- 
tinguishing qualities with which we are most familiar. 
The Semitic essential of early Israel is the opposite 
of the Indian mysticism, which we may discover to be 
the inevitable outcome of the Aryan genius. The 
world-transcending impulse does not flee from the 
world nor try to ignore it. The world is the spirit's 
mighty antagonist, in the encounter with which the 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 145 

spirit realizes itself. Nor can this religious conscious- 
ness regard the spiritual as the final abstraction of a 
world untranscended; nor as a negation, which has 
meaning only in contrast with an actual which the 
negation is impotent to overcome. To the Semite the 
spiritual life is inexhaustible and organized concrete- 
ness, Kingdom of God; who is the living God, fulness 
of life. In this divine kingdom, this spiritual universe, 
the human spirit unfolds toward an infinity of personal 
life, whose reality becomes intense in proportion as 
the lower order of sense and its organizations is tran- 
scended. 

The Semite's spiritual pilgrimage must be begun 
by all but barbarous tribes. In the tribal organiza- 
tions, and when the nation was achieved, soon to be 
divided, but ever one in deepest tendency, religion 
is solidaric instead of personal. Mighty spiritual 
forces, working through a series of events explicable 
by nothing else than their result, must overcome this 
limitation and set free the life of personalities in 
spiritual unions. The self-realization of the Semitic 
spirit against oppositions that seemed to make the 
task impossible constitutes the significance of the 
history of Israel. 

Impossible seemed the continuance in Canaan of 
the religious consciousness of the wilderness. The 



146 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

danger was not the loss of Jahveh's name, but the 
obliteration of His difference from the divinities of the 
Canaanite shrines, among whom He became indeed, 
to the thought of most of His worshippers, chief Baal, 
absorbent of the qualities of the Baalim. As long as 
hostilities were chronic between the Arabian intruders 
and the civilized peoples established in the land, a 
distinction was evident between the gods of the latter 
and the destroyer who rushed up from His flaming 
mountain sanctuary. But when, by conquest and 
alliance, Israel and Canaanite became one blood, and 
inveterate local customs became forms and thoughts 
and life of the composite folk; when the legends, rites, 
and religious conceptions of the ancient shrines were 
consecrated to His name; when foreign influences of 
the same nature as the Canaanite were allied with 
political policies; then the imminent loss of the dis- 
tinctive conception of Jahveh aroused the prophetic 
reactions, which unfolded His transcendent ethical 
and spiritual implications. 

The spontaneous growth in historic times, of reli- 
gious legends of the first rank, indicates the historic 
emergence of mighty spiritual forces, original insights, 
and enlarged truths. In the Elijah legend, Jahveh's 
lonely champion returns to the mountain sanctuary, 
to renew there the basilar strength of his convictions, 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 147 

for racked soul and apparently resultless mission. 
Around his cave flashed and roared the mountain- 
rpnding volcanic phenomena, which had separated 
the ancient nature god from the accustomed order of 
the world. But to the maturer prophetic conscious- 
ness Jahveh is no longer in even earthquake, storm- 
wind, and flame. Now He is evident in that wherein 
pure spirit may abide, in the voice inaudible which 
speaks from beyond the world to the human spirit 
lifted, above the world, Jahveh's almighty, transcen- 
dent thought and will. 

The prophetic stage of Israel's religion has its 
deepest significance in its realization of the Semitic 
consciousness of God, the transcendent Spirit who 
lifts men into His own spiritual universe, His own 
eternal life. This divine transcendence is the opposite 
of deistic, for here is the consummate union of the 
divine and the human. Nor is there an irreconcilable 
division between the physical and the spiritual, since 
the spiritual is to subdue and transform all things to 
itself, and in the spiritual all reality finds its ultimate 
nature. The final monism is to be wrought out in the 
transcendent spiritual. 

The wisdom of high thought, the sublime and affect- 
ing beauty, the devotion and steadfast faith of the 
great prophets, their consuming indignations, their 



148 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tenderness of divine love, their redemptive social 
passion, their contempt for titanic world powers,' 
which are but Jahveh's instruments for purposes 
beyond secular imaginings, all these spiritual vic- 
tories, however mediated by historic conditions and 
expressed in traditional limitations, are not of the 
world, nor of man as a creature of the world. The 
statesmanship of the prophets has received too indis- 
criminate eulogy. Above all human praise indeed is 
their vision of history as the unfolding of a redemptive 
purpose, their derivation of law and institution from 
the eternal righteousness, by which alone national 
life is to be judged; their passion of social righteous- 
ness, their founding of national strength and well-being 
upon conditions of common life, ethically estimated; 
their hate of luxury and exploitation as disruptive 
of the state; their inclusion of compassion and love in 
social morality; their preference of the many to the 
few, of the weak to the strong. These principles are 
constitutive of the state, universally indispensable, 
and of inexhaustible application. But practical 
statesmen the prophets were not. They confused 
spiritual ideals with practical considerations neces- 
sarily relative and transient. Their intrusive solu- 
tions of historic issues miscarried, because they took 
into account only aims not of the earthly order and 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 149 

forces separate from the secular. Their immediate 
application of transcendent spiritual considerations 
to national exigencies was impossible. Jesus' oppo- 
site procedure was not a retrogression, but an advance 
along the way to the attainment of the supremacy of 
the spiritual over all human affairs. 

However craven and mischievous King Ahaz* 
alliance with Assyria against the combined assault of 
Syria and the Northern Kingdom, Isaiah's recommen- 
dation to wait for Jahveh's interposition failed to 
offer a practical alternative. The unaccountable 
deliverance from Sennacherib, if it can be called 
deliverance, should not prejudice the indefatigable 
resourcefulness of King Hezekiah, in spite of the 
prophet's remonstrances, to preserve the integrity 
of his kingdom. One must stand on Jeremiah's 
spiritual height, to regard his course through the 
Chaldaean invasion as anything but supine and 
treacherous. 

The most obvious thing about their predictions is 
unfulfillment. Assyria did indeed conquer Northern 
Palestine and the Syrian peoples, as they said it would, 
though they made a mistake in regard to Tyre. But 
the reason they gave for the conquest, the immorality 
and impiety of the conquered, had small place in the 
historic nexus. Simply Assyria was too strong and too 



150 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

determined. Isaiah's insistence upon the inviolability 
of Jerusalem was terribly disproved. Their vision of 
a glorious restoration of Israel has nothing in common 
with the straggling return from Babylon if even that 
is historic and the petty fortunes of the Jewish com- 
munity. If it is urged that the predictions were ful- 
filled in a figurative sense, that is to maintain the 
unfavorable judgment. 

The sublimities of the prophets are revealed only 
to one who acknowledges their incapacities. Then 
we exchange Aryan for Semitic tests. In time of 
darkest tragedy they made the eternal God the 
dwelling place of the expatriated human soul. They 
imparted the vision of the righteous God, and of the 
ethical and spiritual communion of the human soul 
with Him. They found their way and mankind's 
way to the spiritual order above the physical, with 
power to realize itself against the world, which it 
makes the servant of the higher purpose. They 
advanced the Semitic task of the transcendent con- 
quest of the world. The psalmists that followed 
them completed them. Genuine development of 
prophetism are the clearer voices of the transcendent 
spiritual, calling up to itself the spiritual nature which 
we are. No departure from the religion of the 
prophets, but its clarified and consummate expres- 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 151 

sion, is the Old Testament's most spiritual utter- 
ance: 

Who is mine hi Heaven? 

Nothing on earth but Thee I desire. 

Flesh fails and my life; 

But Jahveh is my life's power, and my home forever. 

This faith has to contend with inflexible oppositions. 
It must also surmount its own limitations, which 
were, notably, the political, the legalistic, and the 
eschatological. 

V The political, not the particularistic, was a limita- v 
tion of the prophets. They broke through, in prin- 
ciple, national exclusiveness, which closed in again 
with Judaism. In the intense patriotism of prophetic 
Israel universalism was early germinant. The God 
who rules all things from above, God of all nations, 
though they know Him not, does not limit his grace, 
any more than His power, to the destinies of the heir 
of Abraham. The first of the known prophets whose 
message is preserved in writing sees in his vision of 
judgment unrelieved for the consoling close of the 
book of Amos is not his the annihilation of the chosen 
people, but does not imagine that in this catastrophe 
the purpose of the Most High can fail. Universal 
are the ethical principles by which Israel is judged, 



152 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and universal must be their working. The hopes of 
other prophets, which pass beyond the judgment, 
to Israel's conversion and restoration, are assurances 
of a world-renewal in which all mankind may partici- 
pate. 

But the limitation is, that spiritual salvation is 
bound up with political organization. It is Israel, 
Moab, Egypt, Assyria, which are to be judged and 
saved. To the prophets, as to the ancient world in 
general, the personal unit, to speak in modern phrase, 
was not the individual but the state. Therefore 
their spiritual ideals were confused with provisional 
ends, to the detriment of both. The tragic separation 
of their spiritual experience from the fleshliness of 
the people, which they could not illumine, and the 
stultification of their prophecies of the restored nation, 
forced religion to seek its sanctuary in the individual 
soul, in which awoke personal powers, aspirations, 
and assurances of life eternal. From this spiritual 
center, to be yet more perfectly attained, radiates 
the spiritual humanity independent of political forms. 

The political limitation was followed by the legalis- 
tic. The political organization lost its significance with 
the loss of political liberty. The expectations of the 
prophets of the exile must be postponed to another 
world-order. The national hopes changed to personal 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 153 

aspirations of great souls. But a refuge more accessible 
than the kingdom of the spirit was required for daily 
needs and common minds. The timorous religiosity 
of disillusioned Judaism built protective, separative 
walls, out of materials which the prophets had dis- 
carded, cultus and rite and rule poor stuff, but what 
else was available? and they left their mean con- 
structions open to the sky. Within these confines, 
as many a psalm bears witness, unquestioning obedi- 
ence to Jahveh's statutes found something of the joy 
of free divine companionship. 

Yet in these observances a religion of redemption 
degenerates to a religion of law. 

The transcendence of deity receives indeed fresh 
emphasis from legalism, in faithfulness to the Semitic 
tradition, but it is not a transcendence that calls up 
the transcendent spirit of man into world-conquering 
divine fellowship. In the sublime invitation, "Be ye 
holy, for I am holy," the repeated word has now two 
different meanings. The transcendent God is irrec- 
oncilably apart; so the theology of Judaism conceives 
Him. The motive for the keeping of a law which is 
not identified with the life of the divine Spirit in the 
human spirit, must be a reward external to the realiza- 
tions of God's lif e hi man. Such recompense consists 
of the lower goods. 



1 54 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 



* Incessant are the demands upon the supreme law- 
giver for payment in wealth and length of days and 
many children and satisfied desire upon one's enemies. 
When these requisitions are honored there is uncon- 
trite assumption of merit; when withheld, discontent 
and envy, unfilial importunity of self-centered prayer; 
in either case, ingenious inventions of new legalisms, 
scrupulous formalisms, and unctuous hypocrisies. 
These lusts of material things lack the Aryan magna- 
nimity of world-conquest: the pauperized soul begs 
a world unappropriated, uncompleted. To the more 
tender consciences the withholding of these favors was 
the source of dolorous introspections. If recompense 
has been denied, must not desert be absent? It is 
the purest hearts that bewail secret sins in the light 
of God's countenance and mourn over years con- 
sumed by the divine wrath. Against such morbid 
humiliations the healthy sense of radical integrity 
asserts itself, sometimes in assurance of ultimate 
vindication, yet how long delayed; sometimes in the 
challenge of the right of the All-holy to cite His neces- 
sarily imperfect creature before the throne of absolute 
perfectness; sometimes in fearful doubts of the moral 
order of the world. Yet through these paths of death- 
shadow, the ineradicable Semitic aspiration may find 
its way to the beatific vision, where it abhors itself 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 155 

and repents in dust and ashes. Here are also the 
meek of the land, too simple-hearted for such self- 
tormentings, who make no claim upon the world, 
happy just to do God's commands. These souls 
stand at the threshold of the spiritual universe, over 
whose portal is written, "Blessed are the pure in 
heart, for they shall see God." 

VLegalism must at length seek its recompense in the */ 
age to come, since payment is so uncertain in this. * 
% The third limitation of the Semitic principle in 
Israel is other-worldliness. This hope of the glorious 
future connects itself with the ancient prophecy of 
the day of Jahveh, when, by His almighty act, right- 
eousness is awarded complete triumph over the earth. 
But the vast prophetic vision becomes as rigidly 
dogmatic as the legalism which appropriated it, 
and assumes shapes as fantastic as are legalistic 
demands for recompense when extended into the end- 
less and pronounced by higher aspirations to be for- 
ever incapable of satisfaction. Suddenly out of 
Heaven flaming judgment and ineffable bliss shall 
descend upon the world. Those who have died in 
faithfulness to the law shall rise from their graves, 
to share this redemption with the righteous who have 
not tasted death, and possessing bodies no less intact, 
for the physical delights of what is still the earthly order. 



156 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

The Semitic spirit seems to end in the denial of its 
essential nature. Failing of its transcendent possibil- 
ity, it threatens to sink into its only alternative, the 
apotheosis of the physical and earthly. Yet certain 
of Semitism's finer elements survived even here. Le- 
galism itself kept its ignoble expectation clear of illicit 
sensualities. The ethical nature of the prophetic 
affirmation still asserted itself, v'fhe kingdom of God, 
coming without human cooperation, from the All-holy, 
must be a gift worthy of the transcendent giver. But 
divine power in the human soul, as almighty, as this 
irruption of final judgment and redemption is con- 
ceived to be, is indispensable, if the supernal hope 
is to become purely spiritual. 

The course of this perplexed religious development 
was beset with irreconcilable oppositions. Israel's 
hardness of heart to the spiritual implications of the 
religion of Jahveh was not exaggerated by prophet 
and psalmist, by Jesus and Has apostles. The Aryan 
is less intractable to the Semitic spirituality than the 
Semite himself may be when unfaithful to his Semit- 
ism. ^For the impulse of the former is to seek a world- 
conquest in noble developments of soul. That con- 
quest, no less than the Semitic endeavor, embraces 
ideals, devotions, ethical and spiritual aspirations, 
and between the possessors of these qualities, though 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 157 

they follow divergent paths, for different ends, there 
arise mutual reverence and premonition of final 
alliance. But the Semite who rejects his birthright 
falls below the amenities and harmonies of Aryan life. 
The modern Jew is an inveterate Semite of Semites, 
his Semitism stiffened by unspeakable Aryan injus- 
tices, which still continue in undiscriminating hate and 
brutal misconception. With all his power in the Aryan 
world, he is a stranger and a sojourner in it, as all 
his fathers were, and a destructive force against it, 

* 

except when, transcending it, he summons it to mag- 
nificent fulfillments. Still his spiritual genius and 
devotion manifest themselves in flaming ideals. For 
human liberty, in forms that seem to ignore historic 
possibilities, Jews are radiant martyrs. These men 
are the prophets of a bewilderingly ideal reconstruction 
of society, though they often proclaim it as a material- 
istic evangel. Against social conditions that repress 
the spirit, they, even when they repudiate the spirit, 
are humanity's consummate rage. The true children 
of Abraham, reverent heirs and custodians of the uni- 
versal promise, rise into magnanimities of vision and 
service, and from that Heaven they shed compas- 
sionate blessing not only upon the unfortunate of 
their own people, but upon mankind, and in their 
homes and hearts we find, not the grace and worth 



158 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

of the Aryan, but transcendence and transformation 
of our best. Their spiritual leaders are consecrated 
to the development of their religious inheritance to 
its universal implications. They find themselves 
in the congenial presence of the Man of Nazareth. 
It is they who can understand Him as the Aryan 
cannot, without their interpretation of the supreme 
Semite and human. In their growing appreciation 
of their own Jesus there may be found at length the 
synthesis of the two leaderships of humanity, the 
domination of Aryan civilization by higher spiritual 
forces, and its direction to transcendent ends. In 
this task the Semitic genius must be left unhampered 
by Aryan interferences, which have always obscured 
the Master. For His Name's sake let these men stand 
apart as long as they will, from the Church, with 
which the organizing power of Jesus' spiritual brother- 
liness shall at length unite them, and forever apart 
from the dogmas which have perverted His Gospel. 

Islam also discloses the original and ineradicable 
Semitic quality. It is a Semitism more undeveloped 
than perverted; its attainment of faith in the one 
transcendent deity is separate from its other qualities, 
as Allah is separate from man's life and world. It is a 
religion of law rather than redemption, but its legalism 
lacks the ethical dignity of the Jewish legalism, be- 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 159 

cause, unlike that, it has not descended from redemp- 
tive conceptions, which in Judaism affect the lower 
forms. It cannot rid itself of the savageries of the 
desert, nor of worse vices which result from perverse 
imitations of Aryan civilization. Yet none of its in- 
humanities can obscure the spiritual glory and self- 
propagating energy of its supreme affirmation, "There 
is no god but God." It lives in a brutal world, which 
it projects into the hereafter, but it sees the pure sky. 
From its unpolluted Heaven divine refreshings may 
yet descend upon the lands which it has devastated. 
Monotheism is prophecy of the eternal life in man, 
and in many personal experiences within Mohammed- 
anism that prophecy has been fulfilled. But with 
Semitic obduracy, which is the obverse of Semitic 
faithfulness, it resists the fuhilhnents of its implicit 
prophecy, and opposes Semitic Christianity even 
more fiercely than it has battled against Aryan civil- 
ization. Recent events raise questions which before 
have seemed to be without pertinence: Will Islam 
change its attitude toward Aryan civilization? Will 
it recognize its own premonitions of Semitic Christian- 
ity? 

Against the oppositions and in alliance with the 
favoring forces manifested in every stage of Semitism, 
the Man of Nazareth fulfilled His mission. The 



160 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

limitations that beset His inheritance of the prophetic 
religion of Israel formed a large part of the conditions 
of His task. How that task was fulfilled under such 
conditions will be considered in a later chapter. We 
observe now, in anticipation, how exquisitely and 
mightily human was His simple-hearted acceptance 
of prophetic nationalism, of legalism, and of the 
eschatological hope of His people. He preserved the 
values of these limitations and thus freed Himself 
from them. 

First of patriots, He was so absorbed in seeking the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel that He grudged 
every moment which His sympathy was forced to 
sacrifice to a Gentile need. He was content to leave 
the salvation of those outside Judaism to forces which, 
without His intentional participation, would bring 
heathen multitudes from East and West and North 
and South to recline with the redeemed of Israel in 
the Kingdom's high festival. Yet His devotion to His 
fellow-countrymen was that compassion for universal 
human necessities, that recognition of universal human 
potencies, which brings the whole world to his feet. 

He was dutiful child of the law, loving each statute 
because it came to Him as His Father's command. 
His will accomplished itself in union with the all-holy 

i 

will. Unquestioning obedience unfolded its redemp- 



THE SEMITIC PRINCIPLE 161 

tive trust and love. Thus was attained for Himself 
and His disciples the liberty of the glory of the sons 
of God, and all thought of external recompense passed 
into the union, in character and life, of faithful Son 
with infinitely loving Father. 

The Kingdom that descends from Heaven by God's 
unallied power, was to Hun catastrophe so imminent, / 
that the expectations of the New Testament writers 
seem, in comparison with His certainty, faint echoes 
of a hope deferred. So dose was that advent that it 
became immediately realized in Him, descended into 
His soul, an absolutely spiritual possession, God's 
eternal life for him and all who will receive it from 
Him, and with power of the transcendent world- 
conquest, to lead to spiritual consummations, to trans- 
form by spiritual forces, every man and the life of 
mankind. . 



CHAPTER 



THE SEPARATENESS OF JESUS FROM ARYAN 
CIVILIZATION 

IN comparison with the Semite's arduous and lonely 
path, the Aryan progress is that of a magnificent army, 
fighting its way along valleys rich, genial, beautiful. 
It is not this advance which Jesus had in mind when 
He spoke of the broad way that leadeth to destruction: 
the Aryan progress had no place in His thought. This 
is no path of ease; this also has to be conquered. 
Forces of barbarism continually oppose, and, when de- 
feated, break into guerrilla bands. Many are the 
traitors in the ranks, who exploit mankind's common 
conquests, which have beneficent uses only as they are 
common possessions. Numerous are the desertions 
to the enemies of civilization. Multitudes, having 
accomplished stages of the way, refuse to go farther, 
settle down ignobly in places that seem good to them, 
and it is their fate to be overwhelmed by the barbar- 
isms that hang on the rear of civilization no less than 
they resist its front. Superb have been the victories 

of -the host, but disheartening its defeats; nor is there 

162 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 163 

certainty of final conquest, for there are deadKer 
enemies than are apparent; and men cannot be sure 
that the possessions won shall fulfill their promises 
of worth and joy. 

Yet these seem pusillanimous dreads, continually 
discredited "by the evident gains. Every territory 
acquired yields supplies for further adventure. Forces 
seemingly inexhaustible utilize every victory, rise 
indomitable after defeat. Reinforcements pour in: the 
Hellenic genius is vanguard and strategist, but it is 
allied by every Aryan power, and by men of other 
blood who receive its spirit. No small part of our 
present confidence is the gift of the new historic science 
whose special contribution is to reveal additional 
Aryan potencies for the Hellenic genius to direct, that 
we may know and use whatever proves itself effective 
for the Aryan's appropriative and completive con- 
quest of the world. 

One of the great historic disasters is the loss of the 
Persian genius in a direct moulding influence upon the 
developments of Aryan civilization. The Greek en- 
countered a Persia perversely Semitized, decadent, and 
barbarized, both insolent and insidious against the 
culture which gained self-consciousness by opposing 
the colossal antagonist. Few Greek thinkers recog- 
nized in the archenemy the quality akin to the Hellenic 



1 64 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

genius. The Greek civilization was forced to oppose 
Persia, beat it back, overwhelm it, establish itself 
in the other's place, treat it as alien, for the sake of its 
own integrity. After the Macedonian conquest the 
remainders of Persian influence seemed infectious 
rottenness. Wonderful as was the all but conquest 
of our civilization by the Mithra worship, the depth 
and permanence of that influence must not be ex- 
aggerated. The later resurgences of Persian force and 
beauty, which ought to qualify our judgment of it 
under the Achaemenidae, were apart from the main 
current of history. 

It is the Semite who has preserved f or Aryanism 
this valuable element of it. The eschatology of 
Judaism and original Christianity, involving a cos- 
mology and a philosophy of history, leaving no part 
of life unaffected, fashioning practical views and aims, 
was from Persian sources, though modified by Baby- 
lonia, and transcendently semitized by Judaism and 
Jesus. So that today our ethic and religion are largely 
Iranian, a juster term than Persian, and connoting 
alliance with our civilization, not barbaric opposition. 
The Iranian energy demands to be taken back from 
the Semitic influence which has so strangely preserved 
it for us, and to be recovered from the transcendent to 
the appropriative world-conquest. 



v-n 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 16$ 



The Greek views the world, so far as conquerable, 
as a world of essential harmony. To gain the inner 
principle of that harmony, to organize the world . 
thereby between the inaccessibles above and the im- 
practicables beneath, this is the Greek's world- 
conquest. The Iranian's fundamental conviction, 
however difficult the tracing of its ramifications and 
developments, is the all but absolute disharmony of " 
the world. Good and evil, physical, ethical, and 
spiritual, clash everywhere. Evil is not, as to the * 
Greek, the unorganizable, but an organism only less 
symmetrically formed than the empire of the good. 
Incessant is manhood's strife, against serpent and 
wild beast, noxious plant and insect, diseases and their 
demons; against night and solitudes and every evil 
spell; against moral and intellectual darkness, re- 

\ 

pressive conditions, evil men, evil institutions, and 
the malign angels of them all; against a bad god, with 
half the universe on his side. The interminable spaces 
are a truceless battlefield, where the hosts of the world- 
ruler of this darkness charge the celestial armies of the 
good God. Every servant of the good fights right at 
his post in the far-flung alliance for the victory that 
is to be. Thus spake Zarathustra. 

The Iranian's militancy needs Greek leadership. 
One must know what one fights for. The goal of its 



166 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

warfare is the Greek culture, with its harmonizing 
of the physical, the intellectual, the esthetic, the 
ethical, and the spiritual, in the appropriation and 
completion of the world by the human soul. tJ&ut the 
goal itself is dynamic, not static: there are always 
new worlds to conquer for the soul that expands to 
conquer them. The Greek genius needs the Iranian 
energy, which refuses to accept as final any incarnation 
of the spirit of world-conquest, and judges the soul's 
attainments its deadliest enemies, because deadening. 
It is revolutionary, inconoclastic, the antagonist of 
every classicism. It refuses to abide in any industrial 
regime, political organization, esthetic expression, 
philosophical construction (pragmatism is Iranian) 
or in any assumption of ethical or religious finality. 
Into every determinism it flings freedom, and into 
every monism, differentiation. It snatches the human 
spirit out of every necessitated evolutionary process, 
thus denying that necessity is fundamental in the 
process; out of every subservience to natural law, 
whose absolute mechanical fixity it contradicts, out of 
subjection to any law that is not the free self-expres- 
sion of the human soul, and elastic for growths of 
soul. It goes forth conquering and to conquer. Yet 
all its warfare is constructive when it finds its normal 
alliance with the Greek genius. It is forever militant 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 167 

because it will not rest in any incomplete appropria- 
tion of the world. It surges up today against re- 
pressive social conditions, against political and in- 
dustrial organizations in which the potencies of 
every man lack equal and unrestricted opportunity. 
It rages against every scholasticism, ecclesiasticism, 
and traditionalism. It is civilization militant. It is 
altogether Hellenic because it is the energizing of 
the Hellenic spirit. > 

This moral consciousness rejects the imposition 
of any decalogue from above, that is, from without. 
It is too ethical to accept any closed ethic. Righteous- 
ness is not taken from dictation, but character fights 
out new visions and realizations of the good. There 
can be no Hellenic concession to the physical, no 
yielding of the soul to the external. ^The ethical 
is not that harmony of the soul in all its elements and 
with the world without, which the Greek would have 
on too easy terms. ,/Conscience stands at the soul's 
inviolable portal with drawn sword, refusing to recog- 
nize a friend till the countersign is given. The Iran- 
ian Puritanism is conscious of the inner strife, the 
traitors within the citadel. The passions are not, as 
in Plato's too mdiscriminate parable, unruly steeds, 
to be subdued to reason, the charioteer, but among 
the passions are beasts of prey, to be slain. The inner 



i68 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

conflict is the fiercer; but this insight escapes the 
sudden disillusion of a soul that finds itself wretchedly 
chained to a body of death and cries out, "Who shall 
deliver me!" This human dignity is conscious of 
its own indefeasible powers of righteousness. This 
ethical religion is a religion of redemption, but self- 
wrought. Its premise is not moral helplessness. 
None the less is it religion, aware of the divine right- 
eousness as constitutive of the essential of manhood. 
Therefore this ethic is allied with God for the warfare 
against everything in the universe that is not accord- 
ing to His will. 

