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ject and sees the law that works in it; instead of the individual it sees the kind, and beyond the kind it sees higher unities in endless scale. What it admires is also in a sense nature, but it is not nature as a collective name for natural things, but nature as the unity of natural things, or in other words, God. Similar, with feelings less distinct but probably stronger, is the contemplation of nature in ancient Hebrew poetry, which when it surveys the great phenomena of the world, instead of considering each by itself in succession, instinctively collects them under a transcendent unity. Instead of saying, "How spacious the floor of ocean, how stately the march of the clouds across heaven, how winged the flight of the wind!" the Hebrew poet says, Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind."
We see then that human admiration, when it organizes itself in religion, may take three forms and not two only. Not only may it fix itself almost exclusively upon sensible phenomena and become paganism, or turn away from the sensible world to contemplate moral qualities as in Christianity, but also it may fix itself not upon the phenomena themselves but upon a unity of them. The simplest form of this religion of unity is, I suppose, Mohammedanism, which not only contemplates a unity of the world, but takes scarcely any interest in the phenomena themselves, the unity of which it contemplates. Lost in the idea of the greatness of God it loses its interest in the visible evidences of His greatness; but in most cases this religion of unity is combined with one or both of the other religions. The unity worshipped is not an abstract unity, but a unity either of the physical or of the moral world or of both. In paganism the physical world is not worshipped simply for itself, but a feeble attempt is made to establish some unity among its phenomena by setting up a supreme Jove over the multitude of deities. In the moral religions the tendency to unity is still stronger, so much so that it may seem wrong to class, as we have done, Judaism and Christianity among religions of humanity rather than religions of God. They are, in fact, both at once, and the former at least is primarily a religion of God and only secondarily a religion of humanity. It is because the worship of humanity in them, rather than the worship of Deity, determines their specific character, because they conceive Deity itself as a
transcendent humanity, or as united with humanity; it is not because Deity plays a less, but because humanity plays a more prominent part in them that I have chosen to name them rather from humanity than from Deity.
When, therefore, modern systematizers, in endeavouring to organize a religion which should exclude the supernatural, have extracted out of Christianity a religion of humanity, and have rejected as obsolete whatever in it had relation to Deity, they have not been wrong in taking what they have taken, though wrong in leaving what they have left. Deity is found in other religions besides Christianity, and in some religions, e.g., in Islamism, is not a whit less prominent than in Christianity; what is characteristic of the Christian system is its worship of humanity. How great a mistake, nevertheless, is made when it is supposed that Deity ought to be removed out of our religious systems, or that the rejection of supernaturalism in any way involves the dethronement of Deity or the transference to any other object of the unique devotion due to Him, I shall show immediately; but what I have said about those inferior forms of religion which have not God for their object suggests another observation before we pass to consider the religion of God.
It is surely not to be supposed that every higher form of religion ought to supersede and drive out the lower forms. Such intolerance is no doubt very natural to religious feeling. Religious feeling in its exaltation delights to repeat that worship paid to any but the highest object is sin and is apostasy. This, of course, when we consider it, involves a certain restriction upon the meaning of the word worship. Feelings of admiration and devotion may be of various degrees, and may be excited by various objects. Such feelings may be called by the general name of worship, and we may be said, without offence, to regard an official as worshipful, to worship a wife, to worship heroes. But worship may also be used in a special and technical sense to denote the particular sort of devotion paid to the highest object we recognize, and it is in this sense alone that the word is used when religion forbids worship to be paid to whatever is in in any degree worshipful. But churches are often intolerant in pushing this way of speaking beyond bounds. The greatest religious revolution in history is, in the main, simply a reaction against such intolerance, when the right of ideal humanity to receive worship was asserted in the
think it, brought God home to him as much as the brighter side of nature. "He casteth forth His ice like morsels; who is able to abide his cold?" Those terrible and undeniable facts which are now quoted to prove that there is no God were strongly asserted and marked in his description of God, "Who visiteth the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the fourth generation of them that hate Him." Nowhere in literature is such fire and such enjoyment in the handling of natural objects to be found as in the book of Job. When modern poets with the fullest worship describe nature, they resemble the Hebrew poets rather than the Greek or Roman. Wordsworth's view of the universe is rather Judaic than Hellenic.
