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who sees in others the same Humanity he loves and reverences in himself, who loves his fellow men simply as men, because they are men, will not, cannot degrade them to a lower round of the social hierarchy than he is willing to occupy himself, will certainly never consent to reduce them to slavery.
Hence, again, this civilization did not repudiate war. In fact, it was almost purely a military civilization. Its main business and its chief glory, were war and conquest. But had it been penetrated with a love of Humanity, had it seen a brother in the foreigner, a fellow man to be loved, it could not but have condemned war in principle, even if it had tolerated it in practice. But no. The same word served it to designate an enemy and a foreigner. All out of the pale of the city, were out of the pale of its love.
You see, then, wherein consisted the defectiveness of the Greek and Roman civilization. It probably was far behind the Jewish in its religious phase, but it far surpassed it in art, literature, science, philosophy; yet like the Jewish, it was wanting in the love of man, as man. This love of man, as man, wanting in both the Jewish and the Greek and Roman civilizations, in the Oriental world and in the Occidental world, is precisely that which Jesus came to supply, and which constitutes the originality and peculiarity of the Christian Movement.
The Christian Movement does not tend to develope piety, as did the Jewish; it does not tend, so exclusively, to perfect the state, to bring out art, science, philosophy, jurisprudence, the sense of law and love of country, as did the Greek and Roman; but it tends to the development of genuine philanthropy. In this tendency it proves itself original and peculiar. It does not destroy piety, art, science, philosophy, nor even patriotism; but it aims to shed over them a purer light, to diffuse through them a freer and a richer sentiment, and to make them all harmonize with, and contribute to, the freest and fullest development of human nature, man's highest possible perfection.
The love of man, as man, is Christianity's point of departure, and its point of arrival too. From this it starts, and to this it comes round. By making this its starting-point, it teaches us that our duty to God, to our country, to relatives, family, and friends, is discharged in the true love of Humanity, that all our duties, of whatever nature, are integrated in the love of man, in the service of mankind.
Under Judaism every thing was subordinated to religion, or the worship of God. The city or the state existed only for the purpose of maintaining the priesthood and the temple-service. All human interests were sacrificed. Art could not flourish, literature could have no existence, science and philosophy no toleration. Religion must reign without a rival, and by so doing it became exclusive, despotic, tyrannical. It lost its primal character, lost sight of its legitimate end, and from a reverence for the true and spiritual, a love of the beautiful and good, it degenerated into a long, fatiguing ritual, a mass of unmeaning rites and ceremonies, as unacceptable to God as burdensome and debasing to man. Religion, when separated from our other duties, when erected into a separate, a distinct duty of itself, or even when regarded as capable of being so erected, becomes a deep and withering curse upon Humanity, and inevitably awakens abhorrence, and the most unrelenting hostility in the bosom of every genuine Son of Man. Religion should be to us as the light, a medium through which we see all that we do see, but which itself remains forever unseen.
Man ought to learn, and if he studies the Christian Movement he will learn, that it is folly to think of doing anything for God. God stands in no need of help from man. He dwelleth not in temples made with hands, nor is he served with men's hands as though he needed anything. He is the universal Being, self-subsisting, and self-sufficing. He is above and beyond, albeit near and within us. He asks no vain oblations, no offerings of sweet incense and
myrrh, gold and precious stones. His worship is no separate act, standing out by itself, distinct from all human interests and in opposition to them. This is the great lesson Christianity teaches the Jew.
