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Apostles of old time, and to enlarge their interest in that small region of earth so truly called “the Holy Land.” That interest, too, is ever deepening, for Jew and Christian alike, as the course of Divine destiny is working towards the accomplishment of yet unfulfilled prophecy.

Such books as Mr. Neil's, written with familiar knowledge and enlivened by the pencil of able artists, will always find a hearty welcome. Sudden, unexpected lights glance across the sacred pages. A more human sympathy grows up as the touch of nature" strikes us here and there. The places and people of the present stand up as witnesses to the record of the past. Difficulties turn into proofs, to the strengthening of that healthy faith which, as Arnold well said, “is the highest exercise of reason."

These things help us to “receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls,” and are doubly welcome at a time when meekness is no common temper even towards the Word of God, and we are often afraid that “the faithful are minished from among the children of men."

We do not bind ourselves to all Mr. Neil's ways of putting things--e.g., in his dicta on metaphorical language and the like. But, as so often, the value is much more in the positive part, which is so worthy of attention, than in the negative, which many readers will qualify from their own knowledge. The bold and striking illustrations are a contrast, not unwelcome, to the finesse of detail which photogravure has made so familiar. The most homely figures and groups of field or market or workshop have a Biblical air which is both true and pleasing. There is also, here and there, a touch from the Egyptian monuments, well bestowed to confirm what is said of the permanence of most ancient types in still unsophisticated places of Oriental life.

We find most unexpected light on things that seem strange in the Bible in reading this book. For instance, it is said of the disgusting dervishes (p. 216) that they “frequently have the horn of a he-goat or buffalo to sound in praise of the generosity of those who give them alms.” We have never met with anything so near to the literal sense of the warning of our Lord, “Do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do,” &c. (Matt. vi. 2).

H. G. TOMKINS.

CURRENT AMERICAN

THOUGHT.

APOLOGETICS IN THE PULPIT. By F. H. FOSTER (New Englander and Yale Review).—There is no place in the pulpit for apology in the ordinary sense of that word. We conceive the apologist, as one who has a doubtful, possibly a bad cause to maintain, and we associate with him a certain timidity of appearance, an attitude half of defence and half of excuse, and a success at least ambiguous. No such ideas are to be associated with the Christian preacher. He may fear for himself, or he may have causes in his own heart or life which might lead to apology, but in his presentation of the Gospel he is to cast all this aside and to speak out in the full consciousness of the dignity and benignity of his message. To do anything else is to fall short of his privileges and of his duty.

Nor, when its meaning is rightly conceived, as the orderly defence of the Christian system in argument before its opponents, is apology to form the staple of the preaching of the pulpit. No army ever won a campaign by purely defensive tactics.

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And hence apology must be relegated to its proper place, which is never the principal place, in the ministrations of the pulpit.

Yet, in a proper sense, and at a proper time, apology has a place in the pulpit. There are real difficulties in respect to Christian truths, and that too the most fundamental and important of them, which perplex the Christian as well as impede the progress of the unbeliever towards the truth. And hence for two reasons, for the confirmation of the faith of the Church itself, and for the help of the world, attention needs to be paid to the difficulties of men. CERTAIN CAUTIONARY REMARKS UPON THE CONDUCT OF APOLOGETIC PREACHING.

1. As to the manner of the discussion. This should be calm. The apologist must give the impression to others that he himself is not disturbed by the problem which he is discussing before his people, and to this, calmness of demeanour, and what is more important, calmness and deliberation of argumentation, are absolutely necessary. Jerkiness of style, disorder of arguments, appeals and exhortations, rhetorical flourishes and melodramatic situations, are all to be avoided, because they convey the idea of haste and disturbance. The speaker will not convince who is, or appears to be, in doubt himself. It should also be candid. You must not only meet your adversary, but you must seem to him to meet him. You must not only see the force of his arguments, but so evidently appreciate them that when you have stated them, there will be no opportunity to say that the other side has not been fairly dealt with or but half represented in the debate. It should be also objective, i.e., should confine itself to tangible arguments and facts, leaving the region of motives out of the account. The adversary of the Christian faith has the right to be regarded as honest, to be grappled with in a manly and honest combat, and the apologist will consult the interests of his own cause by doing this. It should be strong. The preacher must prove his case, or he had better let the subject alone. Strength belongs often to manner as much as to matter. Do not only be strong, but seem so. And it should be sympathetic. It should see what is really good in the opponent, and thus sympathize with him, which is an intellectual sympathy. But it should also be filled with sincere pity for the erring man. On this branch of my subject I am sure I do not need to dwell. I pass,

there. fore, to the more important caution which I wish to emphasize.