heart of a community devoted to the ex- | be a God because of this or that mark of clusive worship of Deity. And in modern contrivance or beneficence." Evil powers, history there are many evidences of a terrible phenomena, strange as we may secret reaction going on against the absorption of that earlier and lower form of religion which I have called physical, by the higher forms. Paganism itself, many think-and why should it not be true? was too intolerantly put down. It is true that the intolerance of a necessary and beneficent revolution is pardonable, but that is no reason why it should not be repaired in later and quieter times. The horror of physical nature which belongs to the Middle Ages has passed away from the modern mind; the iconoclasm which raged against Greek art and heathen learning is ne more necessary to Christianity than the hatred of painted windows is to Protestantism. The worship of natural forms has gradually revived. They now receive a secondary and inferior sort of homage, and so much in this respect has the world advanced that there is little danger of any worship we may pay to natural beauty blunting our sense of the higher reverence due to moral goodness, nor, indeed, need there be any fear of such worship hiding from our view or doing anything but reveal with fresh brightness the glory of the Eternal Being whom science shows us to be everywhere present. The three kinds of worship may now, I think, subsist peaceably side by side, and human admiration have its natural play.
It is very unjust to confound the medieval form of Christianity, as Goethe seems to do, with Christianity itself. There is surely nothing monkish in the earliest form of it. If it had no sympathy with the Hellenic spirit, this was because it was too far removed from it in its associations to be capable of understanding it. In the sayings of Christ himself, there is distinctly visible the same sympathy with the material universe that breathes in Hebrew prophecy. But something in the state of society or in the spirit of the age and no doubt also the intense preoccupation of the first Christians with moral sub
It is here to be remarked that Chris-jects have produced the result that the tianity, in this respect, took from the be- New Testament, if we except two or three ginning a retrograde direction. Not from isolated sentences in the gospels, is silent anything wrong in its doctrines or its spirit, about nature. Christianity appears not but from the accident of the particular averse but indifferent to it. Its earliest period and society in which it began. Ju- literature through often impassioned and daism in its greatest time had not turned rhythmical was still a literature of prose, away men's thoughts from nature, but and the inspiration of Paul or John is Christianity did so from the beginning. In never kindled by any meaner subject of the mass of literature which Judaism be- contemplation than God or Christ or the queathed to us there is no trace of that Spirit newly poured out upon the Church. monkish horror of nature and of beauty It seems to me that nothing ought to be which many modern writers associate with inferred from this about the necessary Christianity. But, more than this, there is relation of Christianity towards natureno trace of any indifference to nature. He- worship. High poetry is a rare product brew devotion evidently fed itself mainly of the human mind, depending upon many upon the contemplation of the visible uni- conditions which seldom meet. It may verse. It is from this source that it draws doubtless be dried up by a religious sysits inspiration. When a Hebrew poet would tem not favourable to it, but on the other remember God he looked up at the sun hand it is not certain that a religion is unand moon or watched the movements of the favourable or is not highly favourable to atmosphere: "Fair weather cometh out it, which is not of itself sufficient to call of the north; with God is terrible majes- it forth. Christianity grew up in an atty." Nor did he look at nature with the mosphere which, from causes quite indetimid, anxiously searching eye of the mod-pendent of itself, was not suitable to the ern, saying to himself, " I think there must free growth of the feelings which find
But I shall be told that this is mere pantheism. It is nothing of the kind.
Pantheism asserts that the explanation of nature is not to be sought out of nature itself, that the principle or cause of the universe is immanent. On the other hand, the creed called orthodox maintains a cause existing before the universe and transcendent to it, a personal will which called nature into being by its fiat. It is possible that the difference between these
their expression in imaginative literature. | rises to the thought of the sum and sysPoetry the fact is evidenced in the bar- tem of things? barous style of the Apocalypse — is hampered by the confusion of languages that marks a world-empire. If the Christian Church nurtured no genius like Isaiah or the author of Job, neither did the outer world at the same time produce any genius like Homer or Pindar. If paganism, which was so essentially nature-worship, was at that time too feeble to yield any new fruits, it need not be presumed that Christianity was averse to rendering a due worship to nature because its scanty lit-two doctrines may be as important as it has erature is exclusively occupied with the expression of a higher devotion. But it is a misfortune that we can point to no clearer sanction of nature-worship in the original documents of Christianity, because the fact lends countenance to the prejudice that the anti-natural spirit, which, to a great extent, poisoned the influence of the Christian Church upon mankind throughout the Middle Ages, is the native spirit of Christianity itself.