The present mood of our fundamental thinking 
seeks the Iranian militancy. Occidental metaphysic, 
necessarily Hellenic, has been too Hellenic: it has 
lingered in a phase which the unfolding of the Hellenic 
inheritance has outgrown, yet has tried to ignore 
the residuum which the Greek sanely acknowledged. 
Its assumption has been the unity of all things as an 
intellectual principle, not as ethical attainment 
with intellect as interpreter. Therefore its dominant 
thought has been too quietistic, too satisfied that what- 
ever is is good, or else irremediably bad and that 
the things we know not now we shall know hereafter 
as having always had their place in the harmonious 
whole. 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 169 

Therefore men with the world's work to do leave 
the philosophers to their ingenuities. Thought and 
life are dissevered, as they were not of old, when 
thought and life were of the same mood. Intellectual- 
istic monism paralyzes the most urgent practicalities; 
its deterministic ethic pronounces itself unethical. 
Our teachers have taken too lightly the bridging of 
the gulf between the spiritual and the mechanical. 
Adventuring across from what they have flung out 
from either side, we fall into nescience. Too facile has 
been their reduction of the irrational to the rational, 
their uniting of the good and the evil, which is yet 
not somehow good. Kant was more serious, but he 
was Iranian and Hebrew, as well as Greek, and they 
have not all been Iranian and Hebrew and Greek who 
have presumed to speak in his name. The Hellene 
has indeed formulated the fundamental questions, 
and the tools of constructive thought are wrought 
in the forges of Hephaistos. But the contemporary 
Iranian vision of the universe looks forward, not 
back, and moves as conscious of the primal motion. 
Our deepest consciousness is not of assimilative in- 
tellect, but of transforming, creative will. All things 
are one to the energizing will that makes them one. 
We know two gods, Ahriman and Ormazd, two 
kingdoms, of Hell and Heaven; it is conflict that is 



170 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

universal. Can the synthesis be fought out on this 
line, even if it takes forever? There is a growing 
determination to attempt it. If this path becomes 
an impasse, there is one recourse, the Semitic principle. 

Every element of the Aryan civilization completes 
itself in a religious conviction, and the noblest of these 
faiths is the Iranian, in our present consciousness of 
its nature. It is the religion of the divine alliance 
for the divine purposes. Its heroic devotion is not of 
the Semitic kind. 'what the modern Iranian wants ^ 
of God is not grace, but reinforcements of his native h 
powers. His kingdom of salvation is not .of an order 
essentially higher than the Hellenics With religious in-, 
tensity he grasps the Aryan principle of world-conquest I 
by the appropriation and completion of the world. N 

The Semitic Bible he finds congenial in its militant 
earnestness, but the names of the gods must be 
frequently interchanged. It is the jealous serpent 
that says, "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and 
evil ye shall not eat, lest ye die." Against an infernal 
sword the servants of Ormazd beat their way to the 
tree of life. There are fruit-trees of which man must 
not eat, but they are to be incontinently cut down. 
Not of the evil seed of Cain is the genealogy of those 
who discover the arts of civilization and develop 
the secular powers of humanity, and it is Ahriman who 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 171 

* 

brings the flood to destroy their works. The Iranian 
adopts the calendar of the saints who subdued king- 
doms, wrought righteousness, waxed valiant in fight, 
turned to flight entrenched armies of aliens. The 
\David who did not write the Psalms is the man after 
I his own heart. He does not suppose that the meek 
inherit the earth. On the crumbling walls of Jeru- 
salem he fights to the end against Nebuchadnezzar, 
Jeremiah, and their god. His Messiah wrests from 
Caesar the stolen coins and effaces the imperial image 
and superscription, and announces Himself the divider 
of the inheritance which man has withheld from his 
brother man. Into this Gospel resonant voices trans-| 
pose the message of Jesus, and ingenuous youth ac-i 
cepts it as Christianity. 

Hellenic-Roman is our civilization, though hospi- 
table to every Aryan element. It seems more I^pnan 
when we. regard external constructions, more Greek 
to those whose chief interest is in vital joys and values. 
Rome's task was to make permanent constructions 
for the Greek soul and body to live in. When our 
Roman inheritance has lost the Greek, the result has 
been formalism, aridity, lifelessness, and decadence 
into corruption. At such times men have longed for 
the water of Hellenic wells, for whose general avail- 
ability Roman aqueducts must be constructed. 



172 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Rome is the least ideal and spiritual expression of 
the Aryan world-conquest. For that reason Rome 
should be studied in its prosaic religion, to show the 
Roman's deficiency in these qualities by their absence 
in the realm most congenial to them. The homely 
workaday divinities of husbandries and household 
drudgeries, the solid, respectable, parochial old gods, 
gave themselves to their duties with such minute 
painstaking as to become actually absorbed in them. 
The attempt to identify these objects of worship 
with Hellenic deities was as absurd as Christianity's 
efforts to express its spiritual universe in terms of 
the Babylonian cosmogony. The old-fashioned nu- 
mina kept to kitchen and garden while Apollo and 
Aphrodite were entertained in the atrium. The 
Roman religion still remained Roman, the binding 
back of each secular affair within its proper limitations. 
It is the religion of that divine immanence where the 
divine is so at home in things that it has no distinct 
meaning of its own. 

When the city Rome united secular interests, the 
city became the chief god. Under this deity the 
ancient divine regulators of affairs enlarged and 
consolidated their labors. So when the city became 
the organizer of the world of civilization, not by the 
realization of an ideal passion but by the forcings of a 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 173 

plain necessity. When power came to be centralized 
in a permanent dictatorship, the emperor was object 
of worship, but in the same old material fashion. The 
cult of the emperor was not a Greek importation, ' 
but a self-consistent Roman development. Its 
form was suggested by the Greek apotheosis, but its 
substance was the recognition of the center of political 
power as supreme in the actual world. It was at 
once a political device and a straightforward state- 
ment of facts. The emperors who were worthy to 
represent Rome were all the more plain everyday 
men for being deified. If the Eastern provinces failed 
to understand, their misapprehensions were of use. 
But a secularity greater than the imperial combina- 
tion of offices is supreme hi things as they are. It is 
to Roman law that greater deference is to be paid, law 
not as descending from celestial realms, but worked 
out meticulously and exhaustively to arrange actual 
conditions, practicable political and social institu- 
tions. As rights of person and property, as contracts, 
governmental functions, and international relations, 
the old Roman gods continue with sober dignity, 
receiving the same kind of recognition as when they 
bore the names of lane and market place and processes 
of husbandry. 
This was the outcome, the victorious outcome of the 



174 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

conflict between the Roman spirit and the ideals and 
demoralizations which assailed it. We speak too in- 
discriminately of Rome's decline and fall. Through 
all assaults of those whom she conquered and of those 
who conquered her, the gods of things as they are 
maintained themselves against both the gods of things 
as they ought ideally to be and the gods of things as 
riotous desires would have them be. Laws, rights, 
obligations, order, indispensable to all human values, 
in constructions as vast as the united realms of human 
endeavor, must be attributed to the Roman part of 
our civilization. Whatever structural elements we 
have received from Teutonic or other sources have 
been builded in by the Roman master-builder. Not 
from Rome indeed is the consciousness of law as 
absolute sanctity affirming the inviolability of justice 
on the earth. These Greek and Hebrew conceptions 
the Roman genius has accepted in part and utilized, 
but the impulse of its task was not of them. The 
Roman genius tends rather to balancings and com- 
promises, in which the higher worths may be com- 
promised. Yet the Roman quality has built the 
strong house for civilization to dwell in, out of mate- 
rials dug from the earth, as ensuring more substantial 
results than to watch for the radiant temple of human- 
ity to descend out of Heaven. The ordering of things 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 175 

k 

by ideal principles and aims is Hellenic; the ordering 
of things by their own practicabilities of mutual ad- 
justment is Roman. In every phase of the life of 
mankind, including plastic art and music, to which 
Roman technicalities are indispensable, and in every 
individual life, the finer things are preserved only as 
those patient drudgeries establish them, and appoint 
to every right and value scrupulously computed metes 
and bounds, rules and prescriptions and restrictive 
constitutions, which only knaves and madmen seek 
to break through. 

The Aryan genius of world-conquest is strangely 
qualified when Celt and Goth are lifted to participa- 
tion in it. The Celt contributes mystery. The world 
which the human spirit is to appropriate and complete 
is extended over the fields of dream. 

The Greek, had his dreams, but with a difference. 
That intense Hellenist, John Keats, describes the most 
exquisite of the Greek my ths as " dream within dream." 
It is dream when celestial beauty, adored as aloof and 
passionless, descends to the longings of the shepherd 
sleeping in a vale of Latmos. It is dream when at the 
opening of "Lamia" the invisible loveliness of the 
earth becomes palpable by a secret spell, while these 
consummations are of moonlight and "green recessed 
woods." But the Greek's languorous hauntings by 



176 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

that which is too sweet for being take the elements of 
dream from clear perceptions of the actual and form 
them by powers of rational thought. Different is the 
secular dream-world of the Celt, not to speak now of 
his spiritual mysticism. It is a world of 

"Magic casements, opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn." 

Here is the Celtic dream-world in its irrationality, 
dread, infested by alien powers, where the human 
spirit, entranced by lures exquisite and terrible, 
wanders defenceless and amazed. Just beyond such 
verse open spheres of music, where thought is drowned 
in floods of objectless longing and recoil; music in- 
choate, until a deeper power of the human soul asserts 
mastery over it, with Hellenic clearness and Roman 
attainment of technical skill; a power which is most 
wonderful in this, that it still keeps that dream-world 
into which the Greek never entered. 

*5r 

The mastery of music reveals the Gothic genius. 
The Goth is Iranian and Celt: a visionary Iranian, a 
Celt determined to realize his dreams, indomitably 
pursuant of the ideal. Celtic-Gothic is Romanticism, 
which is not the superficial fashion of an eccentric 
epoch, but a force pervasive of Occidental civilization 
from the moment when Gothic and Celtic peoples 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 177 

participated and contributed. It is what Goethe 
perceived: Faust who seeks the embraces of Helena; 
and from that union springs the Aryan world's 
glorious new deity, doomed so soon to die; for, as 
Goethe saw, one sufficient to be the eternal life of civ- 
ilization must descend from other realms. 

The passion of the Romantic spirit is to break 
through not only Roman institutionalism, but also 
the limits which the Hellene accepted for his life free, 
rich, beautiful, of well-ordered, self-restrained buoy- 
ancy of soul. The conflict between Romanticist and 
Classicist takes innumerable forms. This impulse 
needs Hellenic and Roman control beyond Hellenic 
limitations. Else it becomes monstrous, insolent, 
insane, and bathetic. But it is Hellenism grown con- 
fident of indwelling power to appropriate and com- 
plete all things for the ends of the spirit, to work out 
the world, in every possibility of its unfolding, to that 
which God would have it become. For it is religion 
of the divine alliance and of human devotion to the 
divine purposes. 

Essentially religious, but not Semitically religious, 
with increasing consciousness of the magnitude of its 
task, this spirit opens itself to divine powers of world- 
conquest. In the name and by the power of God, it 
traverses the depths of the earth, bridles the tides of 



178 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

sea and ether, elevates human conditions to their 

,* 

perfecting. Art is its interpreter, essaying to pene- 
trate form -with spirit; its prophet, to declare that the 
universe shall be spirit's incarnation. For this is no 
temporal and partial task, since it has been under- 
taken in alliance with the Infinite. The world has 
disclosed before us illunitableness, but the soul flings 
back into then" imperious faces the challenge of the 
stars, conscious that the soul is more masterful than 
they, and that even they, in God's time enough, shall 
be given into its hand. To translate into pedestrian 
prose the beat of Victor Hugo's pinions up to the sum- 
mits of things, thus defied: "If ye are mystery, I am 
mind. Ye know that the soul is strong and fears 
nothing when God's breath bears it on. Ye know 
that I will go even to the blue pilasters, and that my 
tread does not tremble on the ladder that mounts to the 
stars." The Aryan has indeed learned from the Semite 
thus much of the greatness of the soul, but this soul- 
task is not Semitic, but Aryan. Then with face 
radiant of the infinite task the Aryan spirit turns in 
exultant sovereignty to the lowliest detail of this 
universal world-appropriation and world-completion, 
singing at its bench while it shapes each day's portion 
of the glory and praise of the Most High. 
The leadership of our civilization has not become 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 179 

any less Hellenic for these reinforcements and others. 
The principle of the Aryan civilization was possessed 
by the Greek, and it is his genius which imparts it. 
He has taught these new forces their own nature. Our 
culture is more Hellenic now than at the Renaissance, 
because it is now less a copying, more an expansion 
and assimilation. Our civilization and Christianity 

are more clearly evident as the fundamental division 

i 

in modern life, these historic unfoldings emphasizing 
the separateness of Jesus from Aryan civilization. 

This separateness is encountered at the very out- 
skirts of Jesus ' thought and work. To Him the world, 
under Satan's dominion, is not to be appropriated and 
completed; its catastrophic destruction is at hand. 
Between God's kingdom and Satan's kingdom there 
is absolute antagonism, and beside these two king- 
doms there is no other. The world is not part Satan's 
and part God's, that human powers may ally them- 
selves with the nobler protagonist to fight out its 
redemption. The catastrophic issue is by God's un- 
assisted power. Persian indeed in part is the historic 
origin of such conceptions, but altogether Semitic is 
their meaning to Jesus. These convictions of His are 
neither to be over-emphasized nor under-stated. It is 
equally unhistorical to ascribe to Hun all the escha- y - 
tology of the Synoptic Gospels, and to fail to recognize 



i8o THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

that it all had a vital relation to His announcements. 
It is equally irrational to modernize these thoughts and 
to ignore the universal within them. But the neces- 
sary emphasis is this, that such convictions are in no 
wise related to the Aryan genius. They are expressive 
of the transcendent world-conquest. Through them 
the way may be found to the innermost Semitic 
spirituality, but not to Aryan principles. They must 
not be disregarded in favor of a Christianity Hellen- 
ically conceived. 

Evidently our Christian apologetic misconceives 
both Christianity and the Aryan civilization when it 
attempts ta derive the progress of the latter from the 
excellence of the former. This is the familiar paean of 
the light breaking upon the decadent darkness of the 
Roman Empire. The fall of the Empire under Chris- 
tianity is left to a less exalted strain. Such discords 
are drowned in the songs of the morning stars as they 
lead new peoples into the blessings of Christianity. 
Recurrent themes of the symphony are the enfran- 
chisement of woman, sometimes from the restraints 
essential to the glory of womanhood, the passing of 
one or two of the forms of industrial slavery, the 
struggles for political liberty, the improvement of a 
moral sense which forces some abominations to be 
practised less openly than classic taste permitted; 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 181 

above all, the new conception of humanity as the 
equality and brotherhood of the children of God, an 
ideal insufficiently expressed in present social condi- 
tions, frenetic militarisms, or responsibilities incurred 
with suspicious readiness by Christian nations in the 
alleged behalf of their pagan and Mohammedan sisters. 
This apology extols the beneficent work of the church 
in the Middle Ages, as among the Albigenses, sets 
Puritanism to its music somewhat nasalized; and is 
carried away by its enthusiasms to celebrate all im- 
provements of human conditions, elevations of moral 
sense, and enlargements of life in the world, as Gesta 
Christi, though we see not yet all things put under 
Him. 

That Christianity has exercised a large influence 
upon the progress of civilization is generally conceded, 
and also that this influence has been on the whole 
more beneficial than mischievous. Yet the alleged 
causal connection is difficult to find within the scope 
of this current apologetic, since the supposed cause 
and effect are not of the same genus. Our civilization 
contains mighty moral and spiritual forces of its 
own, which have the right to claim for their develop- 
ments much that Christianity claims. Where the 
two seem to work together to good results it is im- 
possible to distinguish how much is due to our culture, 



182 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

how much to our religion, and difficult to prove in 
most concrete instances that the part of the latter 
is not negligible. Or the influence of Christianity 
may be simply a stimulus to our other inheritance, 
to awake Aryan potencies. And much of the in- 
fluence of Christianity, as this argument traces its 
unfoldings, has been for evil, frequently for mon- 
strous evil. It is a question whether this apologetic, 
as traditionally argued, can establish its claim beyond 
controversy at any point. The classic age was better 
than this glorification of Christianity represents it, 
and the course of the Christian era worse. Economic 
conditions seem to have been the direct cause of the 
fall of the Roman Empire, and for these and other 
evils Christianity prescribed no remedy. The Church 
that educated the nations darkened mind and heart, 
I till Hellenism's new dawn, which the church largely 
1 obscured. From the shackles of those so incomplete 
emancipators, Lutheranism and Calvinism, the human 
spirit is struggling to get free. The cross of mankind's 
redemption has been the fruitful occasion of repressive 
ecclesiasticisms and of atrocities enormous, 



able. Swinburne's lines, "Before a Crucifix," do not 
overstate the facts. If it is urged that such evils 
are not due to Christianity, but to its perversions, this 
argument is compelled to reckon the perversion hi 



THE ARYAN CIVILIZATION 183 

the actual historic influence: malign outworkings of 
culture are also due to perversions of culture. Favor- 
able comparisons of Christian with non-Christian lands 
are also comparisons of lands of the Hellenic culture 
with lands barbarous, or of another type of civiliza- 
tion. It would be an academic futility to argue that 
our Occidental progress might have been as great 
without the influence of Christianity. Christianity 
has been present. It would be as academically futile 
to maintain that there could not have been greater 
progress in certain directions without Christianity. 
Who knows what other beneficent secular powers 
have been precluded by the institutions and forces 
which this argument conceives as representing our 
religion? There are few nobler tasks than to emanci- 
pate culture from the limitations and repressions 
which bear the name Christian, and to permit the de- 
velopment of civilization's own untrammeled powers. 
The argument isi reconstructed when we consider 
the different natures of our two inheritances, and that 
Jesus and the religion that keeps His spirit are not 
for man's appropriation of the world, but for man's 
transcendence of the world. Then the alleged direct 
causal connections between Him and the accomplish- 
ments of our civilization fall away. These potencies 
are relieved of an interference which He never as- 



184 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

serted; and He is vindicated from a purpose which 
He never intended. He, in His separateness from the 
Aryan civilization, is not the servant of these things. 
The distinction reveals the actual and historic 
influence of Jesus and His religion upon the Aryan 
culture. The tasks of our civilization have been 
confronted with the Semitic principle and are unable 
to repudiate it. The spirit that attempts the Aryan 
conquest of the world has been taught that for this 
conquest it must stand above the world. The soul 
is transcendent of that which it would appropriate 
and complete. This becomes more evident with the 
modern enlargings of the task, but is always essential 
to the thorough undertaking of the task. To appro- 
priate and complete, one must transcend. But this 
is to find the aim of the task in soul that transcends. 
The radical division in modern life becomes its funda- 
mental perplexity and strife: the Aryan asks the indis- 
pensable alliance of the Semitic spirit, to appropriate 
the world; but the Semitic spirit repudiates the Aryan 
purpose, denies the Aryan principle. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 

LIFE is task in the civilization in which one finds ir 
oneself. It is task by tne principle and aim of the 
civilization of which we are. No man has the 'right 
even to consider the exchange of this obligation for 
another. Against whatever argument or claim, we 
must be true to the immediate loyalty. Whether 
success or failure awaits us, we cannot do otherwise =v 
than give ourselves to the work next our hand. To '^. 
do that with enduring determination is success in our 
own souls at least, th6ugh nothing else comes of it. 
The service of the present age moves in a large un- 
selfishness. For into the task of this phase of our 
civilization enters the glorifying, energizing social 
passion, with the sublime hope, that men personally 
self-attained in their relations with one another, in 
their interpenetrations of one another, with reorgan- 
ized conditions of life, may effect in greater measure 
than ever before humanity's appropriative and com- 
pletive conquest of the world. 

The social passion has summoned the Christian 

185 



1 86 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

consciousness to the task of civilization thus magnani- 
mously conceived. That which seems to be the 
dominant Christian ambition of our time is to incar- 
nate Jesus' righteousness, wisdom, beauty and love, 
in organizations of law, science, art and social relations, 
making the world the body of Jesus' soul. The 
g new social consciousness hailed Him social Saviour. 
His Church flung herself into social ministries. His 
prophets flamed with the social evangel. The tired 
eyes of the nations looked up to see their redemption 
drawing nigh. Verily Jesus is the social man. He is 
unquenchable fury against every wrong of man to 
man, in His conception of manhood. He is the in- 
carnate democracy of all men's equal and supreme 
right. He is the power to unify all men, and to Him 
a man does not exist as a man if he rejects mankind's 
supreme unity. It is indeed the soul of humanity 
that He would save, the only soul in any man which 
He thinks worth saving; but His salvation is all the 
I more evidently the salvation of just the soul. The 
\fundamental division of modern life is most 'evident 
in the distinction of His social passion from ours. 

This social difference is felt increasingly. When 
generally recognized, the final rupture will impend 
between Christianity and our civilization. Whatever 
Jesus' credentials, whatever His nature, whatever the 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 187 

glory and blessedness to which He invites, whatever 
the penalty for rejecting Him, our work comes first, 
and He is our Christ only as he is Master of the work. 
It is not that the rash hope of constructing from the 
teaching of Jesus a new regime, collectivistic or in- 
dividualistic, proves as superficial as unintelligent: 
we look to Him, not for schemes and external organi- 
zations, but for the formative principle and energy 
of them. It is not that Jesus' expectation of the im- 
mediate destruction and reconstruction of all things 
hid from Him the social development of the ages that 
bear His name; the catastrophe which He looked for 
might be for the establishment of that kingdom of 
humanity for which we long. But the expectation 
which inspired Jesus expressed another hope than 
ours. His teaching and ministry were not directed 

the object of our endeavors. 

The solution is in Jesus. It is in the heart of our 
culture responding to Him. We have not known 
what spirit we are of. Our civilization's final aim, 
unconsciously because so deeply implicit, is not the | 
appropriation of the world hut its transcendence. 

This is not a principle of a different order, for civil- 
ization to give place to, but the principle of civiliza- 
tion itself, Aryan or any other, but most clearly of the 
civilization most advanced. It is not something else, 



i88 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

for civilization to work up to and then efface itself, 
but was present when the higher interests first emerged 
from barbarism; a power latent far below its earliest 
cultural manifestations. It is not confined to the 
higher elements of culture, but pervades it all. Every 
appropriation and completion of the world, wrought 
by the soul that refuses to be conquered by the world, 
is intrinsically the transcendence of the world by the 
human soul. In so far as tasks separate themselves 
from this their essential aim, they deny themselves 
and lose themselves. Jesus, who is realization and 
central impartive power of spiritual humanity, is 
revealer, director, and inexhaustible energy of all 
that men have to do. 

To learn that this is the implicit task of civilization, 
we must turn where the conquest of the world begins 
and is achieved, to the depths of the toiling soul. 

Here we find the fundamental division in the life 
of our time. The determination to conquer the world 
f by appropriating it, and the aspiration to conquer 
the world by transcending it, constitute the final 
strife in every man and the life of -humanity. Be- 
neath the distinction of conquering the world and of 
being conquered by the world, there opens the dis- 
tinction which the Semitic Jesus saw most clearly, \ 
distinction hi the world-conquest by the soul. That \ 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 189 

which has seemed to the Aryan the consummate 
task, the final victory, humanity's self-attainment 
and self -perfecting, has brought us only to the en-*' 
trance of the spiritual universe; our most arduous 
fields are still before us. If we choose to stay in this 
preliminary of manhood when the further advance 
is revealed to us, we return in principle to the inferior 

S stage. Our world-conquest by world-appropriation 
is then the world's victory over us, for then we re- 
jpudiate the power which alone can conquer the world. 
i We submit ourselves to things if we fail to recognize 
! the revelation of what we are. 

The Aryan genius has received many intimations 
of this achievement which lies beyond its clear vision, 
has felt unappeasable dissatisfactions, not only with 
its accomplishments, but also with its hopes and 
aspirations. It has not been able to evade the sus- 
picion, that the problem of life is not solved even when 
the vision seemed most alluring of a world subdued 
to the human soul and of a soul victoriously appropri- 
ating and completing the world. But in the Semite 
these premonitions have become potencies. It is 
he who has announced that even the world-conquering 
manhood must die, and that there must come to lif e 
a manhood of radically different aims and energies; 
a new spiritual life in a new-created universe of 



190 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

spiritual values; a life that seeks no flight from the 
world, but whose conflict with the world is to win! 
spirit's transcendence of the world. 

Two words which we have used frequently now 
deepen their meanings. The world has been regarded 
by us as that which is in opposition to the human 
soul, and this practical definition, suited to action, 
we shall still find sufficient for the practical purposes 
which alone occupy us; but the world as in opposition 
to the soul now includes all that which opposes the 
soul in its world-transcending purpose. And the 
spirit, expressive of that which is soul's fundamental 
and universal, now means to us that which asserts 
and realizes itself in the world-transcending conflict. 
The world which towered so vast before us, now lives 
mightily within us, and spirit finds itself engaged in 
the most interior strife, and here it has to realize itself 
from the f aintest beginnings of itself. 

It is nothing less than this spiritual manhood which 
is awakened in us even from the earliest sense im- 
pressions. It is this power, however unconscious of its 
supreme task, which unifies them into a world-order, 
organizes them that it may transcend them, seeking 
ever its own quality, as not from them derived. Even 
here it is striving for norms and powers of action 
which, surmounting the utilities of increasing pleasure 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 191 

and decreasing pain of flesh and sense, press on to 
inviolable sanctities in attainments of its own being. 
In spirit's very construction of the world it reaches 
beyond its constructions of sense impressions, however 
complex or abstract, into universal thought wherein 
alone these things are true. In forming a world of 
beauty whose delight is in the accordances of things, 
it seeks the vital intensity and harmony of its own 
unfoldings. In its rudimentary formations of its 
world, the powers of this spiritual life expand in 
clarifying consciousness of the spiritual infinite, beset 
with whatever antinomies; they penetrate the indwell- 
ing life of the eternal. From its earliest contacts with 
the elements of its world, its task is the transcendence 
of the world. 

The relation pf resistant world to germinant spirit 
becomes closer in these deepened meanings of each. 
The world is not a realistic conception for idealism 
to contemn. It is not apart from us, nor an intrusion 
into us, but internal order of thought and life. Its 
final relation with that which we conceive as somehow, 
provisionally without, it does not belong to our plan 
to amplify, except that nothing must be permitted 
to conceal from us the world's essential inwardness. 
When one thinks of it as extending beyond the in- 
dividual self, the world is an inner life in humanity, 



192 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and may well be within all rational being. Thus the 
contest between world and spirit is the very closest, 
as intense as confused. Because the world is within 
us, organized by spirit itself (for no conception of its 
self-organization can make it more than appearance) 
the difference between that which is thus wrought 
upon and that which works upon it is given only 
rudimentarily, to be grasped only by the self -develop- 
ment of the shaping power. As spirit and world are 
inwardly together, this relation discloses that in 
ultimate nature they are one: "The only possible 
antithesis of spirit is itself spiritual." They are to be 
clarified into one by the reality which spirit is, mighty 
to subdue all things unto itself, affirming its world- 
transcending task, its world-destroying task, of trans- 
forming all that is beneath itself into its own nature, 
that as opposing world the other may cease to be. 
In spirit's interblendings with the world it gains itself 
from the world and against the world. Perplexed, 
distracted, it asserts itself and its universality, the 
infinite spirit witnessing with our spirit, that we are 
one with that One in inalienable nature and final goal. 
This indissoluble relation between the world and 
the spirit brings to thought contradictions seemingly 
irreconcilable, to life conflicts incessant. Spirit's 
ethical nature forbids it to leave the problem un- 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 193 

solved, the strife unfought. Therefore it looks its 
fellow in the face, resolute indeed to compel all that 
may be transmuted into the spiritual, yet scorning 
any compromise of its own quality, any restriction 
of its own universality, and forcing its way through 
encounters as of wrestlers interlocked, hot breath of 
each in the other's face. Thus are the spirit's powers 
developed, its kingdom won. 