The Greek and Roman citizen is taught, by this same Christian Morement, that the City is not ultimate, that instead of living and dying for his country, he should live and die for man. The city or state to which one belongs, can have no legitimate interest, not identical with the interests of universal Humanity. What is the true interest of one city, is the interest of all cities; of one nation, of all nations, and of one man, of all men. The true way then of doing what the Jew sought to do, that is, to serve God, and of doing what the Greek and Roman sought to do, that is, to serve the city or state, is to do that which best serves man, as man. He who loves man, as man, that is, as he loves himself, will always seek to do him all the good in his power, and by so doing will fulfil his whole duty both to God and the state. In love, then, all interests and duties unite; in love our duties to God and to man unite; in love, then, God and man meet, lose their antithesis, and become one.* Love is the Christ, as I have before proved, and of course then love is the mediator between God and man, the universal Atoner or Reconciler. Hence the idea of the God-Man, the union of the Divine and human natures in the same person, an idea held by the Church from its birth up to the present, though in all likelihood without being comprehended in its full significance. In the love of man, as man, all antitheses in matters of interest and duties will be found to meet and become identical.
The Christian Movement, from what I have said, it will be seen, is not a destructive movement. It destroys no element of human nature. It accepts the piety of the Jew and the patriotism of the Greek and Roman, and absorbs them in a higher and broader sentiment than either. It takes nothing from the world, which is enduring, but it adds that which gives life and energy, and a right direction to the whole.
* See New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church. Boston : James Munroe & Company. 1936. This little book, which some call a dark book, is written expressly to unfold the idea touched upon in this sentence.
Having ascertained the true character of the Christian Movement, and wherein it is original and peculiar, I proceed to remark on its progress, and to determine who are affected by it, and what we must be and do in order to be Christians.
The progress of the Christian Movement is the great matter of human history. The history of it has not yet been written ; its grandeur and immense bearings on the destiny of man in this life, have as yet been hardly conceived. The histories of the Church, and especially of Christianity, at least those accessible to the English reader, are small things, and give one about as just a conception of Christianity, as a single brick would of the city of Babylon. We find in them little except a mass of miserable cant and nauseous details of controversies about words and unmeaning dogmas, ever renewed and never ending ; contests between rival sects; contests between the civil society and the ecclesiastical society; persecutions, crusades, holy wars on a large or a small scale ; facts at one time horrible, revolting to all human feelings, at other times trivial, foolish, disgusting. And this miserable detail is called the history of Christianity. The true history of Christianity is the history of the progress of philanthropy for the last two thousand years; its struggles with the old world, with old habits, old manners, old institutions, old doctrines; its struggles with the barbarian hordes issuing out of the bosom of the North, and overrunning the civilization of the South; its efforts to humanize religion, government, law, art, science, literature, the whole order of civilization, and its failures and successes. This history, so far as my knowledge extends, remains to be written, and till it is written, there will be no history of the Christian Movement.
I have neither the space nor the ability, to sketch even the faintest outline of the mighty progress of this Movement. I stand in awe before it, and bow down in gratitude to God for it. It has been sweeping on for two thousand years, and I can hardly credit the changes it has already wrought. It has swept away Judaism and Greek and Roman civilization, as exclusive states of society; it has tamed and humanized the ruthless Barbarian, softened national hostilities, subdued national prejudices, demolished the military nobility, put an end to the hereditary nobility in the spiritual society, and struck it with death in the temporal society. It is substituting the order of merit for the order of birth, and supplanting the artificial aristocracy by that of nature, by the aristocracy of talent and virtue. It has destroyed all distinctions of caste, and of master and slave, in principle at least, and will soon do it in practice. It proclaims the kindling doctrines of liberty and equality; it is preparing a system of universal education; it is carrying on an exterminating warfare against privilege, in whatever name or shape it may appear; it is raising up the poor and neglected, the low and oppressed; it is everywhere infusing into the human heart a deep reverence for human nature, a regard for everything human, and it issues its decree, Let not man, ever again, be counted vile or vulgar in the eyes of
They who manifest a true love for man, as man, who labor to meliorate the condition of man, who seek to obtain a greater amount of good for man, even for him who is at the foot of the social ladder, as well as for him who is at its summit, are affected by the Christian Movement. They who sympathize with man, and labor for his elevation, whether it be by reforming theology or philosophy, church or state, schools or jurisprudence, by improving art or science, by infusing morality into the transactions of the business world, unmasking the pretensions of a selfstyled aristocracy, or imparting dignity to the me