But let me now, returning, ask the question again, "When natural objects have had their due, when virtue and duty have been fully reverenced, is there no further and higher object of reverence, whose existence we must recognize, even though we believe in nothing supernatural, even though we indulge in no subtle psychological analysis? It is certain that the thought of Deity, which is so natural to man, is not excited only by occasional suspensions of law nor only by secret unaccountable monitions felt in the conscience. It is excited at least as much by law itself as by the suspension of law; it is excited quite as much by looking around as by looking within. It is not at all less certain that it is quite distinct from the thought of ideal humanity. Linnæus fell on his knees when he saw the gorse in blossom; Goethe, gazing from the Brocken, said, "Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him?" Kant felt the same awe in looking at the starry heaven as in considering the moral principle; Wordsworth is inspired rather among mountains than among human beings; it was in solitude that Byron felt the same rapture. If there is an exception it is one which proves the rule. Or whence arises the contempt we feel at the modern dictum, that "the heavens declare no glory but that of Kepler and of Newton"? Who is there that is not conscious of a feeling of awe when he realizes the greatness of the universe? When from thinking of this thing and that thing he
seemed to the controversialists on either side. But it is a difference which does not affect the religious awe I speak of. That will remain the same, in whichever way we prefer to conceive the universe. The two theories agree in this, that they give a unity, though a different kind of unity, to the universe. Now religious feeling is excited by thinking of the universe as a unity and not merely by the particular form in which we give it unity in our minds.
It is easy to illustrate this. Religion regards the universe taken together in the same way in which we regard the different minor unities of which it is composed. It speaks of the greatness and majesty of the universe as it might speak of the greatness and majesty of a mountain; the warmer kinds of religion speak of the justice and love visible, or which they believe to exist, in the universe as we speak of the justice and love of a man. Let us consider then how far the feelings with which we regard a man are affected by the theories we may have about human nature. Some may think the human be ing consists of body and soul, the soul being separable from the body and destined to survive it, but at the same time revealed to us only through it. This is par allel to the case of those who regard God as distinct from the universe. Others may consider the human being as one, may think that the distinction of soul and body is baseless, and that the whole phenomenon may be resolved into an aggregate of forces, just as we may regard the universe as merely a name for the aggre gate of forces known to us. No doubt the difference between the two ways of regarding the human being is very important. Still, we do not find that those who regard him in the second way are as if they did not believe in the human being at all. Their feelings towards the human being may be just as lively as if they be lieved him to have a separable soul. ́And
there may be a third class of people who do not even raise the question, who have no opinion whatever on the controverted point, and whose feelings towards human beings may also be not less lively, or may even be more lively than those of either of the warring parties.
It is, in fact, neither the separable soul of a man, nor yet the body of a man that excites our feelings of respect or dislike, friendship or enmity; it is the man himself, in other words, it is the unity of all the organs composing him, the single total to which we give that name. Not otherwise is it with the universe. When we realize it as one we utter the name God, and in doing so we do not pledge our selves to the doctrine that God is the universe, nor yet to the doctrine that He is distinct from it.
It will perhaps be said at this point, "It is not true that God is the name which most naturally occurs to us when we think of the system of the universe. The words universe or world or nature express this conception more appropriately. God is the most appropriate name for the distinct, invisible, eternal cause of the universe which is supposed in most religions, which is denied in pantheism, and put aside as beyond the knowledge of the human intellect in positivism.”
The question thus raised is not uninteresting; only let it be remarked that it is purely a verbal question. We do not alter the nature of the object of our worship when we alter the name by which we describe it. Whatever feelings it legitimately excites will be excited as much under one name as under another. But undoubtedly if a name can ever be important, the name by which we habitually indicate the Eternal Being will be so. Instinctively we attach so much sacredness to that name that we can scarcely bear that it should give place to another, even if another could be found more appropriate. It is the name God which has acquired everywhere this sacredness; it is the name God to which poetry and religion cling, and certainly very strong reasons ought to be shown before we can be expected to tear that name from our hearts and replace it by some other hallowed as yet by no associations. But to me it seems not only that there are no such reasons, but that this name is preferable to the others, as much on account of its appropriateness and convenience as of the associations connected with it. The word universe does not, I think, convey precisely the thought we wish to convey. It expresses not indeed etyVOL. XII. 603
mologically but in usage - the total of things arrived at, as it were, by mere collection or addition. But we are thinking of the unity which all things compose in virtue of the universal presence of the same laws. The word world has also associations which render it unfit for our purpose. In the first place, it has been conveniently adopted to express the very opposite of what we want to express. The artificial, conventional order which societies establish among themselves an order unnatural, transitory, and tending to corruption - has been called world, and has been contrasted by poets with nature and by theologians with God. Even when the word is used without the intention of conveying any such thought, when it is used as a synonym for universe, it still conveys something a little different from what we have in view. It conveys the notion of a place in which we live. It suggests the thought of an immense residence or house, of which the sky is the roof and the earth the floor. But what we desire to express is an Infinite Being, with which we are connected indeed, but not merely as a resident is connected with the house he lives in—rather as the part is connected with the whole, or as the member with the body.