For the spirit is real as realizing itself. It is our 
own because we must fight for it. Innermost self, 
because in fundamental mysteries we must search for 
it. Closest because far away, hearth-fire beyond the 
spaces: there our being centers. With its confusions 
to be made radiance, with its self-constraints in which 
alone is liberty, with toil and pain of the insatiable 
war against the world, and the secret of peace dawning 
in the strife, in comparison with this which we choose 
to be nature and aim of us, nought is, save as spirit 
may gain itself thereby. 

For the spirit's own sake, the world thus inwardly 
understood must be given the freest scope in its own 
range, must be developed to the utmost of its poten- 
cies. So in every man, so in the life of humanity. 
For in conflict with the world spirit realizes itself, and 
there must be conflict with the world which develops 
itself to its completeness, in order that militant spirit 



194 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

may reach its own full stature. Therefore to each task 
in the world is accorded its own aim, impulse, and law. 
And labors organize themselves by the aims, impulses 
and laws of these provisional wholes. Only in such 
emancipation can the tasks of a man or a civilization 
gain the coherence and significance which render them 
usable by the transcendent purpose. Spirit demands 
for its own sake the untrammeled freedom of the 
world's tasks. It develops itself by confronting the 
actual world-order as strict scientific method learns it, 
and as that order's own impulses unfold it. The 
spiritual is itself task, not completeness which can 
command things to adjust themselves to its own 
finished scheme. It has no formula for their procedures 
or conclusions. All must be free, elastic, adventurous, 
in that order in which and from which and against 
which spirit realizes itself. Yet in no realm can it be 
content with any ultimate purpose but its own. It 
asserts that conditions of life can have no significance 
except for the life to which they minister, and that 
life has no significance except in values and ends which, 
because values and ends, are of the spiritual. It can- 
not restrict the other without limiting itself, a state- 
ment historically demonstrated. Its assertion of it- 
self is challenge and inspiration for every power of 
civilization, every beauty and glory of the world, to 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 195 

evolve itself. Every spiritual idea, ferment, person- 
ality, has been a quickener of culture, and that which 
spirit evokes it must not flee from nor leave uncon- 
quered. 

An undisciplined optimism may conceive spirit's 
affirmation of itself under the similitude of the sun-god 
who smites the clouds of night into splendors of his 
rising. But no divinities of light are we. We con- 
front our task bewildered, darkened, sore-oppressed 
with weaknesses and miseries and sins. 

Therefore we turn away from every spirituality 
that is overweening, self-confident. We reject as in- 
sufficient for our labors that idealism so called, which 
assumes the self-realization of spirit as attained in its 
bare self-assertion, and proceeds with an undisturbed 
construction of the spiritual universe. All is spirit, 
do we say? Nothing is spiritual for us until we have 
made it so. And what thought, what vital energy have 
we sufficient for the task! 

Therefore we repudiate any spirituality that is not 
of a lowly and contrite heart. We pronounce insuffi- 
cient every energy which is not redemptive, both of 
the world to be overcome, and first of all redemptive 
of our own spiritual being, which must deny itself 
in every worth and claim in order to be of worth and 
power. Therefore our leaders cannot be even the 



196 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

greatest of the Hellenes and their pupils of modern 
times, who are ignorant of the evangel that for our 
world-conquest we must first in our inmost spiritual 
life die and rise again. Those great souls are still in- 
volved in the world, none the less though they stand 
on its radiant heights, and their leadership is not 
beyond that genius of world-appropriation and 
world-completion, by which the world is not over- 
come. 

Yet the spirit within us, confronting its warfare in 
the conscious weakness which alone is receptive of 
the sufficient strength, and in the fear which alone is 
capable of indomitable courage to the last, finds it- 
self in a universal human alliance. The self-sufficient 
spirituality declaims loftily to one's fellowmen who, 
from whatever fault or virtue, deny the spiritual, or 
are unable to affirm it: "Whether you have a soul or 
not, I have." Arrogance toward men is never hu- 
mility toward God. And while every latent force in 
humanity is requisite, the battle becomes the dubious 
perquisite of the few, overbold. This assumed spirit- 
uality denies the spirituality essential, however latent, 
in man as man, in every man as belonging to human- 
ity, and in this denial denies spirit in its deepest 
meaning. It becomes an individual self-sufficiency 
contrary to spirit's universal and therefore sacrificial 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 197 

nature. In this inhuman pride stood the pneumatic 
Gnostic, separating himself from psychical men. 
Here are select companies of professors of religion, 
parading along the heavenward way. Here are also 
many champions of the deeper thought, the finer feel- 
ing, the purer life, who are alienated from the multi- 
tude. Here are those to whom affirmation is easy, 
oblivious of the possibility that in the souls which 
deny there may be an affirmation more ethical and 
veracious. But the man who recognizes in every man, 
as in himself, the germ of soul, calls, not from a height, 
but eyes level with eyes most downcast, hand extended 
to hand most soiled: "Brother-soul", because brother- 
man, by the affirmation which is in our denials, by 
our spark unquenchable in many floods, by the holi- 
ness persistent and inalienable through every pollu- 
tion, fight in alliance with us all, the battle of Him 
who overcame." 

Therefore we lift up hands of prayer to the Spirit 
almighty, in confession without a plea, in the entreaty 
%of utter helplessness. Then the self-assertion and self- 
centering, which is the deadliest enemy of spiritual 
manhood, because, standing nearest, it strikes at the, 
heart, finds the impenetrable shield interposed. Not 
for ourselves do we conquer, but for the Infinite who 
sent us, whose we are, and in whom we lose and find 



198 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

ourselves, and unto Him be the glory of the vic- 
tory. Then to our weakness comes His strength, 
which is perfected in our weakness. When we are 
overwhelmed with our insufficiency we assert the 
transcendent conquest of the world. For such asser- 
tion is the declaration of the Infinite and All-holy, 
who will have His purpose accomplished in us and 
through us, that we may attain His life eternal. 
Nothing less than this power is in human endeavors 
to achieve their self-realization by the transcendent 
world-conquest. 

The transcendent answer is given no less clearly 
in the "Everlasting No" to any incitement to find 
satisfaction in the world, even in the finest forms of 
its appropriation. This negation goes deeper than 
the resignation born of the conviction that the world 
refuses to serve us; it is we who refuse. 

This answer is given by those whom humanity 
recognizes as its representatives, the witnesses of 
things unseen and eternal, of whom the world was 
not worthy. Theirs is the sublime scorn of gaining the ' 
whole world at the cost of any good which is the soul's 
own.</En this self-denying self-affirmation the leaders 
of mankind have laid down the earthly life, in cruci- 
fixion of themselves to the world, and of the world to 
themselves, having accomplished previous toils and 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 199 

sufferings which were a continual dying to the lower 
self, while the life they lived in the flesh was lived by 
faith in the supreme devotion. 

But the very quality of such men has been par- 
taken by every man who has given "the last full 
measure of devotion." For no sacrifice is offered 
merely that the world's goods may fall to those for 
whose sake the sacrifice is made. That would be a 
poor return for the utmost that man can do for his 
fellowmen. Then the spirit that makes the sacrifice 
would stoop to an end beneath itself. For nothing 
less than spirit is capable of sacrifice, whether made by 
man or brute, since sacrifice is by its nature a world- 
transcending act. However 'blindly, unconsciously, 
or with whatever mingling of lower impulse, one 
can give oneself only to spiritual worths and ends. 
This repudiation of the world is shared by every 
action which is of the nature of that utmost which 
men can do and are continually doing. Every offering 
of love, every aspiration after holiness, every asser- 
tion of righteousness for righteousness' sake, manifests 
the better man in every man, the real humanity 
which is transcendently spiritual. 

This repudiation of the world stultifies the world's 
utmost claim. /That which invites us to appropriate 
and complete it is impermanent. 



200 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 



"They melt like mists, the solid lands; 
Like clouds they shape themselves and go." 

The constellations have the doom of perishableness 
written in then* very radiance. If the earth, with the 
systems in which it has its place, is the living garment 
of deity, as was declared by a complacency from which 
our generation is disillusioned, it is but a vesture to 
be outworn and folded away. If we assume the end- 
less conservation of material elements an assump- 
tion which may betray its provisional meaning when 
it is analyzed these can be of conceivable import 
only in their organizations which change and pass. 
If we suppose that the spirit's task is to appropriate 
and complete world after world and universe after 
universe, that work must be either a series of futilities 
or for the self-realization of spirit. There is no such 
thing as "to stamp the perishable with imperish- 
able worth." That were an intolerable separation 
of worth and being. .We can win eternal worth to 
our own souls only by the overcoming of the perish- 
able. 

We reach the heart of the inconceivability when we 
reflect that spirit, though realized by us in a relation 
to the temporal, is itself not of time. No analysis 
of the conception time simplified of late by noble 
philosophies of the seK-attaining spirit is needed to 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 201 

make this dear. It is enough to say that the spirit 
distinguishes the order of its own life from the suc- 
cessiveness of the world. What this innermost 
order is, in its complete emancipation from the other, 
we know not yet in its completeness, for it is to be 
attained. We know that its origin and nature are 
no more from that which we may call the temporal 
order of the world, than from its spatial order. If 
we use the same word, time, for both, it is in a deepen- 
ing consciousness of different significancies. That 
difference is indicated hi the word eternal. Most 
welcome to this self-consciousness of eternity are the 
failures to find anything beyond perishableness in our 
physical organization. Because spirit is not of time, 
the end and object of its working cannot be any- 
thing or all things in the scope of even indefinite 
time. 

irThe growing consciousness of the irrationality of 
the world as world, makes irrational the conception 
of man's task as the world's appropriation and com- 
pletion. To accept the smug old theodicies of "the 
best of all possible worlds" has become more intoler- 
able than to face in their most fearful shapes the irre- 
ducible misery and aimlessness. This disillusion 
is casting an ever darker shadow upon the life of our 
age. It paralyzes titanic efforts, and evokes a deeper 



202 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

thought, a gentler compassionateness, and a mightier 
redemptive passion. The picture has often been 
painted too darkly; there is more in creation than a 
groaning and travailing in pain together until now; 
but a vast residuum remains unillumined. As long 
as we judge the world, as indeed it presents itself 
to be judged, according to its attainments of its ends 
as world, the judgment must be: these ends are not 
attained; nor if they are attainable, have they sufficient 
worth to justify themselves, even if we forget their 
cost. For spirit to make its world-conquest the appro- 
priation of that irrationality, even when completed 
by the spirit unto the furthest consummations and 
organizations of the world's own goods, would be 
the repudiation of all that the spirit can pronounce 
good. How the problem of the world's inherent 
irrationality is to be solved, we. are not now consider- 
ing, except that the only possible solution is the 
spirit's own unfolduig to the transcendent world- 
conquest. 

V The Aryan genius, unless it surmounts itself, fails 
to include the whole of life. For there are elements 
of life which are not to be completed, but to be changed 
beyond any completion of themselves even by that 
which is above them. The characteristic Hellenic 
phase of culture, and our inheritance of it, deal too 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 203 

much with favored persons and peoples and with 
epochs of conscious advance. Sorrow, pain, and death 
are for the opposite of world-appropriation: they are 
not for world-completion. Foul shapes of disease, 
the physical aspects of mortality, the actual loss from 
flesh and sense of one very dear or of a heart's desire, 
remain what they are in their sphere. They are in- 
deed to be resisted by science and other powers which 
work within that order; but such triumphs remain 
ever incomplete. Though the imagination of hope 
pictures a humanity at length triumphant over these 
enemies, though an undaunted romanticism ideally 
aspires to realms of being in which only the good 
remains, yet the power which is evoked for this 
1 conquest, unless the hope is a confessed fantasy, is 
the spirit in its transcendent self-affirmation, and the 
significance of the interminable war is that spirit 
is to be realized thereby. 

Neither now nor in the far future have grief and 
anguish and disillusion any possibility of justification 
except when compelled to the spirit's furtherance. 
Here axe indeed spiritual transformations of the 
lower order, but they have not the world for aim and 
object. Victory unknown to the Aryan genius at its 
height, yet involved in the impulse which is in its 
depth, is a human soul standing above every evil of 



204 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

the natural order, transmuting every suffering and 
loss, defeat and disaster, into thought and holiness 
and faith and love and essential joy. So in civiliza- 
tion's overwhelmings, humanity has grasped that 
which history's mature judgment pronounces best. 
Only in this insight have we even the beginnings of 
a theodicy of human life and of the universe, a rudi- 
mentary theodicy which need not assume to explain 
the shapes of that which is to be overcome nor their 
genesis, but holds the certainty that the good is 
supreme because of the unfolding power of its over- 
coming. t/These dark realms the Semitic genius alone 
illumines. It enters them unafraid, for in them it is 
confident of supreme vindication. These austere 
initiations reveal to us that in our joys no less, and 
in our evident accomplishments, worth is the seeking 
of the spirit's own, the denial of the lower order in the 
lower self, that death of ourselves to the world and 
of the world to ourselves whereby the spirit comes 
to realization. 

For this dark part of the actual is only a part. To 
suppose indeed that sorrow is only the foil to joy, 
shadows in a picture to accentuate the lights, clouds 
to disintegrate white glare into myriad-colored splen- 
dors, dissonances resolving into harmonies that so 
please the more, such reconciliations may suffice 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 205 

for those who have never faced life's ills with the 
indignant sympathy which is growing in the heart of 
our age. /6ut the compassionateness intensely minis- 
trant to the suffering within reach, and brooding 
back and on with the Buddhas along humanity's 
hard paths, and down to all sentient life, and out into 
a universe of strife connoting pain, must not lose the 
resource and wholesomeness of vital joy. In this 
realm may not the Aryan principle make its home and 
accomplish its service? Beauty and the rapture of it, 
flooding up from nature into art that consummates 
delight in the world, all but too intense to be endured, 
these things are for every man who has not shut them 
out. There are hours of life so exquisite that no 
disaster or continuous pain can take them from us. 
Still they abide even in torture and against the face 
of death. In the inalienable preciousness of them 
men have dared the terrors of the pit, confident that 
all the devils are too weak to wrest from us a memory 
of bliss that has become the soul's very element. 
No Semitic austerity can take from us these essentials 
of ourselves. Are these the bounds which the Semitic 
principle may not pass? 

They may seem so if we enjoy too little, not when 
we drain the brimming cup of joy. We need not fear 
too great happiness, nor seek to moderate the thrill 



206 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

of it; for intensities of delight sweep, like the upward 
rush of mighty music, into the spirit's realm. Spirit 
alone can give the crown of joy, being alone competent 
to pronounce and create worth, and to receive happi- 
ness into a permanence where it unfolds its uttermost 
potencies. This austerely consummate test awaits 
each seeming good: is the innermost life richer for it? 
Is it capable of being changed from every form of 
flesh and sense? Is it raised above all their elabora- 
tions to be a constituent of enlarged spiritual life? 

The ethical test which every pleasantness encounters 
is nothing less than this: can that which I enjoy be 
transformed into spirit whose nature is holiness? 
Poor is the happiness of any man who is content to 
meet amenities with a challenge less rigorous. The 
world of beauty and joy exists altogether for the tran- 
scendent principle, whose energy is destructive of the 
world, for when taken into the spiritual the world 
as world is no more. Of this transcendent ethic is 
the test of the permanence of any joy. Whatever is 
not transformed into the spiritual fades with the 
enfeeblement by time of the vividness of reproduced 
impressions; and this impermanence extends to the 
organizations of them. There can be abiding quality 
only by transmutation into spiritual excellence. 

Nothing hi the lower order is too glorious to yield 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 207 

to this power of destructive transcendence. "Though 
we have known Christ after the flesh, that knowledge 
no longer exists; so that if any man is in Christ he 
is a new creature: the old things passed; behold, the 
new have come into being." What eyes saw and ears 
heard and hands handled has been lifted into the 
eternal life that He is, and that we are in Him. So of 
all the beauty and grace of those dear to us, of whom 
the world was not worthy. That which they gave 
us remains ours, not by our dwelling upon faces that 
we shall see no more, voices whose music has ebbed 
into gulfs of silentness; but in the inmost being of us 
they are whom we know no more after the flesh; and 
our transformed possession of them leads us on in 
wondering certainty, unto our "closing with them 
soul in soul." 

Therefore, like the hero of the Hebrew myth, we are 
wrestlers till the breaking of the day against all that 
is in the world, against its joy no less than against its 
sorrow, and most mysteriously is God engaged in 
that wrestling, and the victory is a new name, as of 
Israel, for a new manhood, which achieves to see the 
face of God. To the happy and to the unfortunate, to 
those whom the world meets with its goods, and to 
those whom it confronts with its evils, and to each 
man in the alternations of his fortunes, there is the 



208 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

same task, humanity's one battle, to transform all 
that encounters us into that which we are fundament- 
ally, even into that which we have to realize. ^Every- 
thing in the world, of whatever aspect, summons us, 
not to appropriate and complete it, but to transcend 
and destroy it, by the attainment from it of our 
spiritual being. 

This implicit purpose of our culture is evident when 
we regard the chief historic currents, Iranian, Roman, 
Celtic, and Gothic, which unite in the flood of the 
Hellenic civilization. It is not simply that our cul- 
tural forces organize the lower order of life, with 
reference to which the spirit realizes itself. Then 
those who are engaged in such tasks would find them- 
selves only indirectly related to the spiritual, and the 
greater part of all men's lives would be divided from 
life's deepest meaning. These cultural forces possess 
a deeper worth. Each of them, and all in their Aryan 
unity, implicitly set for themselves the task of the 
transcendent principle. 

The Iranian militancy cannot stop short of the 
ultimate opposition, the consummate strife, and in 
this warfare the spirit is protagonist, contending for 



nothing less than ends universal and eternal, to realize 
itself to the uttermost. Every militancy finds here 
significance and energy. 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 209 

Roman constructiveness works by law and unto law. 
This Roman element seems the least ideal of the forces 
of our civilization. It meticulously works out con- 
structions of things as they are. The heirs of Rome 
appear of all men least aspirational. Yet in this 
plodding fidelity to mechanical tasks the deeper prin- 
ciple is.evident. Law as declaring what is, can impose 
no obligation except as unveiling that which ought 
to be. Unless its drudging actuality is ethical reality, 
no reason and no aim can constrain, direct and enforce 
anything in the organization of society or in individual 
conduct, and the Roman constructiveness builds con- 
tinually a house upon the sand. But its implicit 
ethic is nothing less than that Ought which is inviol- 
able, infinite, eternal. Every utilitarian ethic, in- 
dividual or social, assumes the transcendently spir- 
itual principle, or is a contradiction in terms. Then 
the elaboration of our tasks regards the actual none the 
less, and is an adjustment none the less exact of the real 
relations of things as they are, yet all are for the eternal 
purpose, the universal ordering. 
S The Celtic and the Gothic open themselves most 
directly to the Christian faith. The Celtic mystery is 
implicitly the ever-haunting sense of the infinite. And 
of this nature is the Gothic realization of the Celtic 
premonition. God has set eternity in their hearts. 



210 , THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

|r The Hellenic leadership of our civilization cannot 
keep within the bounds which it prescribed for itself 
in its original form. The heights above and the depths 
beneath its chosen kingdom, where it is essayed to live 
its life free, rich, beautiful, of well-ordered, self-re- 
strained buoyancy of soul, were ever breaking in and 
disorganizing that life. Forces from below dragged 
it down. Forces from above disrupted it still more 
radically. The vital power which that consciousness 
possessed before it accepted its disillusion was there- 
fore brief, and the glories that followed its prime were 
exquisite fading reflections. ^Therefore Christianity 
was too strong for Hellenism, because fulfilling its 
increasingly conscious need. When reinforced by 
other Aryan powers, it cannot recover from its early 
disaster except as it works itself out into the higher 
principle, yl'he Semitic spirit does not destroy it, but 
fulfills it, by regenerating it. Its impulse to attain a 
unity of things, a harmony of life, cannot leave any- 
thing outside its endeavors without denying the unity 
and destroying the harmony. Only transcendent 
spirit, universal because transcendent, is the over- 
coming of the Hellene's self-contradiction, which re- 
veals his implicit purpose. Then indeed his organiz- 
ings and harmonizings of life by ideal forces become 
realizable. 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 211 

Thus our Hellenic inheritance finds its deeper self 
and the implicit purpose of all its subordinates, 
Iranian, Roman, Celtic, Gothic, and any other that 
history may add. All the elements of their thought, 
beauty, and power, tend, under the Hellenic hegem- 
ony, to their freedom and completeness in the tran- 
scendent world-conquest, in order that spirit, subduing 
all things to itself, may be all in all. The Sem- 
itic task is inclusive and corisummative of every 
element in the Aryan civilization and of every power 
in the developments of humanity. 

One of the most significant representatives of Aryan 
civilization was not considered with the others. India 



contains heterogeneous populations, but most of her 
culture has been genuinely Aryan. She has renounced 
the task of civilization. Most Aryan, least Semitic, 
is this renunciation. India has been unreceptive of 
Occidental influences because she has reached a stage 
beyond them; therefore is she so difficult for the Occi- 
dent to understand. But our Western culture may 
come to understand this disillusion of its hopes, this 
futile result of its endeavors. Every partial paralysis 
of civilization, frequently recurrent, every over- 
shadowing of our courage, unveils something of that 
gloomy mystery, the more as the promise of India's 
early history is understood, magnificent, wonderful! 



212 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Contemplating that resignation of the world, our 
Aryan civilization seems to fade, its pride is humbled, 
its hopes change into despair too wise; human powers 
sink exhausted and decadent, as availing nothing 
against an ineluctable mechanism, or a necessitated 
process, to which all their sound and fury signify just 
sound and fury. But the task of the spirit redeems 
the tasks of civilization from such disaster, else in- 
evitable. Every spiritual attainment has reality, and 
is cooperant with eternal spirit. Nothing is futile 
which gives itself to the task of spirit's self-realization. 
Against the disillusion rises the assured and all- 
quickening conviction. 

When the reconstruction has been accepted, our 
various tasks "all seem as before." In the radical 
changes the immediate seeming is as before. It is 
only superficial variances that hasten to. manifest 
themselves in a phenomenal difference. Into the 
same fields, eating the same bread in the same sweat 
of face, goes man the toiler, but now to conquer in 
and from and against the whole world, that one thing 
precious, his own soul. He must learn exhaustively ^ 
the world in whose encounter he is to gain himself, 
in the unhindered developments of the toils which its 
sternness constrains, or its spontaneities impel. The 
assured end gives exultation to these labors, now be- 



THE TASK OF CIVILIZATION 213 

come significant, creates a new glory in nature and 
the naturalness of human life and in all things which 
are impressed into the spirit's increase. Nor does the 
inevitable destruction of all the visible that shall be 
overcome abate the exultation of our service. For 
when man the toiler, at the conclusion of the brief 
ages allotted to human life upon the earth, sees all 
embodiments of his labors destroyed, as also at death 
every individual has nothing left of the material good 
and beauty he has wrought; and when mankind re- 
turns to the Master of the work confessing, "Lord, I 
come back to Thee empty-handed, for all that my 
science and art have constructed are no more, and 
every form of human organization dependent on them 
has with them been swept away; " then to humanity, 
from whom God wants nothing but spirit realized, 
shall be said again: Thou art My son, the Beloved, in 
thee I am well pleased. 



CHAPTER V 

THE TASK OF JESUS 

THE world-transcending task, which is appointed 
to our civilization because imperative upon every 
man and humanity, was the task of Jesus. He also 
must win in and from and against the world that one 
thing precious, His own soul. If. He so attained Him- 
self as to new-create our spiritual manhood by suffi- 
cient powers for its self-realization, then His central 
place in humanity and in the unfolding spiritual 
universe is not fess than that which Christianity 
claims for Him. The redemptive significance of Jesus 
is to be expressed in terms of the task, in which, for 
Himself and for the brotherhood of men, He overcame 
the world. 

The word task may find its complete meaning in 
Jesus. Our time is learning to' replace static concep- 
tions by kinetic, to think being in terms of action, 
so bringing thought into unity with life, to which the 
inactive is of no concern, not even in life's reposes. 
This is not a turning back to becoming; it is not 

merely genetic, evolutionary. For action has no 

214 



\ 



THE TASK OF JESUS . 215 

significance to life, and to vitalized thought which 
serves life, except as action has aim and purpose. 
These are not to be imagined as dead somewhats 
outside of action, but are recognized as immanent 
power of action's own unfolding. Then action is ful- 
filled in task. Active being finds itself when it finds 
its world-transcendent task. For humanity's accom- 
plishment of its task; in our unrestricted conception 
of humanity, there may be, as we have seen, a central 
energy, a new-creative power, which is itself a personal 
task, with all the conditions and limitations under 
which a human person may accomplish it. The 
Christian confession, presented to mankind to be the 

universal confession, is this: Jesus is our Saviour who 

J 

accomplished His .task and ours; for every member of 
the humanity through which courses the power that 
is at the heart of it, actively depends upon, that central 
accomplishment new-creative of the whole. 

* *-" 

In this view many things which have been declared 
essential to Jesus disappear, and many things belong- 
ing to Him which it is becoming customary to consider 
accidental and transitory, are evidently essential. 
Everything that belonged to His task, even the ap- 
parently most trifling incident, or a superstition of His 
age which He shared and put to use, is of .abiding 
value, because these things are elements of His task: 



216 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

in and from and against these He accomplished Him- 
self. And though we have no record of most of these, 
yet they continue for us in His spiritual personality, 
progressively realized from them. On the other hand, 
all that has been attributed to Him which is not of 
His task no longer concerns us; for example, His 
alleged preexistence, membership in the Trinity, place 
in a plan of salvation. Hie gam outweighs the loss, 
since the gain is for our task, and the loss of all that 
is not for the task is gain. 

But other apparent values disappear, whose loss 
seems real. Q^of these i^ 



Christian presentations have lately been shifting the 
stress to the teaching of Jesus. By emphasizing His 
mastery of the secrets of the spiritual world, the church 
sought to recoup herself in advance for the losses just 
indicated, and which she felt unavoidable. Soon it 
began to be perceived that His authority as teacher 
must be confined to his specialties, morality and reli- 
gion. But in these departments He brought forth 
from His treasures things new and old concerning 
demoniacal possession, and the speedy ending of the 
world, and, in all probability, the continuance of the 
Jewish law till the world's end; all conceived as .reli- 
gious and ethical values, and all with superb inconsis- 
tencies. Signs of change and growth, corrections in 



THE TASK OF JESUS 217 

His thoughts and the expressions of them, have left 
traces in the Gospels, whose interest was to smooth 
away every inconsistency. It would be indeed super- 
fluous to say, that of all moral and religious geniuses 
He is more than the greatest; that in spiritual vision 
and ethical clarity, He dwarfs all others: He speaks 
not as scribes who repeat what Jthey have learned, but 
out of an originality that creates, and transforms 
what it has received. into new creations. But. these 
avowals have nothing to do with His alleged inerrancy. 

A curious phenomenon of our day is the appeal of 
some worshipipers of the teachings of Jesus to historic- 
criticism, beseeching it to allot to the early church 
those reputed sayings of His whose content no modern 
man can accept, leaving to His own authorship the 
words of eternal life. Discriminations of the authentic 
elements of the reports concerning Jesijs are indeed 
among the most valuable clarifyings of Christianity, 
and the final inner harmony of Jesus' task is their 
deepest test, but to undertake them with prejudgment 
is to bring disrepute upon historic criticism and upon 
Jesus as needing a perversion of it. 

