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Him they are slow, alas! in knowing, the God who is full of gentleness and patience and long-suffering, the God who is able to lift the Celestial Empire out of its spiritual bondage and set it forward on the path of progress, the God who can inform with celestial life the strong, stolid intellect of China, the God whose love floods the universe with blessings, and who holds out from His eternal throne the golden sceptre of mercy.

The classic text of Christianity in its world-embracing efforts is that verse of the fourth Gospel which begins, "God so loved the world." The illustrious sage of China did not say that, and to-day, we are informed that the Christian preaching of love to God, as a response to His love toward us, sounds outlandish to the men of Chinese minds in the Middle Kingdom who seem to think "that it can only come from the lips of those who have not been properly trained. " Confucius did not claim to know much of the power that rules in the heavens. Prince Siddartha, driven into practical atheism, never uttered any message of divine love, and so the Gospel of Buddha which modern scholars are compiling and printing seems to Christians a misnomer. Such is man's need of worship that the agnosticism with which Buddha began was not forever continued with all his disciples. "The preacher of atheism became himself a god. Friendly students of the prophet of Islam have sometimes affirmed that Mohammed's god is savage, aggressive, almost cruel. The Koran speaks much of the Merciful One, but that mercy is dimmed by other attributes and is not made real and credible; Islam is truly the crescent, a pale, lunar sickle of gracious truth in the sky of religion. I know that we may discern the luminous shadow faintly rounded out, but the light is narrow and not intense. Allah is a god afar off. He does not satisfy the yearnings of the soul, and as Kuenen has said, "The people therefore make a new religion at the graves of its saints; it seeks compensation for the dryness of the official doctrine and worship; true universalism is to Islam in virtue of its very origin, unattainable."

As to Hinduism, while it has shown for more than two thousand years man seeking by devious ways and through golden mists or deadly vapours, the face of God, it seems, until modified by Christianity, to have known little, although it is rich in fabulous incarnations, of the Supreme Love actually in some historic manifestation seeking fallen man with divine pity and the purpose of complete redemption. Other faiths, as I have intimated, may appropriate to-day the Christian idea and revelation of God's universal Fatherhood, finding expression

in acts of mercy, but we must not forget that what is giving this great truth its general acceptance is the teaching and work of Christ. There is something rather odd in the methods of some Indian reformers who, as one of your able journals has written, "appropriate the doctrines and motives of Christianity and fling them in triumph at Christians." How Jesus toiled to inspire in men who were out of the way the confidence that He is the God-ordained Saviour of mankind. For this He strewed His journeys with beneficent miracles which drew the attention of the stupidest; for this He showed the tenderest regard for the most afflicted and despised; for this He touched the whitened skin of the leper, and sat at meat with publicans, and permitted the loving attentions of outcast women. For this He denied Himself in one long series of sacrifices from the shadowing of His divine glory in the darkened stable of Bethlehem, to the culmination of the divine tragedy beneath the murky skies of Golgotha. What is there within the omnipotence of Deity which He did not do to show that sin is not beyond the reach of God's victorious delivering mercy? He fastened men's minds on Himself, that they might know God's radical dispositions, His unspeakable and infinite compassions, so that seeing Jesus as He beheld with all-pitying eyes the shepherdless multitudes of Galilee, we get a glimpse of the heart of God's love, that glows over all His numberless straying children in all lands, from Arctic ice to equatorial palms, and down all the sorrowing ages, and that with a fulness of fire compared with which the sun himself is an enfeebled and halfsmothered flame, burns along the horizon or high up in the zenith of our daily life.

I hope that by what has been thus far said I have given no impression that outside of Christianity the divine spirit has been comparatively inactive. God, I find in all the great religions and higher philosophies, not only in the modern sage who said, "O God, I think thy thoughts after thee," but in the songs of the ancient Vedas where it was written God that "through Him the sky is bright and the earth firm, the heaven was established, nay the highest heaven, and who measured out light in the air:" He is present in the life of all His creatures. As Phillips Brooks once said, Everywhere throughout the world God has made Himself known to His children; He is making Himself known to His children to-day." Paul did not underrate or despise the spiritual knowledge which his Greek and Roman hearers already possessed; he frankly confessed the glimpses of truth discoverable in their


systems, and while he presented the most scathing arraignment of Roman vices to be found in literature, yet with his discriminating love and intelligence, he perceived and felt how much of truth God has given to all men's consciences and understandings. The youthful Buddha felt and said, "There must be some supreme intelligence where we could find rest; if I attained it, I could bring light to man; if I were free myself, I could deliver the world:" Why may this not have been the working of the Spirit of God, and prophetic, like so much which we find in Greek, Persian and Hindu thought and hope of Him who was free, and who through the disclosure of God's mercy has brought deliverance to the world? Foreshadowings of the great facts of incarnation and atonement appear in the sacred books of the nations. Many have regarded certain strange sentences in the Vedic hymns and in the laws of Manu, as being "traces of the revelation once made to mankind of the promised atonement for the sins of the world."

