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INTUITIONS NEED A CORRECTIVE

see by it, but we do not see it; it will not be recognized, unless it is concentrated; hence the sun, the physical luminary. So no man has seen God at any time'whom no man has seen or can see"; the invisible God needs to be manifested; hence the Son, the spiritual luminary. Finite beings will always need more than "the light that lighteth every man," need more than the diffused light of nature and conscience and intuition. Even in heaven that diffused light is not enough, for "though they need no candle nor light of the sun because "the Lord God gives them light," it is expressly declared that "the lamp thereof is the Lamb"-in Christ alone is God's light concentrated and made visible to his creatures.

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Emerson's intuitions are not a trustworthy expression of the infinite Reason.) They are colored by finiteness and sin. They lack the sense of the ideal. They unduly magnify the physical. In Brahminism, such intuitions glorify the lustful and the base. They turn might into right, and the self into God. Intuition needs the corrective of special revelation, and that revelation is given to us in Christ. Authority is, therefore, neither purely objective on the one hand, nor purely subjective on the other, for man is neither permanently infantile, nor fully mature; he is not wholly dependent upon human teachers, nor does he discover all truth himself. Christianity is, first, objective manifestation of truth, in the Sun and the Son; then, secondly, subjective appropriation of truth, by the cooperation of spirit with Spirit; that is, of the human spirit with the divine Spirit

What is the place of the Bible in this revelation? I

PLACE OF THE BIBLE IN REVELATION

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No

reply that the Bible is a telescope between man and God; it is the rending of a veil. We do not worship the telescope, on the one hand, nor, on the other hand, do we refuse to use it. It is an authority in astronomy. Similarly, the written records of Christianity are our authority in religion. Give them up, trust your intuitions, and you may have Christian Science, or pantheism, or Romanist worship of Virgin and saints, and a hierarchy that destroys human freedom. Give up historic Christianity, and you put an end to Christian life and experience. Faith in the authority of Scripture is perfectly consistent with free inquiry as to the method of its evolution and inspiration. criticism, higher or lower, can destroy its life. The total teaching of the Bible is ascertainable on all points that are essential to salvation; for salvation is dependent not on the book, but on the person of Jesus Christ, who is revealed in the book. Union with Christ is the one essential, and belief in Scripture and the church is incidental. The Bible record of historic facts and of past experience is authority for us, because it makes known Christ and brings us in contact with him. The Bible does not take the place of Christ; its authority is not original; it simply reveals Christ, who is the authority.

All this throws light upon one of the great heresies of modern theology, this namely, that the Bible is only a record of human experiences, and not a revelation from God. What is to prevent God from revealing himself through those very experiences? Why may he not so utter his messages that they shall be actual voices from on high? Grant that the revelation is pro

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ORIENTAL IMMANENCE

gressive. Still may we believe in the unity, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture.

Oriental immanence contributed a final element to Emerson's transcendentalism. The doctrine of the Over-Soul, in which every man's particular being is contained, is indeed the central principle of his thinking. He regarded God as immanent, not only in nature, but also in man; one Mind is common to all men; and each man is a new incarnation. "I am part and parcel of God," he said. "The simplest person, who in his integrity worships God, becomes God." Both nature and humanity were in this way so glorified that strange inferences were sometimes drawn. He called mandarin oranges "Christianity in apples." A story is current that, at the opera, Emerson and Margaret Fuller were gazing at the ballet, when Miss Fuller remarked, “Ralph, this is poetry!" and he replied, 'Margaret, this is religion!"

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Doctor Harrison, of Kenyon College, has written a valuable book on "The Teachers of Emerson," in which he aims to disclose the sources of Emerson's doctrine. He traces it back ultimately to Plato, though he grants that Neoplatonism had greater influence upon Emerson than had Plato himself. Plato certainly taught the ineffable unity of all being, by reason of its participation in the divine ideas. But this was not the peculiar doctrine of Emerson. He taught the immanence of an active God in humanity and the mystical union of humanity with Deity. He found this doctrine in the Neoplatonic speculations of the Alexandrian Plotinus, and the ecstatic utterances of the Hindu Vedas fell in with his thought. He was not a profound stu

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dent of the mystics, any more than he was a profound student of the philosophers. He was no great scholar, and it was mainly translations that he read. But he had a way of appropriating whatever suited his purpose; like Molière he could say, "Je prends mon bien ou je le trouve." Tauler, Fox, Swedenborg, furnished him with material, and he did not disdain to borrow from the Persian Saadi and Omar Khayyam. He made his own whatever in all literature asserted the presence and energy of God in every particle of the universe and in every human soul.

If Spinoza could be called " a God-intoxicated man," Emerson was even better entitled to this designation; for while Spinoza's God was only Nature, Emerson's God still retained some of the attributes of personality derived from Calvinism. The survival of elements belonging to Emerson's ancestral religion is indeed. all that rescues his work from gross idolatry of nature. In so many words, he denied God's personality: "I say that I cannot find, when I explore my own consciousness, any truth in saying that God is a person, but the reverse. . To represent him as an individual is to shut him out of my consciousness." But let us be just to Emerson. By personality, he may mean nothing but limitation to an individual. He also says: "I deny personality to God, because it is too little, not too much. Life, personal life, is faint and cold, to the energy of God. For Reason and Love and Beauty, or that which is all these-it is the life of life, the reason of reason, the love of love." Emerson should have remembered that it is finiteness, and not personality, that implies limitation: an infinite personality may be

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SELF-DEIFICATION

unlimited. And, as will in man is the highest and most inclusive attribute of his personality, we cannot deny personality to God without depriving him of will. Such denial makes him identical with nature and not its informing Spirit; conterminous with nature and not above it. And since all we know of nature we know from the processes of our own minds, God is identified with those processes; we have no knowledge of him as existing apart from ourselves; we find God only within our own souls; he is immanent but not transcendent. Thus transcendentalism contradicts itself and becomes

self-deification.) It is the precise opposite of the Scripture representation, which speaks of God as not only "in all," and "through all," but also " above all." The God whom the Bible recognizes as immanent is a God of will, as well as of power; a God of wisdom and love and holiness; a God who can come down in special ways to his creatures; and who can reveal himself in Christ, as their Saviour from the penalty and the power of sin. The God of Emerson, on the other hand, is a mere abstraction, a mere idealization of nature. He tells us that

Conscious Law is King of kings.'

But he might also have called Law unconscious, for he denied to it personality; and Doctor Ware said well, in criticism of Emerson's doctrine: "Law, truth, love, are no Deity. There must be some Being, to exercise these attributes. There is a personal God, or there is no God."

1" Woodnotes," II.

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