2. As to the source of the argument. (1) This may be drawn from natural science in part. There is a line of popular apology much favoured at present which is likely to react upon the Christian faith to its detriment, the line, namely, pursued by Drummond in his Natural Law in the Spiritual World. Close analysis will show that that argument is not drawn from the analogies which subsist between the natural and the spiritual, but from an assumed identity between them. Now, there are striking analogies between the two worlds, as is not strange, since they evidently proceed from the hands of one maker. These may be fruitful in illustrative quality, and may often light up a sphere into which illumination reaches from no other quarter. But there cannot be an identity of law in the two spheres, since law is a method of operation, and if two entities are acted upon in methods altogether the same, they must themselves be altogether the same, or else there would be at some point a difference of reaction to the operative force, involving a difference of law. But matter and mind are not identical. To make them such is to proclaim materialism, and materialism is materialism, whether it be preached ignorantly by a Christian minister, or be knowingly advocated by an enemy of the truth of Christ. Materialism is the great opponent of Christianity in every age of the Church from the beginning.

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It is the antithesis of Christianity, for God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Analogies drawn from “ life” need also to be handled with care. It is often said that we must have a vital Christianity. True ; but what do you mean precisely? The objection has sometimes been made to the governmental theory of the atonement that it is drawn from the analogy of government, whereas the analogy of life is more instructive. But it should be remembered that life is a physical thing, and proceeds within the realm of natural forces, that it is under the control of force, whereas government is not an analogy, but a fact, and is moral; that is, conducted by influence exerted upon free wills, which is something spiritual, and far higher than physical force. There are analogies from life which are good ; but those which are drawn from the particulars in which life departs from its likeness to the spiritual, are mischievous and only such. Thus to say that forgiving sin without an atonement can never break down the government of God, since, no matter what the sinners may do, the govern. ment of God stands, is to make that government one of force, and to destroy at bottom its moral character. If any soul for a sound reason should rebel against God and there would be a sound reason, if God exhibited Himself as indifferent to the guilt of sin—the moral government of God would be destroyed; that is, His power rightly to influence a soul to obedience would be gone for ever. Analogies from “ life" which forget this are only harmful.

Or (2) the argument may be drawn from Christian history. This is one of the most fruitful fields of effective apology, though it requires a large degree of what may be called erudition to employ historical apology successfully. Permit me, since iny own special studies lie in this direction, to dwell upon this portion of my theme more at length than would otherwise be appropriate.

(a) The permanence of Christianity, when rightly handled, is an argument of great power. There is no fact more plain or more significant than that of the transitoriness of philosophical systems. Yet amid all this, amid the succession of pantheistic, deistic, atheistic systems, the Church has gone on her way unmoved, and taught the same doctrine of one personal and infinite God from the beginning, which she teaches to-day. That singular phenomenon has a cause, which is either the superior evidence of the doctrine, or the presence of a supernatural teaching power in the Church which warrants it. As an illustration of the argument from the permanence of the Church, let me dwell a little upon the argument from the Christian persecutions. The constancy of the Christian martyrs of the early ages was remarkable. The Christians referred their constancy to the presence and help of the living Saviour. Now, they were either right, or under the power of a very strong delusion. But a delusion does not endure for ages, and Christian martyrs, whose description of their experiences are the same, are to be found in every Christian century, including our own, yes, the past decade of our own. It was only by belittling and disguising the facts that Gibbon was ever able to make for an instant the impression of having evacuated the force of this argument.

(6) Again, most of the modern arguments against Christianity are really very ancient. I know that modern science is a new thing, but the mind of man is not new, and was as acute in the year 150 as it is to-day. Now when it is shown that these arguments have been brought up over and over again, and always rejected as not meeting the case, the rational argument against them receives a reinforcement, which, whether properly or not, exerts a prodigious influence; and in my opinion its influence is healthful and proper. (c) Then again, the arguments presented by many of the Christian writers from

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age to age are perfectly conclusive and cannot be improved. And this acquaintance with the great teachers we gain from Christian history.

(d) And further, history shows us the futility of the efforts to build up a system of religion by the natural reason alone. Contemporanous history is full of these attempts, as we all know.

(3) A third source of apology is the philosophy of common sense. The fundamental distinction between mind and matter is proved by the most elaborate discussions of development hypotheses no better, and, indeed, no otherwise, than by the drastic illustration of the “impossibility of running a railroad train from the northeast to the south-west corner on the mind”—a proof in which Professor Bowen used to delight. It is the appeal to the consciousness of every man which declares unmistakably, and as plainly to the unlettered as to the philosopher, that mind is totally different from matter. The art of the preacher consists in translating all he learns from the profoundest books into the language of the people, or into the terminology of that philosophy of common sense, which is the only one he can use, and which is extensive and cogent enough for all his needs. Yet at this point comes the necessity of caution. The preacher must avoid giving the impression that he rests his entire case upon the arguments drawn from philosophy. This is not true, and it is never wise to be false. But it is also not wise, because it empties the argument itself of force. In other words, human reason has made so many failures in the progress of time that she, with the greatest reason, profoundly distrusts herself. Plato, Aristotle, Abelard, Aquinas, Lombard, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Wolf, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Lotze, Hume, Reid, Hamilton, Mill—what are these but names of men who have successively received the adulations of their followers, and then been compelled to give way to other teachers who have often taught the precise opposite of all they had endeavoured to establish ?