The loss of the infallible pedagogy of Jesus is gain 
to those whose sole concern is life's world-transcen- 
dent conquest. For it would be a cancellation of this 
task to have the questionings that belong to it solved 



2i8 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

by Him or another. Even to recreate His answers in 

^ our own souls is not all that man the toiler and searcher 
has to undertake. To transform traditional and en- 
vironing superstition and individual limitation into 

powers of vision and deed, not externally authorita- 
tive, but sufficient for us to overcome by, is enough 
for Him to do, enough for us that He should do. Any- 
thing beyond that would be less than that. One is 
true teacher who takes us not so much into his truth 

./as into his search for truth, not so much to the summits 
of his attainments as into the labor that attains. Or, 
to speak more accurately, truth itself is not an external 
something, to the presence of which we may at length 
hope to come, but is just spirit's self-development." 
Truth itself is continual task and battle of this self- 

/ conquest, which transforms all things into itself. He 
who sufficiently empowers us is supreme teacher, 
whom we reverence not as authority but as energy 
of our unfolding. 

Great is the advance of that faith in Jesus which 
has learned Him as simplest and deepest realization 
of religion, as we recognize in Him that which the 
human child may be to the eternal Father, and accept 
God as He knew Him, the Father of our most child- 
like, manliest trust and obedience and love. Our 
danger here is that we take too lightly His vital faith 



THE TASK OF JESUS 219 

and our own as learned from Him. We make our own 
faith too easy if we assume in Him a sonship won and 
kept too easily. Jesus, filled with the consciousness 
of sonship by the Spirit of the Father dwelling in Him, 
going forth into the awful strife wherein He overcame 
the world, that is not all He had to do. His fellow- 
ship with the Father was not -static, but dynamic; it 
was, because it was ever being attained. Here was the 
hardest toil of His task. In his sonship there is indeed 
no trace of a time when He was in any act or thought 
unreconciled to God. But this signifies that He had 
never failed in the task of bringing into that sonship 
the most recalcitrant elements of experience, and of 
winning continuously in and from and against the 
world the son's deepening life in the eternal. */ 

Therefore in this genuine task not all is unclouded 
confidence of victory, or unwavering vision of the face 
of God. Triumphant exultation in the grace that -is 
hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto 
babes, and that bids the weary and heavy laden come 
to His rest of soul, alternates with utter weariness 
under the burden of the faithless and perverse genera- 
tion. There was the repeated vision of His final 
triumph, and the heavy questioning whether the Son 
of Man should find faith on the earth at His coming. 
There was restfulness in the uifinit.fi purpose, the re- 



220 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

ferring of the evil of every morrow to the Will that 
shapes all things for His children's good; and there was 
the agony that attained the prayer, Thy will be done. 
Even that cry from the cross which we cannot endure 
to suppose His, is not impossible. The deepest and 
holiest fellowship of the human spirit with the Spirit 
all-holy and all-loving belongs to the task of the tran- 
scendent overcoming of the world. 

The emphasis upon the task of Jesus corrects those 
thoughts of Him which ask too little, as well as those 
which ask the too much that is too little. The saying, 
Jesus is our example, appeals by its endeavor to re- 
place christological dogmatisms by an ethical and 
serviceable salvation. But the phrase connotes the 
individualistic deism which is ignorant of vital rela- 
tions and interblendings, and which separates man 
from man no less than from God. Not so did a 
Kempis understand the kindred phrase, The Imitation 
of Christ. One does not become like the hero by copy- > 
ing him. And one does not gam influence by aiming 
to set a good example. Yet let such criticisms keep 
the tenderness which fears to cause any man to stum- 
ble, and the confidence that any earnest approach 
to Jesus ends by entering His vitalizing power, if only f 
we do not stop when He bids us come further. When 
my worship of a noble soul's example becomes aware 



THE TASK OF JESUS 221 

that all he does and attains is his toil and strife; when 
into that interminable struggle of his I am taken; I 
when the powers of his overcoming become mine, that > 
I may overcome, and my life which I had fondly , 
thought might externally resemble his, flows from his \ 

t \ 

into forms not like his, but with his power to trans- I 
form that which I, in my different time and place, must f 
subdue, then I begin to see how Jesus may be source and ) 
center of the supreme task for myself and for all men. ) 
Is the moral integrity of Jesus, which is commonly 
called His sinlessness, consistent with this task? 
Christ's sinlessness, as the traditional theologies have 
formulated Christ, is not a difficult conception, when 
once we suppose that anything whatever can be pred- 
icated of such a Christ, that He can touch the world 
and our. life at all. Deity if that be deity with a 
knowledge impossible to us, with a nature which 
renders it like a warrior invulnerable at every point 
and with a magic sword irresistible, should have no 
difficulty in preserving itself uncontaminate from 
that which has no access to it. When it is said of a 
Christ so formulated, "He was tempted in all points 
like as we are," and when we hear Him describing 
His ministry with the men who were closest to Him, 
"Ye are they who have been with Me in My tempta- 
tions," that which is predicated falls away from the 



222 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

subject so conceived. To think of such a being as 
anything but sinless is a contradiction in terms. 
It is another question with a different value, when 
we confront His task, all the more clearly actual 
and individual^ because the same in nature with that 
which all men have to accomplish, and because the 
center of humanity. 

Goodness in our humanity is identical with the task. 
This goodness is not something above the task, to 
accomplish the task by. It is not something beyond 
the task, for the task to attain. Goodness is con- 
tinual attaining. That in which and from and against 
which the spirit is to be won, and all the limitations 
and conditions to be thus conquered and transformed, 
are essential to the goodness which is just this over- 
coming. It is the task itself which is the exclusion 
of evil, or rather its destruction. In accepting the 
historic humanity of Jesus, in which abides .a divinity 
greater and closer than in all the creeds, we do not 
make His moral integrity impossible. This accept- 
ance first makes it possible. If we avoid the words 
perfect and absolute, it is because we shun the sug- 
gestion of a goodness outside the task, a goodness 
that would not be good at all. It is preferable to 
speak of the holy Jesus, with no reservation in that 
confession. 



THE TASK OF JESUS 223 

Thus the question of Jesus' character assumes a 
deeper earnestness. Where that earnestness is lack- 
ing, Christianity is in principle repudiated. The 
concession, especially when it is a silent evasion, that 
the founder of Christianity lacks that which any 
vital faith makes the reason for turning to Him, takes 
from our humanity and from every soul in it the 
central energy of its task. Christianity disappears 
with the fading out of its distinctive conception of 
sin and its assurance of redemption to the uttermost, 
which its experience identifies with Jesus. To such 
an intensity Jesus is either Saviour or He is nothing 
in comparison. As Saviour He must be sufficient 
to make holy the central energy of the all-inclusive 
life task. 

The explanations and exculpations of sin which men 
have urged outside of Christianity are excluded from 
Christianity. And it is the holy Jesus who has made 
them impossible. Because of His holiness, we know 
that moral evil is not incompleteness to be outgrown. 
It is not a necessary incident in a normal process and 
therefore holding in itself the soul of goodness. It 
cannot be confused with natural evil, as being ac- 
counted for, to the relief of our responsibility, by our 
animal inheritance or our physical organization, 
by our environment, circumstance, fate, nature, or 



224 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

moral incompetence. Whatever powers may be 
exerted by these things of lower than spiritual range, 
in determining the forms of sin, its source and nature 
./' are declared to be a perversity in the seK-determining 
human spirit itself, so declared by the unperverted, 
the holy Jesus. Hindrances to the good are demands 
upon the good to realize itself against them; these 
demands He fulfilled. Sin is contrary to our relation 
to the eternal holiness and love, wherein He stood. 
It is against the Father of our spirits, who opens His 
own self to His children, even as Jesus received Him. 
Therefore sin is against our own souls which must 
live in God's holy spiritual life, which was Jesus' 
dwelling-place. At its least it is our self-disruption, 
for He continually brought every power and experi- 
ence into the unity of the undivided devotion. At its 
culmination it is the annulling of everything normal 
within us, for it loses relation with Him. Because of 
our destined fellowship of holy love with our fellow- 
men, for His task was service and sacrifice, it is chaos 
of the social order and demoralization of the spiritual 
universe. The Christian conviction of sin is darkened 
except as it kneels in the light of His holy task and 
overcoming. 

It is the consciousness of guilt, awakened by the 
holy Jesus, which flings us, without excuse or claim, 



THE TASK OF JESUS 225 

upon the mercy of the eternal holiness, to acknowledge 
the self-incurred moral helplessness. We hunger and 
thirst after a righteousness which shall be God's com- 
plete redemption of us. Impulse of repentance, ideal 
of moral attainment, assurance of divinely wrought 
moral and spiritual salvation, confidence in God's 
gracious will and inexhaustible power to save, rev- 
elation of God's own inviting holiness which can be 
none other than the sacrificial love of the crucified, 
all these are found in the lif e, individual, concrete, 
personal, of Him in whose will and heart and thought, 
and expressive word and deed, the eternal goodness 
has its home. 

Nothing is more dishearteningly dilettante in the 
flippancies of our time, which may also occupy them- 
selves with Jesus, than the self-complacent presump- < 
tion of appropriating those elements of His conscious- 
ness which we flatter ourselves are congenial to us, 
as His filial consciousness of God, His enthusiasms of 
service, while the moral difference between Him and 
ourselves is disregarded, with the fundamental rela- 
tion to Him disregarded which is given in that differ- 
ence. This is to make Jesus like ourselves, instead f 
of striving to be like Him. This is to deny Him by the 
confession of Him. This is also to lose those elements 
of His moral and religious consciousness which we 



226 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

superficially identify in His experience and our own. 
To know His sonship to the Father we must know our 
disparity from Him who was ever in accord with the 
Father's will, while our filial relation is accomplished 
in the divine forgiveness of transgressions. This 
disparity and the others must ever continue, for the 
forgiveness of sin, with its restoration to the hallowing 
grace of God, is not an incident of the Christian life, 
but its abiding source and continually deepening con- 
sciousness. The spiritual victory of Jesus is the origin 
of Christianity, the energy of its unfolding, and the 
strength of its appeal. 

Considerations bearing on the holiness of Jesus 
which fall short of the innermost Christian conviction, 
experience, and redemptive power, may yet clarify 
this fundamental Christian consciousness and issue 
in it. They will help to manifest the character of Jesus 
^ as the world-transcending task and victory. 

This service is rendered even by the allegation that 
such holiness is contrary to human possibilities, and 
that it denies the very conception of man and is 
therefore impossible to the man Jesus. Strange confu- 
sions of thought and moral consciousness are involved 
in this objection. Such conceptions cannot keep any 
significance in the words sin and holiness, for both 
are made at once normal and abnormal. Or when it 



THE TASK OF JESUS 227 

is more vulgarly said: There is no more likelihood of a 
perfect specimen of humanity than of a perfect 
specimen of any other species, this crudely concep- 
tualrargument which begs the question, moves outside 
the realm of moral values and has no necessary ap- 
plication to a moral being. Considerations of this 
nature gain dignity and import when they assume the 
evolutionary form. To our present fashion of thought 
it may well seem a contradiction that a perfect char- 
acter may be realized in a process ^and indeed an early 
stage of the process of age-long moral evolution. 
The Christian answer may forbear to urge the con- 
fusion here between physical and moral processes. 
Its answer is: Holiness is not a completed moral 
attainment, which is indeed an unmoral conception, 
for in it moral action ceases, but holiness is itself the 
task and conflict of the transcendent overcoming of 
the world. To an evolution that denies moral values 
this answer has no pertinence, but such an evolution 
has no pertinence, either to Christianity, or to any 
moral consciousness. 

Such misconceptions are largely derived from that 
dogma which, most blaspheming humanity, blas- 
phemes Jesus. Its evil impression remains, even hi 
those who have repudiated it; and its corollaries are 
not always perceived to depend upon the discredited 



228 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

theorem. In mankind, we are informed, corrupted by 
the fall, there is total depravity and inability of moral 
good. Therefore in order that redemption may be, 
Jesus, mankind's Saviour, is inhumanly divine, as at- 
tested by His miraculous birth from a virgin, though 
it would be better for this scheme if He had not been 
born at all. The moment the virgin birth is resolved 
into a legend, and Jesus is believed to be what He 
declares and presents Himself, then according to 
this argument the universal human corruption would 
attach to Him. The cure for these perverse imagin- 
ings is to learn from Jesus that real holiness which toils 
/ and overcomes. 

Not all the sources of the confusion are so unworthy, 
though this one continually exerts its influence upon 
the others, concealing from us, in the name of Chris- 
tianity, what normal humanity may be. Holiness is 
not our complete moral attainment, for that can 
I never be. It is not to be judged by its content, but 
by its will. The moral content of a child's character 
is very small. Vast realms of moral endeavor are as 
yet unmoralized. Many impulses are still in their 
animal stage; moral judgments are not yet applied 
to them. Innumerable are the mistakes of action, 
estimated by the man's clarified moral judgment, 
which has no application, for it does not yet exist. 



THE TASK OF JESUS 229 

Traditional moralities are accepted without correction 
or criticism. The child's obedience may be to pre- 
cepts which he later spurns as evil. His very trust 
may go out to that which proves to be ethically un- 
worthy. He hears and questions the doctors of the 
law, blind leaders of the blind. His love is deceived. 
Yet if the will of the child is to do the right, as the 
child's immaturity conceives the right, we call one 
monstrous who blames that blamelessness and in- 
humanly refuses to love and revere the childlike holi- 
ness. 

Through every stage of His spiritual self-realization, 
God's child refused the homage due to the consum- 
mate world-transcendent goodness; "Why callest thou 
Me good! One is good, that is God." God's child 
included Himself in the prayer, "Forgive us our 
debts;" for that strange word is unaccountable, except 
as spoken by Jesus and for this reason, the contrition 
of human incompleteness before the demands of God. 
Jesus united Himself with His brethren, not in their 
sin, but in uncompleted obligation. And if there be 
anything historic in the word attributed to Jesus by 
the Gospel of the Hebrews, when, just before His 
baptism, He denied any consciousness of committed 
sin, but would not affirm his sinlessness, leaving that 
to God's judgment, the explanation lies in this direc- 



230 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tion. The will that wills the good, and increasingly 
makes the good the content of character, is made per- 
y/fect through discipline and suffering. This is the only 
holiness that can be the central energy of our task of 
overcoming the world. 

The holiness of Jesus cannot indeed be completely 
established by the Gospel records, so long as we keep 
the Jesus to which they witness in an external relation 
to our spiritual life. But through these records, and 
from the actual, the historic Jesus, and in Him, this 
redemptive power is appropriated which is the final 
vindication of His holiness. We do not accept the 
undiscriminating denial that the unclouded holiness 
of Jesus can be established historically. For history 
has come to have a different significance to us from 
that which is connoted in this apparent profundity. 
From this significance we do not separate His actual 
life, as the records of it make it accessible. Nor does 
it seem a very astute reflection that the sinlessness 
of Jesus cannot be established historically because we 
cannot summon to our inquisition all His words and 
actions, all the thoughts and intents of His heart. 
The presentation made by the Gospels is not all of the 
final test, but it is a part of the one historic test. His- 
tory is the significance of events. Even a single event 
tnay reveal the doer's essential quality. 



THE TASK OF JESUS 231 

One of the many important considerations in this 
field is the absence of any trace of repentance in Jesus, 
with His peerless moral discernment and delicacy, 
which were ever centered upon His accomplishment of 
the eternal righteousness. This is consistent only with 
the severely-tested consciousness of having always 
been well-pleasing to the Father. This consciousness 
is made. the more significant by His sane insistence 
upon His own moral incompleteness in the presence 
of infinite holiness. For there is intimated no per- 
versity, nor any break with a sin-stained past, but 
that His character was formed in very humanness, 
through moral conflicts in which He continually over- * 
came. With this self-knowledge is historically con- 
nected the confession by the earliest Christian com- 
munity, of the divine value of its Lord however 
peculiarly expressed for this conviction arises from 
the companionship of their apostolic leaders with the 
holy Master, and its deeper evidence was the moral 
new-creation in the life of every disciple. In this his- 
toric unity is contained the experience of any soul in 
whom the ancient evangel has issued in a new life, 
ever mighty in its dependence upon Jesus, ever con- 
trite before Him. 

The importance of the Gospel records in regard to 
the character of Jesus, is not that they omit any men- 



232 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

tion of fault and impute to Him the performance of 
every duty. Such blamelessness has been attributed 
by other biographers to their heroes. It is not that 
Jesus is the teacher of a perfect ethic, even if that 
claim could be urged without discrimination, for His 
fundamental significance is not in His teaching. But 
that which the Gospels disclose is a character that 
transcends all moral norms not derived from Him, and 
yet unifies and realizes men's stragglings after good. 
This character comes with the mission to impart itself, 
and with the consciousness that it so realizes itself as 
to be sufficient for the impartation; a goodness either 
not at all, or all in all. The stammering attempts 
of the authors of the Gospel to describe Him, the 
inconsistencies of their presentations of Him, show 
how far He was above their utmost moral reach, 
though they lived in the moral power that came from 
Him. 

Jesus' character was not, as presented in the three 
historic Gospels and the historical remainders of the 
fourth, the goodness of an ideal lifted above the task 
of realizing spiritual manhood. He repudiated such 
a goodness. It was not the goodness of one who has 
already transformed every element of life into full- 
orbed perfectness, though His moral stature might 
make it seem so. His goal was to be attained. It was 



THE TASK OF JESUS 233 

not a goodness that makes Him an external authority 
even in the moral realm, which would then disappear. 
Our problems of life still remain for our own solution. 
Visions of the good are for our own beholding. Moral 
attainments are for our own free energizing. The 
source and center of humanity's moral and spiritual 
task makes that task our own in every particular and 
in unrestricted scope. 

There is presented in the Jesus of the Gospels un- 
deviating faithfulness to the clarifyings of ethical 
judgment, with the accumulation of moral power and 
the continual transformation of all things into the 
spiritual. And from the unknown years before His 
ministry no cloud dims His integrity or darkens His 
joy of pleasing the Holy Father. Yet we must be 
careful how we classify Jesus in that type of religious 
experience which attains by growth, not by revolution, 
as in contrast with the religious personality of Paul. 
Jesus' disposition was such that His moral insight 
and power, unless they were a holy growth from the 
beginning, could be attained only by revolutionary 
catastrophies of unimaginable violence, with effects 
beyond anything in the great apostle. His temper- 
ament was of an unparalleled intensity. Catastrophic, 
soul-shattering, are His moral and religious crises, 
with results ever afterward evident and ineffaceable: 



234 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

witness the crises of His baptism, of that revolution 
in His mission which tradition expressed by His trans- 
figuration; witness Gethsemane. l/tfet there is no 
trace of the catastrophe of sin and its repentance. 
That He in His moral and religious intensities incon- 
ceivable by us could have refrained from evidencing 
such a crisis if experienced, is simply impossible. Such 
a supposition involves not merely a diminution of the 
Jesus of the Gospels, or His impediment; it would be a 
change of essential quality. It would leave to no act 
or word of His that quality which makes them His 
acts and words. 

Only in that consciousness could His mission be 
undertaken. A light upon the moral consciousness of 
Jesus is the doctrine, current in His time, of the sin- 
lessness of the expected Messiah. This was not a 
difficult conception to those who attributed sinlessness 
to Abraham also, and to other heroes of Israelitish 
piety. But it was a thought which Jesus could not 
hold lightly. ^Without the consciousness of having 
always been well-pleasing to the Father He could not 
conceive the possibility of being chosen by Him to the 
office of Messiah. Only in this consciousness could 
He obey the call in utter humility, in meekness and 
lowliness of heart, in self-renouncing acceptance of 
the divine will. Nor need this consideration lose its 



THE TASK OF JESUS 235 

force to those who question whether He regarded 
Himself as Messiah, though that negative supposition 
is appearing more and more clearly an anachronism. 
If He did not formulate His mission, with its personal 
relation to His Father and to His brethren, in terms of 
, Messiahship, it was because He felt it too deep and 
holy, for that formulation. His was a religious con- 

X 

sciousness "that either accepted and broke through all 
traditional Messianic conceptions, or else had no need 
of them. To an historic appreciation of Jesus which 
refuses to modernize Him the latter supposition is the 
more difficult, even when other objections to it are 
disregarded. In either case the unshadowed con- 
sciousness of moral integrity before His Father was 
indispensable. 

The integrity of Jesus knelt before the absolute 
holiness in a humility without a claim. This moral 
sanity is in contrast with that lack of confidence in 
Him which fears to rise from the Christ of dogma to 
Jesus of jeality, and hesitates to send the im- 
maculate champion into an actual battle, but would 
keep his virtue untested. He, leaving the morally 
complete to the absolutely holy, and thus depending 
upon it unreservedly, trusted the perfect fatherhood 
to be satisfied with faithfulness to the task, so long, *> 
arduous, sore-beset, of the transcendent world-con- 



236 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

quest, whereby He won our spiritual manhood in and 
from and against the world. 

Such considerations are not the less important be- 
cause they cannot of themselves, as external data, 
produce that conviction of the moral integrity of 
Jesus which is of final value.^We are not persuaded of 
His moral sufficiency so long as it remains an object 
of admiration. Its excellence as presented to us may 
attract us to that which is able to become power 
within us, but His holiness can never be sufficiently 
estimated till we put it to the inner proof. As our 
knowledge of our fellowmen generally is not inferred 
from the presented phenomena which mediate it, 
but is an interior recognition of soul by kindred 
soul, so with that knowledge in its consummate 
realization, which is the assurance of the holy Jesus 
by the inner life energized and penetrated by His 
historic self. Nor need any man wait for a conclusion 
from facts as external, before undertaking the world- 
transcending task in His power. When His task is 
attempted, or when any ethical element of humanity 
unfolds its nature unto His task, then .His achieve- 
ment makes us new men for the supreme and inevitable 
undertaking, with new consciousness of power to 
accomplish it. To overcome in His overcoming is to 
V be satisfied with the character of Jesus. 



THE TASK OF JESUS 237 

The Christian conviction of sin is Jesus' creation, 
and no other contrition approaches its depth and 
earnestness. It is not a result of His teaching merely, 
except as His teaching is an expression of Himself. 
It is not that His moral teaching is reinforced by 
His character, but His character is the illumination,^^ 
and His words are mighty because they are of it. 
The Christian conviction of sin is not the effect of any 
dogma or of any scheme or plan into which Christ 
is supposed to enter. All these are perverted render- 
ings of His new-creative power of all- judging and all- 
redeeming holiness, and from them we return to Hun. 
The Christian conviction of sin does not precede Him, 
derived from a teaching of the fall of man, or from any 
experience, not produced by Him, of sin and its misery. 
The sense of moral need, worthlessness, and ill-desert 
is indeed a force that turns toward Jesus, but it be- 
comes intense to receive His salvation when His 
holiness develops it, rather creates a new quality 
within it, even the faith that receives His power to 
save. This creative power of conviction is just His 
historic self, in the sense which that word historic 
attains to one who comes into touch with the real / 
Jesus; not a conception of Him as apart from mankind 
and human life, and then somehow brought into con- 
nection with us, but just His character purely achieved 



238 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

amid all the limitations of our humanity, and glorious 
just in the accomplishment of its task, how glorious, 
only the ever deepening comprehension of that ac- 
complishment can make plain to us. His revelation 
of what we men are -includes Himself in its impla- 
cable light, and finds Him pure light, since He is that 
light's source. And the soul which is brought under 
conviction of sin from the holy Jesus, turns for re- 
demption not to any dogma concerning Him, but 
just to Him, as life of purity and love. To the Chris- 
tian experience when it clarifies itself from alien in- 
trusions, no conception of Jesus is possible which 
compromises or doubts His holy character. And 
while this assurance can, from its nature, be complete 
only in this faith in Jesus, yet every man is open to 
that evangel, which commends and vindicates itself 
as the one evangel of a moral redemption where the 
heart can rest and the spirit strive on forever. 

Thus Jesus is not an example for imitation, though 
one who begins there may be brought from example 
to indwelling power. Jesus is not a teacher whose 
sayings we accept because He said them, though He 
leads us into that searching, that unfolding of the 
spirit which is itself the truth. Jesus is not Son of 
God without our conflict to attain that heritage; but 
in faithfulness tested to the uttermost He realizes 



THE TASK OF JESUS 239 

sonship to the Father, with power to make us His I . 
brethren. Jesus is not the performer of certain con- ( 
ditions prerequisite to our salvation, though His/ 
actual life and death and victory over death are thei 
source of our salvation, grace by us unmerited. Ouiy 
union with Jesus is not to be mystically apprehended, x 
though mystical experiences may, if ethical at heart,^ 
express our joy and wonder in the sufficiency for us of ( 
His overcoming, and we must learn that His ethical j 
and spiritual indwelling are more inward than all 
imaginings, deeper than anything given in the world 

s 

of sense, closer than any space, more immediate 
than any time. 

It is in ethical and spiritual relations that a man 
becomes one with his fellowman, and that the one 
humanity is formed; and these unities are wrought by 
the actual achievements of great souls. There have 
been in history overcomings for millions of lives to 
conquer by directly. Though the memory of these 
achievements be lost, and we become ignorant of 
the powers that have thus lifted humanity toward 
its summit where men meet, yet these uniting energies 
do not grow weaker for any distance or any lapse of 
time; therefore in and from and against space and 
time they win the universal and eternal. The su- 
preme victory, the victory of Jesus, is the same in 



240 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

nature and operation with these triumphs of the soul, 
that it may be their consummation. Yet as supreme 
it stands above the rest, that they may be trans- 
formed into His victory. His victory sweeps into the 
heart of every toiler who will receive it, the world 
over and history through, and out beyond our mortal 
ranges wherever the task essential to spiritual beings 
must be performed. This vitalizing source and irradi- 
ating center energizes the great task which humanity 
has to accomplish, and unites humanity into the 
unity of the task. It both completes and new-creates 
humanity with sufficient powers for spiritual self- 
realization. It fulfills in its consummate achieve- 
ment everything that man and other spiritual crea- 
tions have to do in this world and beyond. Let it 
be said again, that with this conception of Jesus, 
this faith in Him, we need not make a distinction, 
in His mission and message, between the temporal and 
the eternal, the kernel and the shell, the absolute and 
the conditioned, something in Him to be kept and 
something to be cast away; for it is all the one Jesus of 
the task in which we overcome. We need no longer 
separate the historic and the ideal, since just the task 
He wrought is of universal and eternal scope. 

We are constrained to say, "The Holy Jesus," 
and holiness is separateness from all except the 



THE TASK OF JESUS 241 

highest that can be, yet we say, "The Holy Jesus," 
as we think of Him in closest encounter with the 
world. This combination is possible only if His 
task, even the task which He makes possible for us, / 
is the world-transcending task. This is the task of 
which He is the original, taking into Himself all 
premonitions of it, and vindicating it as alone able 
to complete every soul and mankind. The Holy 
Jesus is center and source of humanity new-created 
by Him. In His overcoming alone can we overcome. 



CHAPTER VI 

JESUS' ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HIS TASK 

JESUS' accomplishment of His world-transcending 
task, under the conditions and limitations which are 
essential to it as the central energy of -the task of 
humanity, coincides with the progress of His concep- 
tion of His Gospel. ^<For His Gospel is His own inner 
life. Neither life-task nor evangel is complete at 
the beginning of His mission. Both have to be at- 
tained together, as one. Only the especially important 
elements of this process can be touched upon here, 
and they very briefly; 

Jesus' first announcement of His Gospel was in 
substance, "Repent: for the Kingdom of God is 
at hand."^We are to trace first the deepening of 
the meaning of His demand of Repentance,^md then 
the significance of His promise of the speedy coming 
of the kingdom of God. The former is the condition 
of the enjoyment of the latter. /The kingdom is to 
come both for judgment and redemption. It will 
bring redemption only to those who repent. The 

word translated repent clearly denotes a .complete 

242 



v 



JESUS' TASK 243 

change of conduct and inner life. How did Jesus 
conceive that change which he demanded? 