But how fragmentary and feeble are the best representations of the God of all mercy to be found in other literature compared with the mighty and full-orbed truths of the Christian Scriptures! The supreme disclosure of the divine nature as redeeming love is seen in the Incarnation of the Son of God. This is the climax of all disclosures. The Christian doctrine of God in Christ is not merely that a human being attained the loftiest height of spiritual knowledge and remained there through life in the holy of holies of religion. The Christian teaching is that God's personality, God Himself took possession of the temple of the human spirit, so that Jesus could say, "I and my Father are one," and so that "Jesus has for us the religious value of God." This Christian teaching remains unshaken. No other faith in history, "has been so continuous and invariable." And the inspiration of the Church's activities to-day, like the foundation of the Church's hope in the beginning, has been this faith that He who was equal with God voluntarily withdrew Himself from the unspeakable fellowships of the Godhead and took a human form and a human nature for our salvation. The faith of the Church has involved the unity of Christ with God, and the unity of the Holy Spirit, Christ's personal representative in the world, with God. "All the higher philosophies, have held to a possible Trinity." The doctrine of the Trinity was simply an attempt, as one has said, "to give richness, variety, internal relations, abundance and freedom to our ideas of God." Christianity gives us a conception of a Godhead which has all

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the constituents and conditions of real intellectual, moral and social existence," thus saving us from " the deism which shuts up God within the limitations or impotences of his own infinitude, and from the pantheism which loses Him within the multitudinous and fleeting phenomena of an ever-changing universe." But the working force of Christianity has not been the Trinity, but the Incarnation of the Son of God for the redemption of This revelation of God in Christ making atonement for sin, is a force of truth and of life and a message of historic fact, by which the Christian Church has actually delivered men from the power and defilement of sin, and by which the Church purposes to redeem the world from the guilt and love of sin.


I look around the world to-day and find no other religions which seriously attempt the work of redemption. "They have no healing for the sin-stricken soul." Christianity makes much of sin, because the vivid consciousness of sin leads to a higher sense of personal responsibility and to a closer union with God. The pantheism, which identifies man with his Creator, making the Divine Being the ultimate cause of all evil, weakens this and almost eradicates the sense of the personal element. "Pantheism can never do justice to the unlimited value of moral toil."

We are not surprised that Spinoza looked upon human freedom as a dream, and rubbed of the sharp distinction between good and bad. Nor are we surprised that Strauss, when he went over into the ranks of materialism, thought the hope of individual immortality a delusion. While Christianity presents in a holy, personal, omnipresent, merciful God an object of worship infinitely more satisfactory than any shadowy, impersonal Absolute of German or Hindu speculation it never degrades man, as pantheism always does, "into a fleeting manifestation of the great impersonal spirit of nature." It seems to us that here in India one of the finest and most religious of races has sunk into hopelessness before the problem of delivering the world from sin, and that one of the reasons of its failure and despair has been the gradual elimination of the thought of sin. Îndian philosophy has almost destroyed the sense of personal guilt and thus has weakened the will. Not that men have been delivered from fear and the desire to do many things to placate the Heavenly Power, in order, through self-torture, to be reborn into some higher existence and at last to reach the painless calm of Deity. The world over, whatever be their philosophy, we hear men crying out "Can any human arm deliver us?" and one is stirred, it has been said, "with a deeper, broader sympathy for mankind, when he witnesses this universal sense of dependence,

than deism comes to take possession of it. In Jesus Christ I find the only true solution of the mystery."

This doctrine once received, we can explain in part the opposing evangelic statements. We cannot expect in a farnorthern hot-house all the splendor and luxuriance of the vegetation that borders the Amazon; we cannot condense the Torrid Zone, with all its vegetable wonders, into a glass cage, in our northern winter. And so Christ taught of the divine nature that, hedged about, and restricted, and humiliated in the prisoncage of our human flesh as He was, all the unspeakable glories of Heaven and of Him who is from everlasting to everlasting, were not revealed in the man of Nazareth. In Him was the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and pre-eminently His moral completeness, so far as the body can enclose and disclose the divine nature.

Thus we learn that we are not to dissociate from the heart of God, from the very spiritual substance of Jehovah, either the person or the sacrificial work of Christ. He is the Lamb of God, and tells us of a sinlessness which is joined to lowliness and humility; a limitless capacity to suffer for love's sake, the widereaching, all-clasping sympathy of God; a sympathy as tender for the darkened children of Africa as for the proud races of Europe; a sympathy which embraces the famine-smitten millions of this land as well as the dwellers in England and America; a sympathy out of which, as out of the store-house, the workshop and the garden of the Almighty, have come Bethlehem, Calvary, the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, the hands which turned leprosy into purity, and distress into joy; the white brow of death with the acanthine crown more lustrous than Cæsar's diadem, the suffering heart pierced with the spear, the uplifted mercy-seat, the immortal Cross burdened with a heavenly Victim who became thereon more than an earthly Victor. No wonder that while the world moves round, the Cross stands firm. No wonder that to the Christian all the light of sacred story and human hope gathers round it. No wonder that it has become the giant hinge of the gate which divides the empire of old night from the growing splendors of the Christian day! No wonder that St. Ambrose saw in its form the image of a destroying sword thrust into the earth. The upper end is the hilt about which is clasped almighty power. The outstretched arms are the guard, and its body is the sharp blade driven down into the head of the Old Red Dragon of sin.

What other faith has such a clear, decisive and satisfying message to carry into the fear-haunted and defiled sanctuary

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