Moreover, it is to be observed of both these words that they seem to close the very question we wish to leave open; for they both seem adapted to express only the pantheistic view, both seem implicitly to deny the other view. It is as if we were to insist upon calling the human being by the name body. The opposite objection cannot be made to the name God: it cannot be said that this name excludes the pantheistic view. The etymology of the word pantheism is sufficient by itself to prove that it does not. Nor is it solely in connection with the theory opposite to pantheism that the word God has gained its peculiar sacredness and awfulness. From the Bible itself it is easy to quote pantheistic language -"In whom we live and move and have our being." It would rather seem that both in Judaism and Christianity the word is used for the most part in the sense which I have here proposed to give it. The question of pantheism seems very much to be left open throughout the Bible. Texts may be quoted on both sides of it, and on both sides alike they would be misquoted, for their language, as others have forcibly urged, is not scientific but practical, or - what on such subjects is the same thing-poetical.
It is upon
what is common to the two views, not on | how you are getting on," wrote Tom Reed
what is peculiar to either, that the Bible is built.
to Mrs. Temple a week or two after the
"How delightful it will be to see him!" cried Kate after reading this aloud. "But it is almost too soon for him to come. Don't you think so, Fanny?"
It is the word nature which science, in its traditional aversion to theological language, most willingly adopts. There can be no objection to using it, and on most occasions one would choose it in preference to a word which, no doubt, is too sacred to be introduced unnecessarily too sacred, in short, to be worked with. Still the word is not satisfactory, as the reader will see by referring to what I have said above of the common mistake made in speaking of the pitilessness of nature. Nature, as the word has hitherto been used by scientific men, excludes the whole domain of human feeling, will, and morality. Nevertheless, in contemplating the relation of the universe to ourselves and to our destiny, or again in contemplating it as a subject of admiration and worship, the part filled by morality is the more important part of the universe to us. Our destiny is affected by the society in which we live more than by the natural conditions which surround us, and the moral virtues are higher objects of worship than natural beauty and glory. Accordingly the word nature suggests but a part, and the less important part, of the idea for which we are seeking an expression. Nature presents herself to us as a goddess of unweariable vigour and unclouded hap-widow's success. piness, but without any trouble or any compunction in her eye, without a conscience or a heart. But God, as the word is used by ancient prophets and modern poets- God, if the word have not lost in "You are an unreasonable little goose," our ears some of its meaning through the said her friend. 'However, I shall be defeebleness of the preachers who have un-lighted to see him. He cannot be here dertaken to interpret it, conveys all this beauty and greatness and glory, and conveys besides whatever more awful forces stir within the human heart, whatever binds men in families, and orders them in States. He is the inspirer of kings, the revealer of laws, the reconciler of nations, the redeemer of labour, the queller of tyrants, the reformer of churches, the guide of the human race towards an unknown goal.
From Temple Bar.
HER DEAREST FOE.
"IN spite of prudence and all the other reasonable bugbears you array against me, I will run down on Saturday and see
"No, indeed, I do not," returned that young lady candidly, and sparkling all over with smiles. "I have rather wondered why he kept away so long - I mean after Miss Potter went ; for "Mrs. Browne's right-hand woman," had departed a considerable time before, much gratified by a small present over and above the sum agreed upon for her services, and eloquent in her good wishes for the young
"You know I have always warned him not to come."
"But for all that," pouted Fanny, "he has been marvellously patient."
till late. We must have something very nice for supper, and an extra good dinner on Sunday. I will go and speak to Mills." And Mrs. Temple rose from the breakfasttable, where this conversation took place.
"I do not think Tom cares much for eating," said Fanny, with a slight sigh and a tinge of sentiment in the outlook of her bright brown eyes.
"Nonsense," returned Mrs. Temple. "There is a strong dash of the Epicurean in the dear old fellow. Depend upon it he loves sugar and spice, and all that's nice, in his heart of hearts, though I believe he is man enough to do without anything cheerfully, if necessary." And Mrs. Temple went off quickly to consult Mills, whose countenance relaxed even towards the ex-stockbroker's gentleman when she heard she was to "kill the fatted calf” for Master Tom.