To Jesus, born under the law, its faithful disciple 
to the last, the repentance to which God offered 
the benefits of His Kingdom must be the faithful 
keeping of His law, the ancestral law of Israel. To 
Jesus the scribes sat in Moses* seat. He grew up as 
the third evangelist's exquisite story represents Him, 
hi docile and eager reverence toward the law and its 
expounders. Yet His heart felt more deeply and His 
eyes saw more clearly the actual religious needs of the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel; and in Him, handi- 
craftsman by necessity, man of the people, grew the 
perception that scribal amplifications of the law simply 
could not be kept by the poor. It was a physical 
impossibility; no poor man could observe all these 
pharisaic restrictions, bear these burdens too heavy 
to be borne, and support himself and his dependents. 
It was a moral impossibility; the obligations to others 
imposed by God could not/be transferred to God as 

/ 

an acceptable sacrifice. *His must be a Gospel that 
could be preached to the poor. He must seek and 
save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Not the 
keeping of the elaborate additions to the law would 
make the impending kingdom salvation and not judg- 
ment. But the repentance to a righteousness access!- 



244 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

ble to all sorts and conditions of men, and which 
makes the impending catastrophe blessing, not doom, 
must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and 
pharisees. This exceeding could not be in outward 
observance, but must be in a righteousness whereby 
the law is taken into the inner life. "Blessed are 
the pure in heart, for they shall see God," in the vision 
which shall come with the coming of the kingdom. 
Jhe repentant change must be to a righteousness 
to which the hateful thought is murder, the lustful 
glance adultery, a righteousness which is a new moral 
creation in the springs of life. Outward observances 
well-pleasing to the Father must be outflowings of 
love to God in all the powers of heart and will and 
spiritual energy, and to every man that one can neigh- 
bor, as to oneself, especially to those who cannot 
repay, and to those by whom one is hated and de- 
spised, for here love's genuineness has its test. To 
that righteousness men must turn in order to receive 
the blessings of the coming kingdom. 

Yet by one of those inconsistencies of Jesus which 
reveal to us that His attainments were of the task, to 
which limitation and inconsistency are essential, this 
evangel, which is implicitly the transcending of legal- 
ism and the penetration of life by a different prin- 
ciple, seemed to Him to be law's fulfillment as law. 



JESUS' TASK 245 

Still the Mosaic law was law to Him, and His 
amendments of it were not perceived to be its abroga- 
tion. Still its forms and ceremonies remained in 
force. It is probable that He said something like 
this: "Till Heaven and earth pass, not one jot or one 
tittle of the law shall fail till all be fulfilled," as 
jot and tittle. 

Yet from His fundamental demand of repentance 
the legalistic limitation has in principle fallen away. 
Even hi the assertion of legal traditionalism just 
quoted, the words "Till Heaven and earth pass" are 
in contradiction to the temper of His people, to whom 
the impending redemption was to be the intensifica- 
tion of the legal system. To him every jot and tittle 
of the law were soon to passywith the inferior order to 
which they .pertained. i^The kingdom of God would 
bring a higher principlefeven as its essential revelation 
in His own heart had transformed life, and must trans- 

'\ 

form it wherevef His personal power should extend. 
That He kept these limitations hi His own observance, 
except when higher considerations obliterated them, 
and that in His precepts He taught them, offering a 
salvation transcendent of the law in the name of the 
ancient law which He made impossible, manifests 
Jesus to us not as external authority, but as working 
out hi actual conditions, and hi limitations of heredity 



246 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and environment, the task that by these things tran- 
scends them. 

But this inner life of renewed character must un- 
fold its religious depths, and to this inner life, spirit- 
ually apprehended, the blessings of the kingdom are 1 
to be given. v/There is no trace in Jesus of a separation 
between morality and religion. But with the deepen- 
ing of the ethical and spiritual into holy love to God 
and man, the unity is more deeply conceived. The 
life that dispenses itself to men in sacrificial service 
ascends to the Father in a child's devotion. These are 
not two currents, but one flood. But to the religious 
consciousness of Jesus nothing good goes from man 
to God which has not first come from God to man. 
Therefore all that is offered to God and to man as to 
God can aim at nothing lower than its source and es- 
sential quality, even God's perfectness, which is most 
practically conceived as His mercy, forgiveness, and 
love to our fellowmen, His children. It is this right- 
eousness which is to win the joy of the Kingdom, 
rendering the impending catastrophe not doom but 
blessing. But this righteousness, being unto God, is 
from Him. It is. a righteousness of faith, not in the 
forensic sense, not as an external and mediated grace, 
but in a relation to God most vitally and personally 
ethical. 



JESUS' TASK 247 

Here we have the attainment of Jesus' ultimate de- 
mand upon the human soul. The faith into which 
the repentance has deepened from its legalistic ap- 
prehension receives the blessing of the kingdom and 
fuses with the spiritual apprehension of the kingdom. 
The power of this faith in Jesus' attainment of it, and 
in His impartation of it, we may see to be the basal 
energy of his task and ours. 

The very character and spirit of God is divine 
love's offer, even to the most sinful who will receive 
it. The lost son throws himself upon the Father's 
heart in contrition without a claim. The child for- 
given and restored lives in the Father's house in stead- 
fast confidence of the Father's care and in loyal accept- 
ance of the Father's will. Even the basest receive 
this Gospel into hearts which it changes, into lives 
which it renews. The woman that was a sinner washes 
her Saviour's feet with her tears and wipes them with 
her hair, for in His holy love the holy love of the Father 
has come even to her. The thought of merit and re- 
ward is obliterated. The legalistic impediments fall 
away from the religion of Jesus, which has become the 
pure and consummate religion of redemption. Re- 
pentance, its condition, has deepened into the life of y 
faith, faith dependently receptive and inwardly ener- 
gized by the perfect holiness and love, our Father. 



248 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

,/ This faith is for every man. It is saving faith for 
the unfallen, the sinless, no less than for the vilest. 
It is faith independent of varieties of religious ex- 
perience. It belongs to the Pauline type no more than 
to other types. The man driven frantic by curse of 
unforgiven sin, miserably aware of the law of death 
in his members, and the calmly aspirational soul, 
with consciousness of moral dignity, to whom things 
good and true are natural, find themselves together 
in this faith. The purity of womanhood, the innocence 
of childhood, every nobility as well as every sinfulness, 
accept God's grace with equal humility without a 
claim, even as Jesus did, and to this faith, in all sorts 
and conditions of believers, is revealed the- holiness of 
the Father and the misery and horror of sin. This 
faith is not conditioned by the need of forgiveness, 
though it brings to light every moral evil within us, 
however deeply concealed; and as we sinful men 
humbly accept God's free mercy, there comes the con- 
sciousness of the pardon which is all peace, all recon- 
ciliation, the welcome of the lost into the Father's 
house, new life from the dead, in the love of the 
Father's heart. Yet this faith must ever be the 
essential in unf oldings of holy life beyond our earthly 
premonitions. It is faith of the sinful woman; it is 
faith of the Master who bade her go in peace, forgiven, 



JESUS' TASK 249 

i 
saved. It is faith for all His brethren, because it is 

the faith of which He is author and perfecter. It is 
the energy of His task and ours. 

Christianity must return to Jesus' faith from all 
lower faiths, thus appropriating whatever these lower 
faiths have to disclose of applications and outworkings 
of His faith. Christianity must rise from the faith of 
Paul to the faith of Jesus, from faith in Jesus 'death, 
as a postulate of salvation, to faith in the divine salva- 
tion itself, which is faith in God Himself, and which is 
most profoundly realized by the faith in which Jesus 
died. The Pauline faith finds its own nature when it 
sweeps away every intermediary between God and 
man, between God coming to save and the soul di- 
rectly accepting His forgiving mercy. There is for 
every disciple of Jesus His own direct access to the 
Father. 

This faith, wrought out in Jesus' transcendent con-* 
quest of the world by the spiritual manhood which 
is God's very life in Him, makes Him the source and 
center of the new humanity, which is of. His faith's 
creation. His life-task of faith is supreme life-task for 
us all, and gives life to mankind. To accept the faith 
of Jesus is most real acceptance of faith hi Jesus, for in 
His faith He is our Saviour. Every element of Jesus' 
task, wrought in faith, including His limitations of 



250 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

thought and teaching and deed, belongs in the source 
and center of the new humanity. His cross, where He 
finished faith's earthly task that was given Him to do, 
is, in a sense not speculative, dogmatic, unethically 
mystical, but in a significance altogether real, moral 
and spiritual, the indispensable power of humanity's 
task of world-transcending realization in God. 

This overcoming faith goes out in exclusive desire 
to the salvation which God offers. It is hunger and 
thirst. It agonizes for the highest good. All other 
desires are annulled by it. A man sells all that he 
hath for this discovered treasure, this pearl of great 
price. One's own life weighs nothing against it. The 
soul detaches itself from every lower good, from 
every purpose which is not this supreme spiritual 
end, and from its own life, hi recognition that only in 
its own deeper life can it find itself. Yet these inten- 
sities are sane and normal, because ethical. Whatever 
physical excitements or nervous extravagancies may 
be aroused with them fall away, leaving the inten- 
sities of a steadfast mind. The faintest beginnings of 
this faith are recognized and fostered by Jesus, in the 
all-comprehending tenderness of the Father, not as 
substitutes for the faith that conquers all things, but 
because the weakest faith is of a latent omnipotence 
comparable to the growths implicit in the least of all 



JESUS' TASK 251 

seeds. The bruised reed is not broken, for the all- 
healing life-power is in it. The smoking wick is not ex- 
tinguished, but nursed into flame and illumination. 
Even to these beginnings power is accessible for the 
utmost of self-renunciation and appropriation of the 
spiritual universe. The supreme good which faith de- 
sires inspires faith increasingly. The appeal is of one's 
spiritual self coming to itself. The proffered good is 
the heavenly Father's care, the Father's heart, the 
Father's holy love, all as inner possessions. This/ 
good is purely ethical, as God is the alone good. It is 
ethical life consummately spiritual, God's holy love- 
life, God himself offering all that perfection can offer 
to the trust of His child. 

This hungering and thirsting, seeking, striving, is 
yet just the reception of that which God gives. There 
is no inconsistency here. Jesus is not inconsistent hi 
the depths of His religious consciousness. The blessing 
of the Kingdom is bestowed by that which is absolutely 
above ourselves, the perfect from the Perfect, the in- 
exhaustible from the Infinite, and then the unfathom- 
able good rises from depths of our own spiritual being, 
which have now become aware that all their springs 
are in God. From mere grace and mercy, rather out 
of love and fatherhood, God gives His own holiness, 
love, and blessedness. All our awakened longings oil- 



252 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

minate, when, like a little child oblivious of every- 
thing but the thing it wants, we hold out our hands, 
open our hearts, to receive the supreme good as it can 
only be received, in the faith of a little child. Every 
condition except the simple receptiveness of faith 
disappears. Every possibility of human desert or 
merit is done away. Jesus claims none for Himself. 
He receives the Kingdom of God as a little child. 
The gift is wholly of God who gives. Our part is to 
receive, becoming as little children with our faith's 
author and perfecter. J/o we enter the Kingdom of 
God/and keep there the child's trusting heart. 

Jesus' faith is the acceptance of the Father's 
will in every allotment, it is the enduring of every 
test, the conquering of every temptation, and the 
accomplishment of every redemptive mission. All 
things that we ought to do become the accord of 
man's will with God's will. So with the duties which 
must pass, as faith works itself out of their range, 
such as faithful observance of the Jewish law, ac- 
cepted as God's requirement; so with duties which 
belong to abnormal conditions, as duties of the slave, 
the oppressed; so with duties of individual limitation, 
of mistake and ignorance. These docilities are one 
hi nature with the enfranchised service of spirits 
that stand before God's throne, with clear comprehen- 



JESUS' TASK 253 

sion of His design. All unfoldings of the new divine 
life are in the faith which is nothing less than spiritual 
manhood fulfilling itself in the infinite Spirit. 

This faith accomplishes itself in the battle and 
conquest of the world. Here in the world is its task 
of self-attainment. It is a world-destroying faith, 
the unconditional renunciation of that which has 
been, or else would be, the heart's desire. Daily it 
stands with loins girded, to take up the cross, to/ 
follow the Master of the spiritual life to the utter- 
most of pain and shame. In all circumstances this 
readiness is proffered, and every element of life is 
brought within this renunciation. It is world-tran- 
scending faith. The lower good drops from the hand 
that grasps the supreme worth. The loss of life finds 
life and keeps it. The rejection of the world is exultant 
joy of the hidden treasure discovered, the incompar- 
able pearl one's own. Every element of life is trans- 
formed into the spiritual. In and from and agains 
the world, humanity gains that one precious thing 
its own soul; gains it in consecration and devotion^ 
as the will of the father, the life of the Eternal. 

The command, Repent, and the promise of the 
impending kingdom of God, fuse together; as the 
former becomes more than a condition of the promise, 
and realizes itself as the inner life of faith, beyond 



254 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

which God's supreme promise cannot pass; and as 
the good that is promised becomes the blessedness 
Oy of the inner life. Turning now to the consideration 
of Jesus' announcement of the kingdom of God, 
we may see from this side also, that Jesus, in His 
personal realization of the kingdom, is source and 
center of the new humanity. This new creation is by 
His accomplishment of the human task of the tran- 
pcendent world-conquest. We may expect to find in 
His realization of the kingdom of God greater in- 
consistencies than are contained in His command to 
repent, inconsistencies that transform the burning 
hopes of His people, which were most intense in His 
loyal heart, into the spirit's self-attainings. 

The kingdom of God, at hand, impending, con-, 
notes another kingdom, present, governed by the 
opposite principle, and ruled by God's archenemy. 
Neither kingdom can endure admixture of the other. 
The good comes as transcendent catastrophe, to 
sweep away the evil. The kingdom of God is not yet 
here: it will come soon and suddenly. The kingdom, 
of Satan is here: yet a little while and it shall not be. 
Men are not called to work or to fight for the divine 
kingdom. Though it may come more speedily for 

/ 

prayers and keeping of the law, it is for God to send, 
and men must watch for it. 



JESUS' TASK 255 

From the variegated and discordant Jewish ex- 
pectations of the day of the Lord, when God's reign 
and kingdom should burst upon the earth out of 
Heaven, the hope which had most appealed to Jesus 
is not represented by fantastic dreams of grandeur 
nor by volcanic outbursts of hate against Roman 
usurpation. In the hearts of the lowly, among whom 
Jesus was born, the hope of Israel's redemption took 
such forms as are expressed in the lyrics of the open- 
ing of the Third Gospel: 

"That we being delivered from fear under the hands 

of our enemies, 

May serve Him hi holiness and righteousness 
In His presence every day of our lives, 
Because of the merciful heart of our God, 
By whose compassions the dayspring from on high 

shall visit us, 
To shine upon us sitting in darkness and death 

shadow, 
To make firm our feet along the way of peace." 

Out of the moral and religious hope of those who 
indulged no dreams of empire, and were ambitious 
for no conditions beyond those favorable to righteous- 
ness and holiness and undisturbed service of their 
fathers' God, Jesus poured the beatitudes of the 
kingdom, upon hungry, suffering, oppressed bodies 



256 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and hearts, that asked only for the deliverance which 
is suitable to meek lovers and makers of peace. 

The expectation of Jesus, as reported even in the 
earliest sources, has been so overlaid with the re- 
flections and imaginations of the early church, that it 
would seem impossible to recover His thought were 
it not for one clarifying phenomenon: that of the 
frequent representation of His evident confidence 
in the immediate coming of the kingdom. We may 
never be able to distinguish completely Jesus' own 
sayings from later apocalyptic fragments, whose in- 
trusion is suspected upon many pages of the Synoptic 
Gospels. Yet criticism has corrected the hoary 
error that Jesus expected the consummation ages 
away, while the early church looked for it soon, He 
anticipating a process of evolution, His followers a 
catastrophe. On the contrary, He sends His disciples 
through Israel, warning them away from Samaria 
and the Gentile settlements of the Holy Land, spurring 
them on, lest the Kingdom of tjod should overtake 
them before this mission is accomplished, and should 
surprise a people unwarned. And when the expe- 
rience of His Galilean ministry compelled the Son of 
Man, hi the mysterious purpose of God, to the moral 
necessity of suffering and dying before He might 
come victorious, as the prophet had foretold, there 



JESUS' TASK 257 

is no radical change of anticipation. We may picture 
Him as the Gospels represent Him, with His face 
steadfast toward Jerusalem, and straitened in spirit 
until He should accomplish the baptism which was 
to establish Him on the right hand of Power and to 
bring Him in the clouds of Heaven. 

All that is attributed to Him of prediction of delay 
between His death and the kingdom's triumph is 
evidently not from Him. Protracted intermission 
between His first and second comings, intercalation 
of the Anti-christ, postponements to allow this or 
that event first to come to pass, have other origins. 
The New Testament apocalyptic in general is not so 
much announcement of the end, as explanation of its 
repeated postponement, till the exhausted apology 
betakes itself to the grandiose impertinence, that one 
day is with the Lord as a thousand years. With the 
hope deferred there increased in many currents of the 
early church chiliasms, sensationalisms, materialisms, 
and mythologies, which are none of His, though in- 
evitably tending to be attributed to Him. His own 
hope, however held and expressed in the forms of 
His day, was undiminished to the last, notwithstand- 
ing His deepening thought of the kingdom, because 
His expectation was consistent with the kingdom's 
nature as He conceived it, its world-transcending 



258 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and world-destroying spirituality. Therefore there 
increased in Him to the last, the vivid hope and the 
passionate urgency of the impending glory and doom 
of the kingdom of God at hand. Thus were intensified 
in Jesus those fundamental elements of the Jewish 
eschatology which were common to most of the differ- 
ent forms and shades of it. It was to be catastrophic; 
there was no place for the secular processes of social 
evolution to which we moderns look for the ameliora- 
tions of humanity. Itjvas to be from Godjjlpne, 
without human cooperation, save the part which God 
had ordained and announced through prophecy for 
that mysterious intermediary, the Son of Man. In 
such an expectation there might be the most material 
chiliasms, yet such an expectation might be, for a 
true Semitic soul, the natural expression of the tran- 
scendent conquest of the world. 

That the latter was the result for Jesus is especially 
indicated in two elements of, His anticipation, both 
characteristic of KimT^-One is His elimination of 
the conditions of the present age from the impending 
order. Redeemed mankind shall be like the angels 
in Heaven. Such things as wealth and secular ambi- 
tion have no place in His exalted prophecy. We must 
interpret in the light of this conviction, and of another 
about to be mentioned, His vivid pictures of the en- 



JESUS' TASK 259 

franchisements, joys, and triumphs of the new age, 
though ever mindful of that genial power of fantasy 
which feels every imagination as a reality. 

The other element of His hope is the fluidity of its 
forms. He felt no need of definition. Whether He 
meant by the kingdom of God the rule of God or the 
object of that rule, is a question without an answer, 
because the question has no relation to Jesus' thought. 
Whatever His soul required for the expression of 
His deepening consciousness of this supreme redemp- 
tion He affirmed as God's own declaration, God's 
way of accomplishing His all-holy and all-loving 
will. Therefore His predictions are poured out with 
no care for consistency. The kingdom shall come by 
celestial energies, and by His own power to bind the 
strong man and to spoil his house. It shall flame 
upon the world like lightning over all the sky, and it is 
inward growth in the depths of personality and from 
man to man, however brief the earthly scope of that 
development. These are irreconcilable contradictions, 
except as they .transform his sharings of the popular 

% 

eschatology into world-transcending realization of the 
personal spirit and spiritual humanity. 
\ He saw the dawning of the kingdom realized in His 
own victory over evil spirits. With the love and 
power of the future glory already in His heart, He 



260 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

commanded the demons of insanity, of nervous dis- 
orders (we do not limit His physical cures to these 
cases) of sin and remorse, to depart from those whom 
they tormented, on the sufferer's fulfillment, some- 
times hardly self-conscious, of the conditions of 
repentance and faith on which alone the blessings of 
the kingdom could be received. And to our wonder, 
which is not duninished because we interpret His 
matchless power according to recognized psychical 
and physical processes, human body and soul arose 
whole. The rule of the evil power in the world was 
evidently broken. By the finger of God the strong 
man has been bound, and his house is being spoiled. 
The ecstatic in Jesus, a quality which we have to 
recognize as normal in Hun and ourselves, sees in 
these works of divine power a universal reference. 
He beholds Satan as lightning fall from Heaven. From 
his throne above the world Satan is cast out; he is 
no longer in a position to resist the celestial forces 
which may now bring the kingdom of God to earth. 
VBut where the powers of the kingdom are, there is 
felt the presence of the kingdom, and these powers are 
of the divine Spirit, which enables Jesus to cast out 
demons, because it is an indwelling righteousness and 
holiness and love. Ever more deeply in His own 
heart and in those who follow Hun, there is the reali- 



JESUS' TASK 261 

zation of His intensest desires and clearest intuitions 
of the kingdom's supernal good. The righteousness 
that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and 
pharisees; the response of the human soul to the 
divine holiness, the pressing on to the final aim of 
perfection as our Father in Heaven is perfect; the 
infinite love of the Father becoming love-life among 
His children; the confession that restores publican 
and harlot to a child ? s place; the peace of soul which 
knows that nothing can be wanting in blessings least 
and greatest under the Father's care; the attaining 
of God's good purpose in every life that trusts Hun, 
and sets itself to do His will; man's devoted, minis- 
tering sonship to the divine fatherhood; the confidence 
of prayer and its unfailing answer; the life of the Father 
hi the hearts of men, flaming but in irresistible for- 
giveness, patience, and redemptive passion; these are 
the glories of the kingdom most congenial to Him, 
these are the infinite goods revealed unto babes. 
Still He looks forward to their completion in the ca- 
tastrophe of the great day, and the current forms of 
the expectation continue, but are essentially trans- 
formed. J/The kingdom of God is His own life; there 
the kingdom is realized. It is the spiritual lif e of every 
man to whom He imparts it, and the power of this im- 
partation is independent of place and time. It is 



262 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

r humanity's spiritual life flowing from Him. It its 
task and conquest in every life and in the life of man- 
kind; it is task and conquest in His life, with all the 
limitations, conditions and accomplishments of task 
and conquest. The new humanity, of which He is 

/ source and center, overcomes the world. The king- 
dom of the Spirit, the eternal life and blessedness of 
the Father, are our inalienable heritage. 

In Jesus' attitude to nature there is a similar spirit- 
ual transformation in ways less conscious. The world, 
formulated as under the dominion of evil spirits, was 
yet, by a beautiful anomaly, God's world to Him. 
Lonely places, haunted by demons furious to take 
possession of a human body and mind, were shrines 
of His all-night prayers, who has consecrated every 
solitude with the consciousness of the Father's pres- 
ence. All nature's life and beauty are in the care of 
the almighty tenderness which reveals in them the 
grace of God to His human children. No pain or 

| death in nature is apart from the Father and His 
purpose of universal love. 

We are reminded of the modern sense of duality in 
the natural world, which is the scene of incessant 
struggle for existence, the domain of force and raven- 
ing, overwhelming us by its all-destroying mechanism, 
but which is the world of the Barbizon painters, of 



JESUS' TASK - 263 

Chaucer's joyousness, of Shelley's rapture. This antin- 
omy has always existed and will continue, that man 
may not be satisfied with the glory of nature, but may 
gain a higher glory from it. To learn the reconcilia- 
tions of nature with the human soul, and its consum- 
mations in the splendor and beauty of human life, we 
must sit at Jesus' feet, that we may resolve the prob- v - 
lems in forms which He did not conceive, for masteries 
of our own attaining, but learning from Him that 
spirit.may not seek any ends in the lower order, while 
from the lilies of the field, from the defensive wings 
of a sacrificial natural motherhood, from the moun- 
tains whose secret Jesus discovered, loveliness and 
majesty are won by the spirit for its own unf oldings, 
where the sensuous is transformed. Facing nature 
in its most intractable oppositions also, humanity 
attains itself by the same spiritual powers, for the 
same spiritual ends. Through the whole range of 
man's relation to the natural order sweeps this trans- / 
^ formation. Here is no Aryan appropriation and com- 
>letion of the world as world, yet every Aryan devel- 
opment of insight, skill, and art finds here its freest 
?xercise and highest service. 

Even in human life, life of evil men crushed by 
malign powers in an evil world, there is yet reflected 
to Jesus from every natural relation and normal 



\ 



264 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

activity the innermost excellence of the Kingdom of 
God. His intuition that trusts and loves humanity 
must work out in us our tremendous social problems. 
He recognized man as hi spite of all a spiritual being, 
innately transcendent of the lower order. His in- 
creasing failure to win His fellow-countrymen in- 
creased His appreciation of latent human worth, as 
such experiences are wont to do hi generous souls. 
Looking deeper than Paul into mankind's sin and loss, 
He sees no need of adoption into sonship to the Father. 
Salvation is just a man's coming to himself, his dis- 
covery that he is a child of God. 

Doctrines current in His day, of the absence or 
alienation of a spiritual nature, of a human fall and 
depravity that requires a regeneration formulated 
according to these postulates, are foreign to Him. 
His demand of human renewal He does not formulate 
ias a new birth. ^A man is to be led not out of himself, 
put into himself, not beyond the gates of life, but back 
to the little child. To Jesus' appeal to the truly 
natural man our nature responds more than to Paul 
and the Fourth Evangelist, and the resulting convic- 
tion of sin is both saner and deeper than that which 
they excite. Nor is the imperative that a man return 
to his real spiritual self less arduous. Artificial religious 
experience can be made to order by scores of current 



JESUS' TASK 265 

devices. But the naturalness of the spiritual must be 
sought in the depths of us, and the way is beset with 
innumerable intrusions of the world into the inner 
life. Everything in the childlike spirit is congenial to 
Him, who loved manhood unsophisticated, life un- 
spoiled by artificial wants, ambitions, and distrac- 
tions. Jesus Himself is man in his naturalness, simply 
what the Father would have His child be. This is no 
sentimentalizing over the child or undeveloped con- 
ditions of human life, but the recognition that the 
spiritual is supremely natural to every man.|j Not 
that the spirit finds its purpose in the normal condi- 
tions and natural relations of life in the world, but 
from these it realizes itself. Here is the charm and 
power of the parables, charm in depicting the natural 
human, power to complete it in the attainment of soul. 
And the same power gains from human miseries and 
oppressions the spirit of man. 

He came as a Jew to the Jews, conscious of no 
mission beyond them. No quality of Jesus is more 
obvious than His patriotism. Christianity has mis- 
represented Him, in so conceiving His universal ref- 
erence as to obscure His fixed devotion to His own 
people. In none of its perversities has dogmatism 
outraged wholesome impulses more deeply. The last 
full measure of devotion to country is one with His 



266 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

devotion who laid down His life in faithful ministry 
to His own people. Essential to His life-task of new- 
creating spiritual manhood in all its elements, was His 
attainment, for Himself and all men, of that patriotism 
of spiritual ends and passion, in which love of country 
is consummated. ^6is ambition for His nation was 
that the kingdom of God might be established in it, 
that His people might possess the life of the spirit, 
that every energy among them might work to the 
forming of that spiritual unity of personalities which 
is a people's real life. By what means the task shall 
be wrought out for other nations in other times, is a 
problem with continually new conditions. But the 
national ambitions must be those which He set before 
His own people, and the means of their attainment 
must be so purely directed to His goal that nothing 
alien to Him shall be able to infect them. 

Cosmopolitanism is the outgrowth of patriotism. 
It is formed in love of country, but only on the condi- 
tion that love of country pursues His aims. Other 
national tendencies enkindle international jealousies, 
oppressions, and wholesale massacres. Jesus' pa- 
triotism lifts every citizen into that national conscious- 
ness which is world-wide spiritual brotherhood, and 
develops each national life in its integrity, that it 
may fulfill itself in spiritual service to mankind. 



JESUS' TASK 267 

It is in this sense that the current conception must 
be revised, that Jesus' jnjssion to His own people 
addressed them not as Jews, but as men. To His 
mission to Israel as Israel He was faithful to the last. 
The unfolding of His universalism in that mission has 
left significant traces in the Gospels. There is His 
amazed confusion at a Gentile's faith, the like of which 
He had not seen in Israel. There is His resourceless re- 
joinder to the Syrophenician woman, which indicates, 
not the Jew's scorn of the Gentile, but the devastating 
inner conflict between His restricted mission and His 
unlimited compassion. He would not exceed the field 
which His Father had assigned Him and with which 
His activities were wholly occupied. Yet just this 
mission to Israel contained the universal reference 
which His greatest apostle recognized, in opposition 
to the eleven whose vision was restricted by their 
personal knowledge of their Master's seH-limitations. 
Jesus' restrictions of action were not repressions of 
universal love and hope and prayer. In these He was 
at one with that infinite compassion, which in ways 
beyond His direct participation or power to forecast, 
would bring God's children from East and West 
and North and South, to recline at the eternal festi- 
val in fellowship with the noblest representatives of 
Israel. And at the impending judgment, from which 



268 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Jesus' ethical demands and consciousness of the sig- 
nificance of human life could not omit any man or 
nation of the present or the past, God will judge Tyre, 
Sidon, Sodom, the men of Nineveh, the Queen of the 
South, by the all-comprehending divine righteous- 
ness. There is no respect of peoples with God. 
Heathen men who have never seen Jesus' face shall be 
welcomed into the kingdom prepared from the founda- 
tion of the world for the blessed of His Father, because 
they have poured out love and service to humanity's 
glorious King in the person of the least of his brethren. 
This alone is a meaning characteristic of Jesus, how- 
ever confused in the evangelist's telling. Just this 
faithfulness of Jesus to the national limitations of His 
task makes Him source and center of the new-created 
spiritual devotion to country and mankind. 
^ Jesus' universalism is contained in His spirituality. 
To enter that renewed humanity universal, it is nec- 
essary to grasp Jesus* conception of manhood in its 
world-transcending task, and to make every thought 
and act the furtherance of His aim. In this conscious- 
ness is organized the unlimited brotherhood. The 
divine fatherhood fills each child with God's own love 
to all the children of the Father. God's union with / 
our spirits empowers each to be imparter of His love 
to every other, receptive of it from every either. From 



JESUS' TASK 269 

all others every personality is to attain something of i 
its own, and all these receptions and impartations I 
make each man a more personalized center of spiritual I 
being. All men must be sought for this universal life - 
of the spirit, as God seeks, forgiven as God forgives. 
The last and least man is essential to every renewed 
soul. From the united humanity formed by Christ 
not one of its elements must be lacking. No estrange- 
ment is permitted in His brotherhood, and every 
service must be rendered as a function of the supreme 
service. The all-personalizing, all-embracing love, 
our Father, beats in the whole, making the universal 
life individual; beats in each, making the individual 
life universal. This eternal bond is ethical, not monis- 
tic or mystical in any sense that obscures the ethical. 
In the unity every person comes to his infinite personal 
value. The spiritual unity of mankind is the su-M 
"V premely ethical task. 

The essential of Jesus' social ethic needs no modi- i 
fication. It is an ethic whose one purpose is the reali- 
zation of spirit in the world-transcending conquest. 
It is not the ethic of world-appropriation. It has no 

' \ 

aim in that realm. The alternative is always the 
spirit or the world. Every impulse that stops 1 in 
the world is evil. No element of the Aryan ethic 
continues in force except as it denies itself, transforms 



270 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

itself into the purpose to win in and from and against 
the lower order, for a universal possession, the dis- 
covered treasure, the pearl of great price. The primal 
ethical imperative is to choose the ethic of Jesus 
against every other. Its severity is appalling, repel- 
lent, impossible, till one sees its practicable simplicity. 
Jesus' command is as revolutionary as His Gospel, 
being one with it. 

How far the traditions of the ethic of Jesus, which 
are received from the Synoptic Gospels especially, 
represent His undeniable purpose, is a legitimate 
question. Whether modifications of His precepts 
need to be made because of historic changes, for the 
transcendent world-conquest, is an inquiry made 
necessary by the ethic itself, which is not an external 
law but the self-realization of spirit in its freedom. It 
| is one thing to amend Jesus by a principle alien to 
/Him: it is the opposite procedure to unfold His ethic 
ifrom the very essential of Him. . The former course 
incurs humanity's bitterest disillusion, makes ship- 
wreck of the task of civilization. His way fulfills, 
the passion for humanity and brings to humanity's 
unutterable groanings and travailings the redemption 
which is the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. 
The -new humanity fulfills itself in arduous and 
lowly ministries. Whatever makes the least pain 



JESUS' TASK 271 

less, the humblest gladness more, is its passion, as 
much as large service to the deepest needs of men. 
It is gentleness and courtesy, sympathy of sorrow arid 
fellowship of joy, as well as toil, endurance, and sacri- 
fice to the uttermost. It is all these not by natural 
impulse, though it transforms this into its service, 
but because they whom it serves are spiritual beings, 
for whom every enfranchisement and enrichment of 
life works out a spiritual end, so that these ministries 
are spontaneities of the supreme love. This service 
is given to whatsoever has life, in lower phases of 
undeveloped being, for no life that God has made 
is apart from Him and from us who live in Him. 
iThere is every sacrifice to spiritual good; there is no 
concession of spiritual good for any consideration. 
That would be unremunerated loss of the only value. 
In our terrible social conflicts, in pur social problems 
else insoluble,, in our stern individual tasks in whatever 
place in the social order, the one need of our time is 
that we work for spiritual manhood solely and ajtorgysj 
in the thought and by the power of Jesus. The intru- 
sion of a lower aim defeats even the lower good it 
seeks. For universal peace, for the conciliations of 
class hatreds and race antagonisms, for normal con- 
ditions of life, healings, reformations, ameliorations, 
whether administered by government and law,- by 



272 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

science and art, by economies and industries, by keen 
eyes of compassion and friendly hands of helpfulness, 

t Jesus is the one rational and sufficient energy. i\The 
world known as thoroughly as science can learn it, 
all human powers developed to their utmostithat in 
and from and against the lower order, humanity re- 
deemed by Christ may find its own soulA This is 
I revolution of modern life, every act and all combina- 
tions of action changed in quality and purpose, 
with change outworking into every detail of form. 
There is nothing so inevitably demanded by every 
life-current of our time, else to become stagnant, 
as the world-transcending Gospel of Jesus. And 
this Gospel is Jesus Himself in His task, who is faith 
of our faith and realized kingdom of God. 

We penetrate even more deeply the universal signif- 
icance of Jesus in His task, when, with reverent fear- 
lessness, we follow it into the sanctuary of His inner 
conflicts, where indeed are the realizations of all 
the energies we receive from Him. Two elements 
of this inner task may be indicated. 

I The Jewish Messianic consciousness was forced 
upon Jesus by His character and religious experience, 
by the Baptist's work and prediction, by historic 
conditions, popular expectations, by His own com- 
passion and sense of spiritual power, and was necessa- 



JESUS' TASK 273 

rily conceived by Him as the direct call of God. The 
Messianic title, Son of God, was derived from Old 
Testament ideas of the representative relation of the 
king of the chosen people to the divine Father of the 
people as a whole. Neither originally nor in the 
developments of Jesus' thought has that title any- 
thing in common with its later trinitarian history. 
The consciousness of possessing that title might 
lead, in Jesus' day, to such extravagancies as are 
intimated in the story of the temptation, "If Thou 
art the Son of God!" But to Jesus the title and 
the obligations it imposed unfolded those depths and 
heights of spiritual sonship to the Father, the attain- 
ment of which is the task of every soul, the fulfill- 
ment of humanity. Vast the distance between us 
and His realization of sonship in that obedience, 
trust, and sacrifice, in that moral and spiritual union 
with the Father, before which all speculative con- 
structions of Jesus' nature become insignificant. The 
difference too great to be called difference compels our 
contrition before His judgment-seat of filial love, 
our unqualified dependence upon Him, our unweary- 
ing aspiration to be like Him, and our trustful ac- 
ceptance from Jesus of His sonship to /the Father, 
while just by this faith the Father is our all in all. In 
such a sonship the significance of the royal title is 



274 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

manifest: this sonship exalts the soul above the lower 
order, overcomes the world. Yet the supreme royalty 
of the title remains His; for He who has put all things 
under our feet is king of us all. 

By this inner process, as seems most probable, or 
by another deeper than we are able to conceive, was 
wrought Jesus' sonship. The same probability of 
process, the same certainty of result, are ours, as we 
follow the inner life of Jesus through another aspect 
of His self-consciousness. The title, Son of God, 
implies the designation, Son of Man, a higher name 
than the other in the expectations of His people. 
The Son of Man is he who, in the current interpreta- 
tions of Daniel's prophecy, is to come from Heaven 
in the Name of the Most High, make an end of this 
world-age, and introduce the celestial kingdom. It 
is not necessary to describe the various conceptions 
of the Son of Man entertained by the contemporaries 
of Jesus. To Him the consciousness of Messiahship, 
unfolding in filial relation to the Father, involved 
this supreme future dignity, whose attainment would 
appear the only sufficient triumph of the Father's 
cause, as it had been entrusted to His hands. Con- 
fident of the success of His mission, He was already, 
though homeless, rejected, and doomed to a shameful 
death, the Son of Man. 



JESUS' TASK 275 

His faith in the divine purpose grew deeper and 
clearer with the apparent defeat of His earthly mis- 
sion. This faith was undaunted faithfulness to His 
calling and entire acceptance of the Father's will. The 
prospect of the death necessitated by that faithful- 
ness, suggested to Him no expiatory power in His 
final sufferings. Both of the reports of such a dec- 
laration, and their parallels, are, in that interpretation, 
too accordant with later reflection, and too discordant 
with His faith in the Father's unconditioned willing- 
ness to forgive, to be attributed to Him. To Jesus 
the way of the cross led to the immediate coming 
of the exalted Son of Man in His glory. To us His 
death is seen to be the consummated task of faith, of 
the inner achievement of God's kingdom; it is per- 
fected sonship to the Father and victory over the 
world. In this completion Jesus is complete source 
and center of humanity's task of realizing the spiritual 
life. The power of redemption is eternally His cross. 

We cannot exclude here, least of all here, any 
element of the task of Jesus from the significance 
and power of His accomplishment. The current su- 
perstitions which He accepted, His impossible ex- 
pectations, personal limitations, and conditions to 
which He must be subject as performing, a real 
task, are among its essential elements, and are taken 



276 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

up into its realization. The Messianic forms which 
He appropriated and transcended were accomplished 
in an evident transformation. When the world lay 
conquered beneath His feet which had been pierced, 
when it had become possible for every disciple of 
Jesus to say, "In Ham I am crucified to the world 
and the world is crucified to me," when the spiritual 
life of Jesus made heroic the panic-stricken fugitives 
cowering among the Galilean hills, and flooded hearts, 
for which the world were else too strong to be over- 
come, with power to be more than conquerors through 
Him that loved us, there was fulfillment before which 
the blazonries of the Apocalypse grow pale and the 
voices of its seven thunders die away. 



CHAPTER VH 

THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 

THE power of the transcendent world-conquest 
radiates in all directions from its center, Jesus, to 
fill the infinitely expanding circumference of thought 
and being, transforming all into the spiritual universe, 
and vindicating spirit as the one reality, while spirit 
learns and realizes itself by this overcoming. 

Our aim has been simply to find the reconstructive 
energy of modern life, for the problems and labors 
that are confronting us. Now that this purpose has 
been accomplished, though so imperfectly, a few 
reflections may be made in closing: first, upon the 
adequacy of this power to fulfill the special obligations 
of the present phase of history; and, in the final 
chapter, upon its applications to our modern life. 

It must be almighty power for universal task. If it 
were less than almighty for the task, less than univer- 
sal, it could not accomplish the least detail of that 
which is given us to do. It could not change a single 
hovel into a habitation fit for the birth of a child of 

man. It could not drive a single factory wheel to 

277 



278 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

the production of something worthy to minister to 
human life. The meaning of human life is revealed 
in this: that nothing less than the infinite and al- 
mighty is sufficient for it to work with. Man stand- 
ing beneath the implacable nebulae, in his pinpoint 
of space, man among the eons that threaten to engulf 
his moment of time, is overwhelmed, annihilated; 
until he learns that everything he has to work upon 
demands the whole power in and beyond and above 
all these, and he is one with that which fills and tran- 
scends them. If the power which presents itself 
as the highest does not apply directly to each ele- 
ment of human labor, it is not. of that unlimited suffi- 
ciency. When simple men demand an evangel for 
daily works and needs, then: requisition is the infinite 
and eternal. When idealists aspire after the highest, 
it is not the highest unless it mingles itself with the 
lowliest drudgery, which it transforms into the univer- 
sal task, God's and ours, of spirit's transcendent 
self-realization. 

The reconstructive principle is adequate to all 
demands of modern thought. No construction of a 
new metaphysic has been attempted in these pages: 
such an adventure would require very different pro- 
cedures. But the germ of a philosophy is in the world- 
transcending principle. A germinal philosophy is at- 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 279 

tained when a man is able to say: I have found my 
path and the energy that guides. The Semitic secret 
is the discovery of every Christian, and is discovered 
as the essential, the all-inclusive. 

If the fundamental of the true philosophy cannot 
be found by common men, what advantage in any 
man's finding it? If life's secret, direction, and power 
(and philosophy either devotes itself to this enterprise 
or else is the mere gratification of an insignificant 
curiosity) is not attainable by the lowliest, then a 
man of this age, living in the social passion of our time, 
is forced to be indifferent to that which would be the 
monopoly of a few gifted souls. But if the funda- 
mental of life, hid from the wise and prudent, is 
revealed unto babes, then we who share the social 
passion of the Master may rejoice in His thanks- 
giving. Life's secret as known by simplest hearts, 
in the power of Jesus, if we have become childlike 
enough to find that, we have found the essential of 
the true philosophy. And we have found it in His 
task, His overcoming of the world, His realization 
of spirit in this toil and conquest. The discovery 
is to be broadened, clarified, and expressed ever 
more adequately, by the acutest powers of the human 
mind, in accord with the continual enlargements of 
human life, while yet we sit at Jesus' feet or "walk 



280 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

with Him in lowly paths of service." The universal 
accessibility of this principle signifies that it is the 
consummation of all normal interests, yet it has 
nothing of the vulgar, the commonplace, for it is not 
confined to the range of that which it fulfills. It 
consummates all the elements of human life by sur- 
mounting them. It includes them all in the tran- 
scendent task, thus making them all new, bringing 
to pass the new-created soul in the new-created uni- 
verse. 

And yet to indicate in a paragraph a thought 
which would require many volumes to expound this 
principle, so accessible, is in accord with the strongest 
present tendencies of fundamental thinking; accordant 
with them in the sense of fulfilling them, in the same 
manner as it fulfills the normal interests and impulses 
of all men. The motive of philosophy today is the 
/impulse of work to be accomplished by powers ^h^b 
realize themselves in the work, and the evaluations 
which this conviction renders are in terms of power for 
the furtherance of the work. Yet little progress can 
be made until the determination of the direction and 
the unfolding nature of the work unites energies else 
wasted and mutually antagonistic. KAnd even when 
it is nobly said that our work is the development, the 
achieving of spiritual life, we are still inactively uncer- 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 281 

tain, until we know the course which this unfolding 
of spirit must follow, the conflict by which it must be 
achieved. Only then can we learn what spirit is, or 
spiritual life, for it is to be learned in its self-assertions 
against that which opposes it. Then the idealisms, 
freed from their rigidity, become active and progres- 
sive. Then the materialisms render service by mar- 
shaling the oppositions which the spirit must subdue 
to itself, attaining itself by their subjugation. The 
Semitic principle better to say, the task of Jesus 
transcendently fulfills our modern thought. It is 
thus fundamentally the reconstructive energy of 
modern life. Innumerable problems arise from such 
assertions. Their answers can be given only by the 
unfolding of the task of spirit's transcendent world- 
conquest, of which these problems are essential com- 
ponents. The assertion of this militant labor involves 
the challenge to all life and thought to undertake the 
task. 

We have acknowledged Jesus to be the central 
energy of the task. But when the task and the energy 
that dwells within it are viewed as universal conquest, 
fulfilled through inexhaustible power, is such a con- 
fession of Jesus possible, even when we have found 
His significance to each life that would achieve the 
world-transcending victory, and His indispensableness 



282 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

to humanity which attains itself by His overcoming? 
Must not Jesus at length pass from this central place, 
even as the wavering faith of St. Paul conceived His 
passing? Must not the actual, historic Jesus become 
insufficient for a task that unfolds illimitably, and be 
proven the central energy of only a phase of our 
eternal victory and self-realization? Or must we 
again turn from the real Jesus to the fantastic con- 
struction of some being of higher cosmic significance, 
to the irrational conception of an "essential" or 
"ideal Christ," of a premundane Logos, incompletely 
expressed in the prophet of Nazareth? Yet if that 
displacing of Jesus were ever to be, He would be in- 
completely our Saviour now, and the central energy 
of the transcendent task would be elsewhere, if indeed 
it could be anywhere. At present am I not deceiving 
myself by confessing Him sufficient who is not really 
so? Even as it is no longer possible to call the earth 
the center of the universe, is it any more possible to 
say that one who actually lived thereon is the spiritual 
center of the task universal and eternal? 

These difficulties are of a type of thought no longer 
possible, and disappear when its crudities are exposed. 
It is imposed upon by the magnitude of the spaces and 
times of the physical universe, magnitude that may 
be only apparent, and that is incommensurate with 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 283 

the greatness of the soul. And when the universe 
becomes to us the spiritual universe, it is not to be 
thought of as a static somewhat, realistically conceived 
as separate from us and somehow to be brought into 
relation with us. Our spiritual universe is just the 
realization of spirit; it is the world-transcendent task 
and conquest. In its furthest immensities, in its most 
victorious unfoldings, its realization can be nothing 
else than that power which Jesus is. 

This energy is the indwelling God. Not God 
Hellenically conceived as immanent in the world to 
be appropriated as world, but the spiritual God in 
whom spiritual manhood lives and moves and attains 

i 

its being. It is this God whom Jesus recognized as the 
power of our overcoming. It is this God who has in 
Jesus His central energy. God is the God of the task 
This ascription is ultimate in its unlimited elasticity. 
God apprehended as incipientiy as we apprehend our 
spiritual being, which is our spiritual conquest. xWe 
penetrate the clouds and darkness which are round 
about Him, only as we penetrate the clouds and dark- 
ness of our limitless adventure; God attained through 
ever expanding conflicts of thought and life; God the 
mystery unfathomable, the vastness. incomprehen- 
sible, because the immanence of the infinite task, the 
power of the universal conquest. 



284 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

God is God of the task. To ask what God is as 
outside the task, before it or beyond it, is a question 
without meaning, for we find nothing outside the 
task. Our knowledge of God advances as our accom- 
plishment of the task advances. It is incomplete as 
our realization of the task is incomplete. The diffi- 
culties concerning the relation of God to the world and 
to our own souls are difficulties given by the task and 
explicated as it unfolds. There are unsolved problems 
as there are unachieved toils. Yet through all the 
groping of our endeavors we know what the task is 
which we have to achieve, and this is knowledge of 
the God of it. 

The realization of spirit alone gives us God to be 
experienced and known. Nature is not the origin of 
our knowledge of Hun. He is not proven cosmolog- 
ically. Inland Jron^and ^again^t^Le^nalwal^flrjder, 
spLrit_gains_itsejf._ By the spiritual self-realization hi 
reference to nature God is known, but not from nature 
except in this reference. Therefore all the mysteries 
in nature cannot challenge our affirmation of God, 
mysteries of its confusions, strifes, and woes, creation 
groaning and travailing hi pain together until now, 
mysteries of its assaults upon the human soul, which 
it darkens and overwhelms. From these disasters, 
as well as from nature's glories and its alliances with 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 285 

us, we attain the spiritual transformations of it. In 
all these attainings there is knowledge of God, who 
is not in the cosmic whirlwind and fire, save as these 
are learned to be, in their ultimate significance, the 
divine thought and word and life, into which we find 
them transformed as we fulfill our task upon them. 

When in our search for God we turn from nature 
to the inner life, we must be sure that the inner life, is 
apprehended deeply enough to be adequate to the find- 
ing of Him. It would be absurd to direct such a search 
away from the vast Heavens, into the confinements 
of petty individual thoughts and feeble strivings, even 
if these are multiplied and united in multitudes of 
petty and feeble men, thinking and endeavoring to- 
gether. There is no finding of omniscience in our 
foolishness, of omnipotence in our futility, of holiness 
hi our impurity. Not in such self-affirmations, but 
in denials of ourselves, do we find Him. When we 
have learned that the soul's energies are not to be 
expended upon the appropriation of the world, but 
that by crucifixion of ourselves to the world and of the 
world to ourselves we must give ourselves to the real- 
ization of spirit in the world-transcending conquest, 
then we learn the infinite power which is within us, 
for the eternal toil which is before us. Then the en- 
franchised spiritual finds in its thought, its heart, and 



286 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

its moral struggle, the potency of an endless unfolding. 
This is the affirmation of God which inwardly unites 
and implicitly completes all potencies of man and 
humanity, of world, of all souls in their enlarging 
alliances of a universe to be spiritually realized. 

This confession of God involves apprehensions of 
the divine which pass beyond the scope of this book. 
Though these conceptions would enhance the reli- 
gious value of the confession, we have already the 
God who is infinite power for the universal task. To 
the God of the task belongs the eternal victory of all- 
embracing, all-sacrificing love. In all our toils He 
labors; in all our afflictions He is afflicted. All our 
achievements are His joy. Every recovery from 
failure is His redemption of us, and the glory of every 
overcoming is forever unto Him. He reaps the har- 
vest of that which He has sown and grown in us, to be 
laid at His feet, poured into His heart's unselfish 
blessedness. This is the God of every human soul, 
of the stars above us, of the dust beneath our feet. 
And the nature of every being in itself, and in its 
relations to all else in the one spiritual universe, is 
spiritual self-realization in the God of the task, who 
is infinite love, patience inexhaustible, sacrifice with- 
out limit., victory without end. 

The truth of this adoration is radiant in Jesus' 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 287 

life and ministry, His cross and passion, His eternal 
life and victory. By the divinity of Jesus, which these 
pages have indicated, not explored, we mean, not the 
mythical identification of alleged substance with 
substance, but the central energy of God's task in His 
universe of spiritual beings. Therefore our task draws 
its quality from that sacrifice, its victory over the world 
from that overcoming. Such as it is in Jesus, is the 
nature of God's sacrificial working in each one of us. 
Nothing less and nothing other can God's work be in 
all things, which are His own, and which without this 
His action nf them, could have no being. From ever- 
lasting to everlasting, in all His worlds, through His 
heavens of measureless spiritual length and breadth 
and depth and height, this which we see in the cruci- 
fied is the sacrificial, self-emptying toil of God's in- 
satiable love, down to the lowliest and faintest be- 
ginnings of that which He wills to raise to His own 
likeness, and out to the remotest wanderings of souls 
that have refused to find themselves in Him. To 
Him belong all the strifes and pains, all the thwartings 
and repressions, the miseries of the beatings back, the 
agonies of the strivings on, the continual overcomings 
in which all the sorrows find their unfathomable 
justification. It is of his love's infinite perfection 
that it can be defrauded. It is love's heart that can 



288 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

be pierced. The freedom which He ever imparts to 
us that we may accomplish a real task in Him, may be 
turned to the defeat of that which He would be in us 
and through us. We rob God of the realizations of 
His own life. Whatever our selfishness and listlessness 
keep back from the realizations of other lives, we keep 
back from Hun. Yet love has resources against even 
these obstacles, and Jesus, the center of God's re- 
demptive energy, is the center of His redemptive 
suffering, and God sees of the travail of His soul and 
is satisfied. 

In that unity of the task which God ever possesses, 
we and all things have our realization, which is eternal, 
victorious, and attained as we blend our labors, 
sorrows, and joys with His, for the realizations and 
redemptions of other souls, into whom we enter 
with His love and power. It is no Heaven of ease 
that we anticipate for ourselves and attribute to 
God, but His toil and sacrifice for all His creatures, 
in the ever deepening energy of Jesus' cross. In this 
devotion is all worth, all joy, the inexhaustible bless- 
edness of the infinitely holy love, our Father. 

Thus the energies are sufficient for the spiritual 
conquest in every range of it, and sufficient for that 
phase of it which we call the Christian reconstruction 
of modern life. Corrections and fulfillments are 



THE RECONSTRUCTIVE ENERGIES 289 

involved of the conceptions of religion, of ethics, 
of Christianity, and of the latter's institutions, beliefs, 
agencies, and methods. Some of these normalizations 
have been indicated in our unfolding of the Semitic 
principle into Jesus' redemptive conquest. And 
in Him is found the power to direct all the resources 
of the spirit to their mightiest exercise. We pass to 
our final thought, the applications of this power to 
our modern life. 

A few years ago such an application would seem 
beset with desperately difficult intricacies. The 
question, What is that to which our application can 
be made? would have seemed unanswerable. 

With inconceivable suddenness our age has at- 
tained an issue which includes men highest and lowest, 
the most learned and the most ignorant. This is the 
age in which all interests group themselves for or 
against the social purpose, all impulses form or resist 
the social passion. It is this social consciousness, 
felt with a universality, depth, and intensity hitherto 
unapproached, which makes our age unique and 
renders it the completive representative of modern 
life, in unexpected Fulfillment of the forces which 
were released at the Renaissance. All the movements 
of our time merge in this flood. Every interest unfolds 
to this absorption. Every power of the age is arrayed 



290 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

for it or against it, for this is our all-inclusive 
battle. 

It is this social passion which turns us anew to 
the sources of power, to the reconstructive spiritual 
energies. Every realization of it must be the further- 
ance of the spiritual task, must move in the God of 
the task, the Jesus of the task. For the social passion 
of our time must know itself as nothing else than the 
social passion of the Man of Galilee, nothing less than 
the heart-beat of the Eternal. 



CHAPTER Vm 

THE SPIRITUALIZING OF THE SOCIAL PASSION 

JESUS did not teach two Gospels, one personal, 
the other social. It is not an adequate statement that 
His mission has social corollaries or implications, 
or that we may infer social principles from His life 
and teachings. His one Gospel is the social Gospel, 
even as Jesus is the social man and the central energy 
of the social redemption of the social God. The realiz- 
ation of spirit by the transcendent world-conquest is 
the task of humanity united in the 'divine Spirit, 
and no. one can even undertake the task except in 
this universal fellowship. Each soul's overcomings are 
in participation with the self-attainings of all souls, 
present, past, and future, however distant or as yet 
untraceable. v " ' 

From this social Gospel of Jesus in its reconstruc- 
tive applications to the social passion of -our time, 
we select, in closing, the following elements, to be 
briefly indicated: Jesus' transcendent fulfillments 
of the developed Hellenic social consciousness; the 

distinction of His social Gospel from the solidaric 

291 



292 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

and its completion of the personal; His social inter- 
pretation of spiritual failure; His social ideal of re- 
deemed character. 

These spiritual fiilfillments of the Hellenic social 
genius are possible because its purpose is not things, 
but human life. Against barbarism, which is the 
world's victory over men, in whatever forms things 
may repress us, or as comforts, luxuries, or aggran- 
dizements seduce us, our Hellenic inheritance de- 
mands a life free, rich, beautiful, of well-ordered, self- 
restrained buoyancy of soul. The fulfillment of this 
impulse in the transcendent world-conquest becomes 
all the clearer when the Hellenic ideal is socially 
interpreted, and its spiritual completions are socially 
conceived. 

Jesus' social passion must enter a social movement 
which is now in its militant stage. There are indeed 
premonitions of the day when men generally and all 
human powers may cooperate for social ends. But 
we must not suffer ourselves to be blinded to present 
conditions by this anticipation, nor by the selfish 
hypocrisy that assumes to minister to humanity, as 
the monopolists divert to social interests a fraction of 
that which they have abstracted from social good, 
and serve to rule, under the pretense of mling to 
serve. The social wrath of our time arrays itself 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 293 

against those who, on a large scale or on a small scale, 
with insolent exploitation or petty fraud, despoil 
the human soul and thwart the human task, using 
new agencies for the same ancient oppression. For 
self-restraint, guidance, and power, these excoriations 
must transcend and fulfill themselves in the social 
indignations of the man of Nazareth. 

This they may do when they are kindled by the 
wrongs of nothing less than the human soul. Our 
intensest anger is not that mouths are hungry, but 
that insufficient physical nourishment means mind 
and heart unfed; not that bodies are crowded to- 
gether in the homeless warrens of poverty, but that 
then the soul is without air to breathe or room to 
grow in, and the decencies and dignities owed to 

/ 

manhood, womanhood, and childhood are denied; 
not that men's shoulders are bowed down by hopeless, 
aimless labor, but that the soul's power to do its 
proper task is crushed out of it. And this indignation 
can demand no less a right for all men than untram- 
meled growth of power for wisdom and beauty, for 
joy and love, for righteousness and holiness. The 
demand Is not for things, except as things serve souls, 
not for conditions, except as conditions further the 
inner life. 
Whatever differentiations of work are necessary for 



294 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

the cooperant developments of human souls, what- 
ever accumulations, whatever abilities to direct, what- 
ever disciplines and obediences are requisite to this 
end, a clear-sighted and resolute social passion not 
only permits them but insists, upon them. Such a 
purpose discerns that industrial and social regimes 
must continually change with changed conditions, and 
especially with the continually expanding capacities 
of human worths and joys, by evolution if it may be, 
by revolution if it must be; yet harboring no desire 
a materialistic Utopia, and seeking not greater 
ease for the human soul, but freer scope for larger 
toils. The words: fair, just, equitable, are denned 
hi terms of the inner goals. Every defense else plausi- 
ble, of existing evil conditions is stultified by this 
deep passion. Every apology for a child labor that 
deflowers childhood, for the unsexing or oversexing 
of womanhood, for toils that narrow the life of the 
/toiler, on the plea that things may be more abundantly 
supplied or distributed, or that wealth may increase, 
or for any reason whatever, receives the flaming 
answer: What shall it profit humanity to gain the 
whole world and to lose its own soul? But this rage 
fulfills itself in the transcendent indignation of Jesus 
against the fraud and greed and injustice of His 
time and all times, against the rapacity that devours 



/s 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 295 

widows' houses and lays on men's shoulders burdens 
too heavy to be borne. For he asserted the right of 
every personality to be a child of God, and the right,x 
of humanity to attain itself in a spiritual fellowship 
of all-conquering, all-transcending mutual love. 

One to whom this revelation has been given need 
not postpone his service till mankind has learned the 
social Gospel of Jesus, nor work till then hi isolation. 
An important part of his service is indeed to proclaim 
Jesus' energizing social principle. But he also fosters 
every impulse of men that sets itself toward man- 
hood's aim. He accepts, intensifies, and seeks to 
fulfill everything that makes for increase of soul, 
that removes repressions to spiritual growth, and 
that stimulates the inner powers. He enjoys the 
continual discovery of Jesus' social aim implicit in , 
all men's tasks. He unites himself with every historic 
progress and leads it along the upward path. He 
toils patiently, against vast discouragements, that 
men may know what the transcendent spiritual con- } 
quest is, and how in every farm and factory and 
market-place and court and legislative hall, in every 
rectification of conditions, in every efiiciency, econ- 
omy, expansion, and ennoblement of industry, in every 
growth of science and government, in every unfolding 
of beauty and joy, in every triumph of righteousness, 



296 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

in every deepening of love, and in every appropriation 
of ideal values, man may win in and from and against 
the world, that one thing precious, his own soul. 

Jesus' transcendent fulfillment of the developed 
Hellenic social consciousness becomes more clear 
in the distinction of His social Gospel from the 
solidaric and its completion of the personal. 

Jesus is the social redeemer because He is the dis- 
coverer of the individual soul. The solidaric concep- 
tions of antiquity, which subordinate the individual 
to the state, which conceive of man as made for in- 
stitutions or vested rights or for anything less than 
the attainment of free personality, were indeed con- 
tinually assailed before His coming, by the growing 
powers of personal consciousness; yet the essential of 
this personal freedom could not be reached before 
Jesus' realization of the world-transcending task, in 
which personality learns its_ own spiritual possibility 
ajlj_fijThtg mrt its OWTI ppiritHfli v>Ping Here is the 

discovery of individual manhood, which cannot serve 
anything lower than the personal. In this discovery is 
Jesus' discovery of the woman, the child, the common 
man, of the regenerative potentialities of the criminal 
classes, of the unlimited possibilities of the lower races, 
of the universalism of human liberty, of the absolute 
right of every man to live his own life and to work 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 297 

out his own destiny. All these potencies are fulfilled 
as each personality gains itself from all other person- 
alities, contributes its very self to all others, and 
works out for itself and for all others the universal 
task of the realization of humanity. 

The distinction of Jesus' Gospel from the solidaric 
and its social completion of the personal is of funda- 
mental importance in the directing of the social 
trends of our age. Solidaric conceptualism and in- 
stitutionalism beset our social consciousness. Hoary 
examples are the church when conceptualized and 
institutionalized as an authority to which .thought 
and life must subject themselves, not conceived as 
having its value exclusively in the spiritualizing of 
mankind's task, most divinely, personally, and socially 
apprehended. The nation also when formulated as 
existing in a lower right than its service of the utmost 
development of each and all its citizens. Meaner 
examples are the political party when followed for 
its own sake, not for the sake of its ends; the class, 
aristocratic, bourgeois, or proletarian. 

It is this solidaric conceptualism and institutional- 
ism which threatens to pervert the social purposes of 
the toilers. The collectivism which is making such 
rapid progress in the desires of men, may involve 
disaster to that individual initiative, energy and 



298 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

liberty, upon which depend the hopes of the personal 
and social realization of humanity. No argument 
is intended against socialism or for it. From present 
forms of organization the great task must pass on, 
and the forms which are to succeed the present 
regime are to be unfolded as the realization of the 
task unfolds. The progressive task determines 
these organizations; organizations existent or con- 
templated must not constrict the progress of the task. 
There will be little gam in exchanging one conceptual 
and institutional solidarity for another. If this should 
eventuate, or when this impotent conclusion becomes 
evident, mankind may prefer the ancient repressions, 
or an unrestrained individualism may sweep away 
personal and social values, until, despairing of any 
other issue, we bend our necks to the old burdens, 
which will seem to have proven themselves inevitable. 
Or else, as we come to the envisaging of these alter- 
natives, we shall waver and hesitate, in a resource- 
lessness capable of little progress, if indeed it may 
grope on at all. Not by any mutual adjustments of 
individualistic and solidaric claims may we attain 
the energy of social progress^but only by the unfolding 
of that social consciousness in which personal powers 
and personalities are completed.) In its light alone 
our civilization must determine whether its next 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 299 

phase of organization is to be formed on socialistic 
or other lines. By its power alone can the next devel- 
opment in the organizations of human life fulfill our 
longings for a happier and better humanity. 

An inevitable phenomenon of our social age is the 
outbreak of individualism, in reaction against both 
the solidaric traditions and the solidaric tendencies. 
There is no power in any institution, however vener- 
able, with traditions however imposing, nor in any 
solidaric anticipation of a golden age, to resist thel 
\demand of a soul to live its own life and freely to' 
Achieve itself. Only when this impulse is led on to its / 
social goal, only when the enfranchised task of each 
spiritual manhood reveals itself in mankind's rational 
purpose, can there be the hearty acceptance of law 
and order, wherein are asserted the decencies, amen- 
ities, and sanctities that serve this social freedom. 
Against the tendencies that threaten to disrupt our/ 
civilization and to reduce it to barbarous chaos, there 
is but one social energy that can save us. 

In the light of the anti-solidaric principle of Jesus 
is revealed not only the irrationality of social eudemon- 
ism, but also the impossibility of conceiving it. If, 
by any device, all men should live in the comfort and 
prosperity connoted by that term, with the enjoy- 
ment which it intends unrestrictedly to open to all, no 



360 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

social aim would be thereby achieved, nor social prin- 
ciple expressed. Not though the comfort, prosperity, 
and pleasure were most cooperatively attained and 
held in an organization which should safeguard the 
equal privileges of all. For the enjoyment of these 
things as such is a merely individual enjoyment, 
which no cooperative means can transcend. Social eu- 
(Jernonism is a contradiction in terms. Every devotion 
that is conceived to be for this aim lif ts itself, as devo- 
tion, above the ami and pursues something higher. 
Therefore every truly social ami transcends this pur- 
pose, even though it does so unconsciously. And the 
germ of every such personally social transcendence 
must unfold in the realization of every life in. its 
blending with every other, in toils and conquests 
which no man experiences deeply except in that 
fundamental universality which is the Gospel of Jesus. 
The solidaric perversions of the social impulse, in 
the interest either of reaction or of radicalism, are 
overcome by Jesus' personal-social Gospel. Against 
all these usurpations is asserted the right of mankind 
to realize itself by the personal realizations of all its 
/ members in their, supreme task together. There are 
no rights of government except in the service of this 
right, nor of property, nor of vested interests, nor of 
any institution ecclesiastical or secular. 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 301 

This principle, in order to fulfill itself, has to con- 
sider the Roman element of our civilization, the 
peculiarly constructive element, with its metes and 
bounds which only knaves and madmen desire to 
break through. The one human right must use as its 
instruments these Roman organizations of the forms 
of civilization. It must develop all these forms 
. according to the expansion of its own purpose. It 
must not repudiate or even modify a single one of 
them now existent except for the evident advantage 
of that high purpose which they serve, yet never 
permitting a repressive survival of things that have 
ceased to benefit, and annulKng them so that the man- 
ner of the change shall be of benefit. Here is the field . 
of the social sciences in their widest action, govern- 
mental, legal, or economic. These sciences find their 
unprescribed function and method when directed, 
each in the proper limitations of its own service, to 
the one personal-social aim. 

The revolutionary as well as the conservative nature 

of this principle must be frankly admitted. The 

idivine right of property shares the ignoble fate of the 

/ divine right of kings. Nothing more is owed to vested 

interests than is due to traditional privilege. Nothing 

was owed" to the despoiled holders of. slaves. Society 

can acknowledge no obligation to anything that has 



302 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

become a nuisance or a menace, or has ceased to be 
of social value. No reparation can be justly claimed 
by the church when its property is secularized for 
social good. The question of socialism is not to be 
complicated by any objection of property holders 
against spoliation. J) Traditional privilege and vested 
interest have resisted every human advance, and their 
remonstrances have always been a hypocritical im- 
pertinence. When reparation is given, it is for the 
sake of the steady progress of society, and for no 
other reason. Yet this revolutionary principle is the 
most conservative. Regard and reverence are accord- 
ed to every established order, to every vested interest, 
to every traditional observance, in their furtherance 
of the human task., , Since no alteration is permitted 
except for this reason, there is safety from every 
rapacity and wantonness and demagogic lawlessness 
or haste. Every change accomplished through this 
principle is a universal benefit, in which every man, 
as a social being, receives incalculably more than he 
surrenders. This principle must always be held in 
Jesus' high and severe completion of the Hellenic 
social genius. Nothing can be demanded of any manA 
for any purpose that does not enter into the universal \ 
self-realization of spiritual humanity. 
How shall this all-inclusive spiritual aim be achieved? 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 303 

It seeks that social union.of developing personalities 
in-which all righteousness is fulfilled, and the means it 
employs must be altogether righteous in a conception 
of righteousness drawn from that advancing goal. 
It seeks that social union of developing personalities 
in which love is consummated, and only love can 
attain love's purpose, and love as means must ever 
test itself by love as consummate end. The methods 
most congenial to this holy love in its task are not the 
assertion of rights, but the enthusiasm of duties; not 
authority, but ministry; not rule, but sacrifice; not 
the throne, but the cross. To be confident that 
humanity shall attain itself by these means, and that 

J 

these means shall occupy every relation of life and 
every department of labor, inspire all science and art 
and every widening field of civilization, seems the 
maddest dream that ever obsessed a human soul. Yet 
as we look around us and back, these are the mightily 
efficient forces, and we are led to doubt the practical 
value of any other. What powers uncongenial to the 
spirit can be used for the spiritual end, which is the 
only end of each socialized soul and of personalized 
humanity? 

The command of Jesus not to resist the evil man, 
but to give the other cheek to the smiter, the other 
mile to the exploiter, the other garment to the de- 



304 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

spoiler, what response to these injunctions is made 
by those over whom Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, and 
by the indignant passion that will not suffer man to 
be robbed of the human soul? 

We are not explaining away these commands but 
attributing to them their most inexorable emphasis 
when we say: This is not the course of one who yields 
life's ends and purposes, but of one who asserts life's 
I most arduous purpose, and along this path achieves it 
] for Himself and humanity. The significance of these 
words of Jesus is given by the world-transcending 
task and conquest, by which humanity is realized 
and all the potentialities of mankind and each soul 
are fulfilled. There is no passivity here. Jesus had 
no passive virtues. To do these sayings of His in 
servility and fear, or for the sake of ease and quietness, 
is the crudest violation of them, the complete surren- 
der of personal worth as He held it, and the rankest 
treachery to the cause of humanity as he devoted 
Himself to it. These are the utterances of the world's 
transcendent conqueror, who faces all that the world 
may bring against Him, resolute, aggressive, unafraid. 
We shall learn His way as we grow in the compre- 
hension of His task. The alternative at every moment 
is devotion or unfaithfulness to His task. When we 
have to choose between using force for the mainte- 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 305 

nance and furtherance of social attainments that serve 
His purpose which completes them, or supinely yield- 
ing them to lawlessness or greed, Christian manhood 
will fight for these goods in His name. His transcen- 
dent path, as His transcendent aim, is a long and hard 
lesson to learn, as both unfold in the midst of new con- 
ditions, and of new problems which are difficult to 
bring into the supreme life problem that He solved. 

Yet it becomes increasingly clear, that everything i 
in the achievement of humanity's great task approves I 
its effective value in proportion as it accords with 
these strange commands of His, as His ministry and 
its supernal culmination interpret and confirm them. 

The greatness of the Gettysburg address is that it 
is a universe away from any thought of the military 
glory of that victorious day, while it presents the 
giving of the last full measure of devotion as the force 
to render imperishable, government of the people, by 
the people, and for the people. The impression made 
by St. Gaudens' Shaw Memorial is in its consummate 
expression of the implicitly sacrificial nature of our 
own modern culture, as its superb representative 
goes forth with those poor black men, not to slay, for 
that we insist upon forgetting, but to be slain, and 
above them the sorrowing genius of victory holds the 
laurel wreath of sacrifice. Through the memories of 



306 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

those days arises, alas that it should be so dimly, 
a vision of Jesus, wise and strong to preserve a closer 
and deeper union, for a world mission more clearly 
comprehended, and to effect a liberation of the en- 
slaved to a life more free; as He would have gone upon 
that task in the power by which He of old created the 
united humanity, and broke the chains that bind the 
human soul; as He of old accomplished His victory in a 
sacrificial glory that makes all our incomplete devo- 
tions fade before His cross. We beseech His forgive- 
ness that we choose to serve Him so blunderingly 
rather than renounce His service; for it is not His will 
that we should take Him or His words for an external 
authority, but receive them as increasingly illumina- 
tive power. May there soon come to humanity that 
knowledge of His world-conquest which can say: Fools 
and blind that we have ever been not to see that His 
great purpose is to be accomplished in His great way! 
The approach to this wisdom is the ever deeper learn- 
ing of the secret of His cross. 

It is evident that Jesus' reconstruction of modern 
life must extend far beyond anything that we are now 
able to forecast, beyond the imaginings of any current 
social enthusiasms. Our social passion feels itself in 
the grasp of a limitless energy, which is working out 
social goods that transcend our most ardent and 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 307 

chastened hopes. The unsearchable mystery of the 
spiritual task as personally regarded deepens when 
we feel its social fulfillments. Yet we know it as task 7 
leading to accomplishments unknown, as conquest 
leading to victories now inconceivable. And the in- 
spiration of this mystery is increased when we ap- 
proach Jesus' social interpretation of spiritual failure. 
The identification of salvation with faith in Jesus is 
the universal confession of Christian experience. 
This identification is most clear when we apprehend 
Jesus as social man, central energy of the working 
of the social God our Father, and author of the salva- 
tion socially realized in every disciple. This evangel 
is evident even in the latter part of the New Testa- 
ment, as soon as we eliminate the incipiently dog- 
matic and crudely speculative elements of that teach- 
ing, and cast out from Christianity without remorse 
the intrusions of revenge and hate. In Paul and his 
New Testament imitators generally, and in the 
Johannean writings for the most part, faith in the 
Saviour is one with love to our fellowmen, for He so 
loved. Yet we turn back to the synoptic gospels 
for the clearer presentation of the social nature of 
faith in Jesus. The issue of the soul's salvation or of 
eternal loss is in the acceptance or refusal of that 
loyalty to Jesus in which our faith in Him is most 



308 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

vital and practical, and in which also our union with 
Him is one with His sacrificial giving of Himself to 
men. Everything depends upon this personal devotion 
to our Lord. The call, "Follow Me," speaks absolute 
imperativeness, whether this following is to be ex- 
pressed in becoming one of the company that attended 
Him, or in any other form of faithfulness to Him 
against every allurement of the world, every rivalry 
of other appeals, and through every test of loss or 
torture or ignominy or terrible form of death. This 
devotion to Jesus is devotion to Him as He is, and 
I He is the central energy of the transcendent world- 
conquest in which humanity realizes itself and all 
souls may achieve their unity. Faith in Jesus sinks 
to an .empty sentiment, a hollow phrase, an extra- 
neous and irrational condition of salvation, except 
when Jesus is received as the consummate power of 
social manhood. In the transcendent human fellow- 
ship created by Jesus a soul is saved. In separation 
from it a soul is lost. Faith's fellowship with Jesus 
is one with the realization of our fellowship in human- 
ity. 

Jesus' social interpretation of spiritual failure meets 
us on every page of these earlier accounts of His 
mission, and is the undertone of nearly the whole 
New Testament, in the new insistence upon love, sacri- 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 309 

fice, humanity. Perhaps the most overwhelming 
portrayal is in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. 
Whatever additions to Jesus' thought our criticism 
removes from this passage and whatever expressions 
we may modify as representing one of the tendencies 
of the early church, the central teaching, in all its 
inexorableness, originates from His spiritual vision. 
The Jewish imagery must not distract us from the 
thought, which is this: that any one who accepts at 
separation between his own fortunes and the condi- \ 
tion of any fellowman sunders himself from that 
unity of humanity in which is all good, and outside 
of which there is nothing but desolateness and anguish. 
From the blessedness and compassionateness, where 
those who have had least and have suffered most are 
forever comforted, no relief can traverse the great 
gulf which the fortunate have accepted between 
themselves and the miserable. This is the inevitable 
law of eternal loss, incurred by voluntary separation 
of man from the needs of his fellowmen, by insensi- 
bility to the appealing sorrow of the least of our breth- 
ren. 

- This social interpretation of spiritual failure, this 
social pronouncement of ultimate doom, flames upon 
us, the moment it is recognized, from every word and 
deed of Jesus. No less clear is Jesus' way of escape, 



310 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

which is ministry to "the least," the least regarded, 
the poorest endowed. Only as all the wealth of 
possession and knowledge, of joy and virtue, is opened 
to hearts most remote from the worths of life, is there 
the filling up of the great gulf, the uniting of a man 
with humanity. Only as these goods are poured out 
to those from whom no recompense can be expected, 
and we offer the feast of life to the poor, the lame, 
and the blind, do we actually unite ourselves with 
humanity. Anything short of this limits us to a 
class, a segment separate from mankind. Only in 
devoted ministry to "these least" are we one with 
humanity in all the sorrows and strivings and common 
values, whereby we accomplish the social, the univer- 
sal achievement of the spiritual task. 

From the doom, the eternal loss, of those who do 
not thus minister, our modern life must be called 
back. And the social passion of our day has hidden 
within it responsiveness to this warning and appeal. 
The methods by which this salvation is to be wrought 
are for us to discern in the conditions that now con- 
front us, and are to be found largely in the develop- 
ments of our Aryan inheritance; but Jesus' social 
reconstruction, which is to work itself out in every 
component of our culture, is so vast that every other 
social revolution sinks into insignificance beside it 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 311 

and promises amelioration and progress only when 
inspired by His evangel and contained in it. 

This fundamental of Jesus' Gospel goes far beyond 
our awakening demands for social equity. For by 
His principle every man, every institution, every 
social force, pour themselves forth first of all to the 
needs of those whose need is greatest. It is indeed 
the purpose of the house-holder that all his laborers 
shall be paid equally, h^t the last muqt he paid 
first. In the ministry which is primarily to the last 
and least, justice and equity find their essential 
nature and fulfill their implicit purpose. The Hellenic 
social ideal learns its transcendent aim. Every power 
of civilization rises to its summit, in the government 
and the industry and the art and the science which 
dispense unto "these least," through rectified con- 
ditions and unrestricted opportunities, the choicest 
goods, of broad wisdom, of pure intensity of joy, 
of character consummate in holiness, of the raising 
of every man to his share of the infinite task of the 
spiritual self-realization of humanity. This inner re- 
construction, all-comprehensive, universal, is the 
implacable issue confronting each man, and most 
evidently our time. Only as we are attuned to this 
purpose of" Jesus can this age escape inexpressible dis- 
aster, and each man escape the loss of his own soul. 



312 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

The unity of humanity in devotion to "these least" 
opens yet more radiant heights of social ideal, pro- 
founder depths of self-devotion. We are social men 
in Jesus' aggressive realization of union with mankind, 
when we receive His redemptive passion. Beyond 
the humblest, whom we must serve as He served 
them, are evil men, perverse characters, the lost, whom 
we must save, and seek in the dark mountains of their 
wandering, if we would save them. To win even 
the criminal and the harlot by every ingenuity and 
untiring passion of holy love, to this end we must 
set our lives if we would live in His life; and this 
passion must fill the thought and heart and will of our 
civilization, if it shall be worthy of the title which 
it has assumed so lightly, the name of Christian 
civilization. Up into this field, preventing and winning 
back, our social sciences must enter, and this field 
is the whole world of lost humanity. All dealings 
of an illumined Christian state with peoples degraded 
or morally undeveloped, and with the decadent and 
intractable elements of its own population, must 
unite with the confident enthusiasm which sends 
His ambassadors into desolate regions and down into 
the lower strata of society, and sweeps into self- 
denying cooperations every heart that would be in 
His holy fellowship of universal love. Our redemptive 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 313 

passion requires His clear vision of sin, as He beheld 
scribe and pharisee sunk in a spiritual need which is 
not less than that of renegade and prostitute. Our 
redemptive passion sweeps on to all who are outside 
Jesus' social fellowship, whether they are in dive or 
palace, in pursuits execrated by society or honored by 
standards which are not those of His social salvation. 
These redemptive efforts must be directed upon every ^ 
lost soul, and must also determine the whole life- 
current and career of every man, and the direction 
and energy of every institution and of the entire 
social organization. 

From the uniting service to the least and the lost, 
there opens a still higher social ideal, a still lowlier 
self-emptying. The intensity of Jesus' emphasis upon 
the forgiveness of our enemies is the very social heart 
\of His Gospel. Our union with humanity is incom- 
plete, that is, it is a union with something less than 
humanity and therefore false to itself, if it cannot pray, 
"Forgive as we forgive." 

Jesus' forgiveness, as He read it in His Father's 
heart and opened it to our lives, is not limited to a 
remission of penalty nor to a forbearing of vengeance, 
but is the purpose to unite the heart of the offender % 
with the heart of the offended, to restore to the 
holy fellowship of love those who have outraged love. 



314 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Because it must be a holy fellowship, the effort of 
forgiveness is to bring contrition into the soul of the 
injurer, and that contrition is created by the injured 
taking the sorrow and burden of the sin upon his own 
heart. We lead hateful men back to love, the polluted 
to holiness, in which alone love can dwell, though that 
endeavor is met with brutal misconception and in- 
jurious affront. 

This is not a merely individual labor; all who are in 
Jesus' social fellowship unite in this restorative for- 
giveness of every lost soul. As long as one man is in 
the outer darkness, the whole redeemed humanity 
unites itself for the salvation of that one, even at the 
cost, to each loving spirit, of Jesus' agony and bloody 
sweat, His cross and passion. And though the action 
of a free agent cannot be predicted, we may hope and 
pray that the heart most filled with lust and hate shall 
open itself at length to the holy love of Jesus and of 
those to whom His redemptive grace is given in power, 
and that loving humanity, fulfilled in Him, shall see 
of the travail of its soul and be satisfied. 

This united effort of forgiveness may now embrace 
every social institution and energy. The effort of a 
civilization really Christian is to bring back to its 
regenerated life civilization's bitterest foes, in high 
place or low place. The purpose of justice, divine and 



SPIRITUALIZING THE SOCIAL PASSION 315 

human, is to forgive. All law, all statecraft, all 
political, industrial, and social forces direct them- 
selves to that unity of heart and task where all class 
hatreds and national antagonisms are done away, and 
where men forgiving one another are indeed one. The 
sign in which Christian civilization conquers may then 
hi very truth be His cross. 

For the knowledge of Jesus' ideal of redeemed 
character, we turn our reverent, aspiring gaze to Him, 
the socjaLman, in whom is the sodaL-God, Jesus is 
so penetratively one with all human needs, that every 
ministry of ours to the hunger, the thirst, the naked- 
ness, the loneliness, the sickness, the oppression, of 
His brethren, "even these least," is done unto Hun. 
His mission is to seek and to save that which is lost. 
In that mission which flows from the all-forgiving, 
all-reconciling love of the Father's heart, He set His 
face steadfastly to Jerusalem, where He was to be 
crucified. Surely it is only in His power that we 
can undertake the task so transcendent, the world- 
conquest of such spiritual victory as His life lays upon 
us. That power grows in the uniting of our inmost 
life with Him, who is the one sufficient Saviour of 
every man, the central force of redeemed humanity, 
the presence and energy of the all-holy and all-loving 
Father. 



3i6 THE CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

Jesus' world-transcending task and overcoming is 
the consummation of the social passion, that all-con- 
suming flame of every man who really lives the life 
of our day, in which the modern age finds itself. In 
our unwearying devotion to man and men we must 
serve nothing less than their spintuatLpotejicies, which 
are their very being. The social passion, in Jesus' 
consummation of it, burns away everything but this 
purpose. And for such social ministry we can be 
sufficient only in the deep and holy and sacrificial, the 
all-pervading, all-spiritualizing faith and fellowship 
unspeakable of the Son of God. 



INDEX 



Abraham, 61, 151, 157 

in Jewish theology, 234 
Achasmenidae, 164 
Ahaz, relation to prophetism, 149 
Ahriman, 165, 169 ff. 
Albigenses, 181 
Allah, transcendence of, 129, 

130, 158 
Amos, universalism of, 151 

Anarchy, aspirations of, 59 

Antichrist, 257 

Aphrodite, alien to Roman 
religion, 172 

Apocalypse of John, its material- 
izations, 276 

Apocalyptic, Jewish, 155, 156 
in thought of Jesus, 162, 254- 
260, 272-276 

Apollo, nature transformed by 

art, 29 
alien to Roman religion, 172 

Aramaean descent of Jesus, 127 

Arcadia, Greek superstition in, 

39 
Aristotle, his supreme good 

Hellenic, 30 
Arnold, Matthew, conception of 

barbarism, 26 
Artaphernes, type of modern 

plutocracy, 50 



Art: 

Hellenic, 31, 32, 43 
democratization of, 47 
Babylonian, 131, 135 
Romantic, 178 
as consummating nature, 205 
Semitic transformation of, 205, 

206 

Aryan. See Hellenic genius 
Asshur, both nation and deity, 15 
Assyria: 

relation to Babylonia, 132 
opposing Semitic develop- 
ments, 134 
prophetic misapprehension of, 

149 

Athens, source of culture, 5, 21 
Aufklaerung. See Enlighten- 
ment 



B 



Baal-worship, relation to Jahveh, 

146 
Babylon, unfulfilled prophecy of 

return from, 150 
Babylonia, 131 ff, 164, 172 
its culture and religion un- 

differentiated, 19 
its myths in Christianity, 172 
Babylonian hymns, 139 
Barbarism, modern, 26, 44-57 



317 



INDEX 



Barbizon school, 262 

Bergson, author's obligation to, 
preface, vii 

Browning, quoted, no, 212 

Buddhism: 

cultural ineffectiveness of, 15 
influence on Occident, 70 
distinction from Semitic spirit, 

116 

universal sympathy, 205 
in Indian pessimism, 211, 212 



Caesar, representing exploitation, 

171 
Cain, representing civilization, 

170 

Calvinism, 183 
Canaanites, religion and culture, 

19 
influence on Israel, 145-146 

Celt, element of our civilization, 

175, 176 

implicit Semitism of, 209, 211 
Chaucer, joyousness of, 263 
Childhood, exploitations of. See 

Industrial slavery 
China, relation to Christianity, 

ii 

capacity for Hellenism, 130 
Christian apologetic, weakness 

of, 180-183, 284, 285 
Christianity, Semitic nature of. 
See Jesus, and Semitic genius 
Church, not organized by Jesus, 

10, ri, 158 
its ecclesiasticisms, n, 182 



relation to Jewish leaders, 158 
various historic influences of, 
181-183 

Classicism, conflict with Roman- 
ticism, 177 

Creeds, as departures from 
Christianity, 7, 85, 221, 222, 
227, 228, 285 

Criticism, New Testament, 9, 
63, 64, 82 



David, not author of Psalms, 171 
Dionysos Zagraios, 39 
"Divine right," 301 







Egypt, 139, 140, 142 

Elijah, place in prophecy, 144, 

146, 147 

Enlightenment (Aufklaerung), 80 
"Essential Christ, The," 85, 

100, 282 
Eucken, author's obligation to, 

preface, vii 
Euphrates, influence on culture, 

131, 132 

Evolution, 116-119 
of humanity, 127, 128 
Jesus' place in, 83, 226, 227, 
232, 233> 239, 240 



Faust (Goethe's) as Gothic, 37, 
177 



INDEX 



319 



Forgiveness: * 
as constitutive of humanity, 

3I3-3IS 

See also Jesus* Teachings 
Fourth Gospel: 
its appreciation of Jesus, 10 
characteristics, 91, 232 
quotations and references, 89, 

93, 95, 262, 264, 269, 273, 

274, 275, 307, 3i6 

G 

Galilee, our spiritual descent 
from, 5, 21 

Genesis, Book of, quoted, 2, 17 

Genevan theocracy, 74 

"Genius of our civilization," 123 

Germany, relation to Chris- 
tianity, ii 

Gibeonite, in university pro- 
fessorships, 52 

Gilgamesh, epic of, 134, 139 

Gnosticism, in development of 
Christianity, 7 

God: 

Hellenic conceptions of, 15, 21, 
29, 68-70, 76, 77, ico, 123, 
124, 144 

Semitic conceptions of, 18, 62, 
*32> 133, i37 *38, 140-156, 
192, 195-198, 207, 208, 213, 
271, 277, 278, 283-288 
Jesus' conception of, 34, 62, 63, 
87, 93, 94, 160, 161, 179, 
218-220, 224, 226, 229, 231, 

233, 235, 243, 244, 247, 248, 
250, 251, 252, 258, 261, 266- 
269,273-275,313 



in Jesus, 86, 100, 101, 249, 250, 

283, 286-288, 307 
and world, 112, 113, 114, 120- 

124, 262, 263, 284, 285 
Iranian conception of, 165, 

168, 170, 171, 208 
Roman conception of, 172, 

173, 209 
Romanticism's conception of, 

177, 178, 209 
Goethe, his union of Gothic and 

Hellenic, 36, 177 
quoted, 200 

Gothic element hi our civiliza- 
tion, 176, 177 
implicit Semitism of, 209, 211 



Hebrews, Epistle to, quoted, 221, 

249 

Hebrews, Gospel of, 229, 230 
Hegel, popular ignorance of, 35 
his judgment of Babylonian 

civilization, 135 
quoted, 122 
Helena, hi Goethe's Faust, 36, 

177 
Hellenic genius versus Chris* 

tianity: 
source of our civilization, 3, 

passim 

quality of, 28-37 
modernization of, 38-57 
in science, 39-43, 62-64 
hi social interests, 43-57, 185- 

187 

democratic nature of, 34, 35, 
47-57, 59 



320 



INDEX 



in popular education, 49 
in higher education, 51-55 
universal range of, 60-62 
ethic of, 64-66 
in philosophy, 66 and passim 
religious consciousness of, 67 
73. 75, 76, 96-99, 102, 123, 
124 

defined as world-appropriat- 
ing, 107, and world-com- 
pleting, 109 

soul and world in, 114, 115 
humanity and world in, 116- 

119 

soul and God in, 120-124 
Babylonian elements in, 131, 

133 
distinction from Babylonian, 

134-137 

Iranian genius in, 163-171 
Roman genius in, 171-175 
Celtic genius in, 175, 176 
Gothic genius in, 176 
Indian genius in, 211, 212 
Romanticism in, 176-179 
historic independence of Chris- 
tianity, 179-183 
would appropriate Semitic 

genius, 184 
transcended and transformed 

by Jesus, 185-213, 277-290, 

291-307, 315, 316 
Hephaistos, 169 
Herakles, 34 
Hezekiah, his statesmanship 

against prophetism, 149 
Holtzmann, Heinrich Julius, 

author's obligation to, 

preface, vii 



Homer, ancient popularity of, 34 
Hosea, 144 

Hugo, Victor, 178, quoted, 178 
Humanity, conception of, 96-100 
See also Social passion 



"Ideal Christ, The," 85, 90, 100, 

282 

"Imitation of Christ, The," 220 
Incarnation. See Jesus 
India: 
impassiveness to Hellenism, 



opposite of Semitic genius, 

144, 145 

Aryan genius of, 211, 212 
Individualism, modern outbreak 

of, 299, 300 
Iranian genius: 
place hi our civilization, 163- 

171 

implicit Semitism of, 209, 211 
Isaiah: 

lack of statesmanship, 149 
prophecy unfulfilled, 150 
Ishtar, 132-133 
Islam. See Mohammedanism 
Israel, hi struggle against the 

world, 207 

See also Semitic genius 
Italy, relation to Christianity, n 



Jahveh: 

original conception of, 140 ff 
transformation of conception, 
142 ff 



INDEX 



321 



Japan: 

relation to Christianity, n 

capacity for Hellenism, 130 
Jehovah. Seejahveh 
Jeremiah, 144, 171 
Jerusalem, 171 
Jesus, as distinctively Semitic: 

separateness from Aryan civil- 
ization, 4, 9, 10, 162-184 

identification with Christian- 
ity, 76 

historic knowledge of possible, 

77-83 

historic relation to men's inner 
life, 83-96 

critical reconstruction of life 
of, 82 

divinity of, 86, 286-288, 316 

orthodox misrepresentations 
of, 84, 85 

indusiveness of, 87, 88 

immediate experience of, 93 ff 

central energy of humanity, 
96-102, 239, 240, 249, 250, 
307, 308, 314, 316, passim 

as Saviour, vid super 

relation to common life, 102- 
104, 263-265 

uncertainty of Hebrew de- 
scent, 127 

recognition in modern Ju- 
daism, 158 

consummation of Semitic 
genius, 159-161 

nationalism of, 160, 265-267 

legalism of, 161, 162, 243-245 

eschatological expectations of, 
162, 254-260, 272-276 

misconception of historic in- 



fluence of, 179-183 
social genius of, 186, 248, 249, 

266-272, 277-316 
misconception of social aims 

of, 186, 187 
task of, 185-277 
prayers of, 197, 198, 220, 228, 

235, 246, 251, 252, 261, 269, 

278, 283, 285, 286 
limitations and inconsistencies 

essential to, 101, 102, 214 
limitations as teacher, 216-218 
limitations of religious con- 
sciousness, 218-220 
ethical limitations of, 64, 65, 

221, 222 

as example, 220, 221 
holiness of, 228-238 
conviction of sin by, 223-226 
natural birth of, 227, 228 
healings by, 259, 260 
parables of, 265, 309, 310 
transcendent world-conquest 

of, 185, 277, 316 
as Saviour of other worlds, 

281-283, cf., 96-102 
transcendent fulfillment of 

Hellenism, 185-214, 291- 

296 

incarnation. See God hi Jesus 
death of, as redemptive power, 

275, 276, 286-288, 314-316 
resurrection of, 275, 276 
salvation by faith hi, 307, 308 
Jesus' teachings: 
inconsistencies of, 216-220, 

242 
as unfoldings of His own inner 

life, 242 ff 



322 



INDEX 



sin. See Jesus, conviction of 
sin by 

faithfulness to Old Testament, 
244 and passim 

of repentance, 242-253 

of God. See God, Jesus' con- 
ception of 

of legalistic requirements, 244- 
246 

of conversion, 246 

of faith, 218, 219, 246-253, 

tf- 37 308 
of grace, 247- 
of divine fatherhood, 247 ff, 

and passim 

' of universal salvation, 248, 249 
of consecration, 250-251 
of childlikeness, 251-252 
of dependence on God, 252, 

253 

of transcendent world-con- 
quest, 253 and passim 
of Kingdom of God, 253-276 
Jewish eschatology in, 254-260 
of Kingdom of Satan, 254 
demonology in, 258-260, 262 
implicit spirituality of God's 

kingdom in, 260 ff 
kingdom realized in, 261-262 
of nature, 63, 262, 263 
of natural manhood, 263-265 
of patriotism, 265-267 
of cosmopolitanism, 266-268 
of spiritual humanity, 268, 269 
of human brotherhood in 

divine sonship, 268, 269 
social ethic of, 269-270 
social passion of, 270-272, 291- 
316 



messianic consciousness in, 

272 ff 

of Son of God, 272-274 
of Son of Man, 274-276 
of personality socially fulfilled, 

296-308 
in Sermon on the Mount, 302- 

37 
of personal immortality, 242, 

253, 258, 259, 261, 269, 270, 

271, 272, 274, 275, ef. 96- 

100 
of eternal loss, 242, 243, 307- 



of prayer. See Jesus 
Jew, the modern, 157, 158 
John, Epistle of, quoted, 207, 307 
John, Gospel of. See Fourth 

Gospel 
Judaism, 151-157 



Kant: 

popular ignorance of, 35 

relation to Hellenism and 
Romanticism, 36, 37 

Semitic and Iranian qualities 

of, 169 

a Kempis, 220 
Keats: 

Hellenic genius of, 175 

Celtic genius of, 176 

quoted, 175, 176 



Lamia (of Keats), 175 
Latmos, hi Keats' Endymion, 
175 



INDEX 



3 2 3 



Leibnitz, quoted, 201 

Lessing, service to Hellenism, 36 

Leviticus, Book of, quoted, 138, 



"Living Christ, The," 90 

Logos, 85, 282 

Lot, 61 

Luke, Gospel of, quoted, 213, 
221, 228, 229, 231, 232, 233, 
234, 242, 243, 244, 245, 247, 
248, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 
255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 
261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 
267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 
273, 274, 275, 276, 308, 309, 
310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315 

Lutheranism, 183 



M 

./ 

Macedonian Empire, 129, 164 

Maeterlinck, 94 

Malayan capacity for Hellenism, 
127 

Marathon, 50 

Marcus Aurelius, 5 

Mark, Gospel of. Quotations 
and references, 228, 229, 
232, 234, 242, 248, 250, 251, 
252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 
258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 
264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 
270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 
276, 308, 310, 311, 312, 313, 



Matthew, Gospel of, quotations 
and references, 63, 123, 155, 
228, 229, 232, 233, 234, 242, 



243, 244, 245, 246, 248, 250, 
251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 
257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 
263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 
269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 
275, 276, 303, 3>4, 308, 310, 
311, 312, 313, 314, 315 
Messiah, 234-237, 273-276 
Middle Ages, influence of 

Church in, 181 

Militarism, 14, 15, 181, 304 ff 
Missions, Christian, 17, 18 
Mithra-cult, 164 
Mohammed, 129 
Mohammedanism : 
as civilization and religion, 15 
Semitic genius in, 129 
influence upon Aryan and 

Semitic peoples, 130 
nature of, 158-159 
exploitations of, 181 
Mongolian capacity for Hellen- 
ism, 127 
Moses, 142-144 
Muses, 43 
Music, its Celtic, Gothic and 

Roman elements, 176 
Mysticism: 
unhellenic, 30 
Christian, 85, 90-95 

N 

Nature, spiritual transformation 

of, 263 

Nebuchadnezzar, 171 
New England theocracy, 74 
Negro capacity for Hellenism, 

127 



3 2 4 



INDEX 



"Non-resistance," 303-306 
"Novum Organum," 42, 43 

O 

Olympian gods, as cultural 

ideals, 45 
Oread, as nature imperfectly 

humanized, 38 
Ormazd, 169 
Orpheus, 72 



Paran. See Sinai 
Parthenon, 39 
Paul, St.: 

religious experience, 248 
divergencies from Jesus, 249, 

264, 282, 307 
quotations and references, 126, 

207, 270, 276 
Pericles, 39 
Persia, as connoting barbarism, 

44 ff, 163, 164 
See also Iranian genius 
Personality: 

See Spiritual life 
Pessimism, 211, 212 
Pharisees, Jesus' graciousness to, 

102 

legalism of, 243-246 
Phenicia in Babylonian culture, 

19, 136, 137 
Phidias, 39 
Philistine) connoting barbarism, 

26 



Philistinism in public education, 

49 

Philosophy: 

theological perversions of, 30 
Hellenic limitations of, 32, 33 
Hellenic humanism, 41 
ethic, in Hellenism and Sem- 

itism, 64-66 

safeguarding of, against Chris- 
tianity, 66 

of religion, 66-68, 122 
refutation of religion of au- 
thority, 75-77 

of history, 78-81, 92, 96-101 
conception of universal hu- 
manity, 96-100 
fundamental definitions of, 

how formed, 113-124 
Iranian influence upon, 168- 

170 

of soul, 188 ff 
Semitic developments of, 277- 

281 
See also God, Pragmatism, 

Spiritual life 
Plato: 

Popularity in antiquity, 35 
relation to Kantian revolu- 
tion, 36, 37 
normal use of, 39 
unrecognized influence of, 56 
Hellenic limitations of, 69 
abuse of, in modern theology, 

167 

Plato's Academy, 54 
Plotinus: 

opposition to Christianity, 5 

essential Hellenism of , 30, 69 

Political institutions. See Rome 



INDEX 



325 



Poseidon, modern sacrifice to, 39 
Pragmatism, preface, vii, 166 
cf. also Chapters I and IV of 
Part Second, and pp. 2?8- 
281 

Prayer. .See Jesus 
Prometheus. See Shelley 
Property, provisional rights of, 

301, 302 

Prophets of Israel, 147-152 
Psalms, Book of, 151 

quoted, 63, 151 
Publicans, Jesus' graciousness to, 

102 

Puritanism: 
Iranian element in, 167 
Defects of, 181 



Renaissance, 44, 55-37, 182, 289 
Roman emperors, apotheosis of, 

173 

Roman Empire: 
Christian misinterpretation of 

its history, 129, 189 
Fall due to economic causes, 

182 
Rome: 
significance in our civilization, 

i7i-i7S> 209 
implicit Semitism of, 301 
Romanticism, 36, 176-178 
Russell, John Edward, author's 

obligation to, preface, vii 



Sacraments, not intended by 
Jesus, 9 



Samaria, not in'cluded in Jesus 7 

mission, 256 
Satan, Kingdom of, 165, 179, 

180, 254, 260, 263 
Semitic genius in contrast to 

Hellenic: 
defined as world-transcending, 

107 

and world-destroying, no, in 
world and soul hi, 115, 116 
world andhumanity in, 119, 120 
world and God in, 124 ff 
history of, 125-161 
Babylonian contribution to, 



Egyptian relation to, 130-140 
realization in Israel, 140-146 
development hi prophecy, 146- 



development in psalmists, 150, 



political limitation of, 151, 153 
legalism of, 153-155 
eschatological expectations of, 

155, 156 
modern non-christian develop- 

ments of, 157, 158 
Mohammedan variation of, 

158, iS9 
Jesus' consummation of, 150- 

161. See also Jesus 
Sennacherib, 149 
Shakespeare: 

general unfamiliar! ty with, 34 
quoted, 95 
Shelley, 72, 263 
Sin. See under Jesus, and 

Jesus' teachings 
Sinai, legends of, 19,140, 146,147 



326 



INDEX 



Sirens, symbolizing faith, 72 
Slavery, industrial, 48, 49, 50, 

180, 292-297 

Slavs, responsiveness to Hellen- 
ism, 129 
Socialism, 298 ff 
"Social eudemonism," 299-300 
Social passion, preface, vii 
as chief characteristic of our 
time, 3, 185, 187, 289, 290 
Hellenic source of, 34, 35, 43- 

57 

its conception of humanity, 
96-104, 116-120 

in prophets of Israel, 148 

in Iranian genius, 171 

hi Romanticism, 178 

in Semitic genius, 213 

in Jesus, 186, 243, 263-265, 

270-272, 291-316 
Solidaric vs. social, 297 ff 
Spiritual life: 

conceived as task, 190 

intimations of, 190, 191 

as transcendent world-con- 
quest, 191 ff 

real only as realizing itself, 193 

the opposing world essential 
to, 193 ff 

difficulties of its self-realiza- 
tion, 195 

its humility, 195, 196 

humanity of, 196, 197, 198, 199 

in God, 197, 198 

disclosed by impermanence of 
the world, 199, 200 

relation to time, 200, 201 

its repudiation of theodicies, 
201, 202, 204 



its transformations of pain, 

202204 
its transformations of pleasure, 

204-206 
its universal transformations, 

207, 208 
its transformation of Hellenic 

genius, 208, 210 
its transformation of Iranian 

genius, 208 
its transformation of Roman 

genius, 209 
its transformation of Celtic 

and Gothic genius, 209 
and romanticism, 209 
its relation to Indian genius, 

211, 212 
its relation to common toils, 

212 
its realization of humanity, 

213 
See also Semitic genius, and 

Jesus 

Stephen, St., 63 
Simerian, 132 
Swinburne, quoted, arraignment 

of ecclesiasticism, 182 
Syncretism, irrational, 67 
Synoptic, Gospels, historic value 

and limitation, 179, 180 
Syria, 136, 137, 149 



Tennyson, quoted, 200, 207 
Terpsichore, see Muses 
Teutonic elements in civilization, 
dependence on Roman in- 
fluence, 174 



INDEX 



327 



Theodicy, 201 ff, 284 
Theologies. See Creeds 
"These least," 311-313 
Tigris: 
influence upon civilization, 

131, 132 
Tissaphernes, 54 

Trinity, Nicene, 85 

Triton, representing nature im- 
perfectly humanized, 38 

Tyre, nonfulfillment of prophecy 
concerning, 149 

U 

University, barbarism in, 51-54 
Urania. See Muses 



Venus. See Aphrodite 
Vulcan. See Hephaistos 

W 

Whittier, quoted, 77, 91 



Winckelmann, his recovery of 

Hellenism, 36 
Womanhood, exploitation of. 

See Industrial slavery 
World: 

difficulty of conception, 113 
as opponent of spirit, 113, 114 
in conception of soul, 115, 116 
in conception of humanity, 

116-120 

in conception of God, 120 ff 
as within self, 190 
irrationality of, 201 ff 
World-appropriation. See Hel- 
lenic genius 

World-conquest. See Jesus, 
Hellenic genius, Semitic 
genius 

World-transcendence. See Sem- 
itic genius, Jesus 



Zarathustra, 165 

Zeus, 29 

Zoroaster. See Zarathustra 



'HE following pages contain advertisements of a 
few of the Macmillan books on kindred subjects. 



The Problem of Christianity 

IN TWO VOLUMES 

By JOSIAH ROYCE, LL.D., litt. D. 

Professor of the History of Philosophy, Harvard University; Author 
of "Outlines of Psychology," "The Philosophy of Loyalty," 
"William James," etc. 

Vol. I. The Christian Doctrine of Life. 

Vol. n. The Real World and the Christian Ideas. 

Cloth, i2ino, Set, $3.50 net; carnage extra 

A work of great importance to all students of religion and philoso- 
phy and to the general reader who keeps abreast with progress in these 
fields is Dr. Josiah Royce's "The Problem of Christianity," in two 
volumes, the first, "The Christian Doctrine of Life," and, the second, 
"The Real World and the Christian Ideas." 

Volume I is a study of the human and empirical aspects of some of 
the leading ideas of Christianity; Volume II deals with the technically 
metaphysical problems to which these ideas give rise. The two vol- 
umes are contrasted m their methods, the first discussing religious 
experience, the second dealing with its metaphysical foundations. 
They are, however, closely connected in their purposes, and at the 
end the relations between the metaphysical and the empirical aspects 
of the whole undertaking are reviewed. 

The "Christian Ideas" which Dr. Royce treats as "leading and 
essential" are, first, the Idea of the "Community/ 1 historically 
represented by the Church; second, the Idea of the "Lost State of 
the Natural Man," and the third, the Idea of "Atonement," to- 
gether with the somewhat more general Idea of "Saving Grace." 

"These three," Dr. Royce says, "have a close relation to a doctrine 
of life which, duly generalized, can be, at least in part, studied as a 
purely human 'philosophy of loyalty' and can be estimated in em- 
pirical terms apart from any use of technical dogmas: and apart from 
any metaphysical opinion. . . . Nevertheless no purely empirical 
study of the Christian doctrine of life can, by itself, suffice to answer 
our mam questions. It is indeed necessary to consider the basis in 
human nature which tKe religion of loyalty possesses and to portray 
'the relation of this religion to the social experience of mankind. To 
this task the first part of these lectures is confined, but such a pre- 
liminary study sends us beyond itself. 

The second part of these lectures considers the neglected phil- 
osophical problem of the sense in which the community and its Spirit 
are realities." ___ -p __ - 

PUBLISHED BY 

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

. * 

Publishers 64-66 Fifth Avenue New York 



Social Idealism and the Changing Theology 

A Study of the Ethical Aspects of Christian Doctrine 

The Nathaniel William Taylor Lectures for 1912. Delivered before 
the Yale Divinity School 

By GERALD BIENEY SMITH 

Associate Professor of Christian Theology in the Divinity School of 
the University of Chicago 

Cloth, ismo, $1.25 net; postpaid, $1.37 

"It has for some time seemed to me," says Gerald Birney Smith, 
in the preface to his new book, "that theological scholarship is in 
danger of pursuing a course which might end hi a somewhat exclusive 
intellectualism. As the progress of Biblical criticism has compelled 
us to reconstruct our conception of the way in which the Bible is to 
be used, the appeal to the Bible, which to Luther seemed so simple 
and democratic a matter, has become hedged in with considerations 
of critical scholarship difficult for those who are not specialists to 
comprehend. While theologians have been giving attention to the 
problems created by this phase of scholarship the movements of life 
in our day have brought to the front aspects of the social question 
sadly needing the guidance and the control which can be supplied 
only by an ethical religion. The utterances of theology, in so far as it 
has followed traditional paths, have been somewhat remote from these 
pressing moral questions of social justice." 

Professor Smith then says that the aristocratic conception of social 
guidance is gradually giving way to a democratic conception, and goes 
on to show how and why this change from aristocratic to democratic 
ideals has taken place, indicating wherein an understanding of the 
significance of this ethical evolution may aid hi the reconstruction of 
theology. ^ ^ 

The author believes when this is dearly apprehended by theo- 
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supply. 

The work is divided into five sections, considering in turn ecclesi- 
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basis of religious assurance and the ethical transformation of theology. 

"Dr. Smith's book should interest all those who are broad enough 
to realize that as the world advances, theological religion must also 
advance." Pittsburgh Post. 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

Publishers 64-66 Fifth Avenue New York 



Christianizing the Social Order 

By WALTER RAUSCHENBTJSCH 

Professor of Church History in Rochester Theological Seminary 
Author of "Christianity and the Social Crisis" 

$1.50 net; postpaid, $1.65 

Supplements the powerful message of "Christianity and the Social 
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Christianity and the Social Crisis 

Cloth, I2tno, $1.50 net 

"It is of the sort to make its readers feel that the .book was bravely 
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Social Religion 

By Scon NEAEING 

Author of "Woman and Social Progress," "Social Adjustment," etc. 

Cloth, izmo, $1.00 net; postpaid, $1.13 

There is probably no more popular writer on present-day social 
problems than the professor in the Wharton School of the University 
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once gamed is held by the importance and absolute authoritativeness 
of the facts which he presents. In his new book he takes up the more 
deplorable elements in the modern social and industrial world, analyz- 
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strive" is particularly suggestive. 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

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The Church and the Labor Conflict 

By PARLEY PAUL WOMER 

Author of "Relation of Healing to Law," "A Valid Religion for the 
Times," "The Coming Creed" 

Cloth, ismo, $1.50 net; postpaid, $1.63 

To supply concreteness to the discussion of the social mission of the 
church is Parley Paul Womer's purpose hi The Church and the Labor 
Conflict. Dr. Womer believes that in dealing with the relationship 
of Christianity to industry there has been too much generalization, 
a lack of definiteness and a failure to grapple the fundamental facts 
of our contemporary social and economic developments. Accordingly 
he does not approach his subject by the usual theorizing, but im- 
mediately gets down to the essentials to the conditions which have 
brought about the present state of affairs and their causes. "While 
the Christ of the churches is scorned and rejected," he says, "the 
Nazarene carpenter is enthusiastically lauded as a labor leader and 
revolutionist, a man of the common people who fought hard for their 
moral and economic welfare, to intents and purposes the first socialist. 
Because the church is untrue to the ideals of the Nazarene, say these 
spokesmen of the wage-earners, it is looked upon with suspicion and 
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PUBLISHED BY 

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

Publishers 64-66 Fifth Avenue New Tork 



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