(4) That Christian experience is still another source of apologetic argument. The greatest truths of Christianity pertain to the new life which the Christian feels within him. Of this he is able to bear witness, and this ought to be as credible to the unconverted as the testimony which is borne to the nature and inhabitants of a land from which some Stanley has just returned. The danger to which the argument from Christian experience is exposed is subjectivity. " It may seem so to you,” the objector says, “but it does not seem so to me.” Against making such an impression the preacher cannot be too much upon his guard. He must always say, rather, I see certain things, which you yourself confess I might, so far as the nature of things is concerned, see. Now, admit that I do see them, and you can test for yourself the reasonability of my conclusions from them. Such an argument runs no risk of the sort feared, and may be as objective as any other.

But I must hasten on to the final topic, upon which I wish to make certain cautionary suggestions.

3. As to the subjects to be treated. (1) The most fundamental of these is the existence of a personal God. In meeting this form of scepticism, the Christian preacher should take care to give Christianity full credit for what it has done in respect to proving the existence of an infinite, personal Spirit. This may seem & strange caution; but it is necessary, though Christian preachers may not think them. selves in danger of belittling the cause which is nearest to their hearts. A survival of the rationalism by which we have long sought to meet unbelievers may still lead the apologist to take the untenable position that the existence of God may be absolutely proved by reason alone. As a matter of fact, though a higher power is clearly seen, and though duty is recognized by man without the Gospel, the full doctrine of God was never known to any philosopher or divine outside of the circle of Christianity and Judaism. Let the preacher, then, start boldly from this Christian position. You unbelievers have long tried to gain a knowledge of the ultimate forces of the universe, and you have failed. Take now this Christian idea of God, as the infinite Father, and try it by all the accumulated results of right thinking, and see if it is not reasonable. When the various proofs of God from causation, from the aspirations of man, and from every other source, have been fully explained and massed in a column of convincing ratiocination, under the guidance of the Christian idea, all appears reasonable and satisfying.

(2) A second topic demanding great attention in our day is the integrity of the Bible. Several schools of thinkers are discussing it, and some have succeeded to their own satisfaction in dismembering it, and reducing it from a library to a mere collection of unintelligible fragments. But the Bible is the Christian religion, as was remarked long ago, and it must not be given up to such disfigurement. How shall the sound results of genuine historical criticism be employed, and how shall the Bible be defended against real dangers ? Now, evidently, the details of the matter cannot be discussed before mixed congregations. The priest-codex, the first editor, the Jehovist, the second editor, &c., are terms which we cannot introduce into the pulpit, and comparisons of the two documents with which Genesis begins cannot be made in public, nor the minute distinctions upon which many an argument turns be explained to the mass of our congregations. Yet it is equally evident that the great prejudice which such critics as Wellhausen have against the supernatural, or, to speak more literally, the dependence of their argument upon a denial of the supernatural, can be made plain, and will, when fully appreciated, rob their long investi. gations of any interest in the mind of the well-established Christian, and discredit their conclusions in advance. A general line of defence may be derived from the testimony of Christian experience. Religion is an objective fact, which the unbeliever must acknowledge. Here, for example, are Churches in existence which are exceedingly tangible facts. In these institutions the truths of the Bible are used every day with the result of turning men from wickedness to purity and holiness. Can the unbeliever deny the inference that the Bible does exercise supernatural power, and is therefore of God ?

The great argument for the unity of the Bible, and also for its truth and Divine authority, is the unity of its doctrines, and their immediate evidence to the believer. Now, such an evidence exists, whether susceptible of clear explanation or not. The mass of Christians do not receive the Bible upon the ground that its integrity and authenticity had been proved to them, nor upon the authority of the Church, or of Christian parents. They see the truth of the Bible to be the truth. They have entered into the kingdom of God by faith, and they see spiritual truths. To a man who gives himself in complete surrender to God these things which appear hard and difficult to you, unbelieving friend, are easy and plain. “ Come and see!'

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RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY (Andover Review).—Recent discussions have given a renewed interest to the subject of authority in religion. We take advantage of the occasion to indicate the nature and sources of religious authority, as we understand them. The need of some authoritative source of truth and law for the religious life has been so generally felt in all centuries and in all lands that either sacred books or a sacred order of men have been looked to as furnishing the needed rule of life. Are we in modern times emancipated from this need? Are the enlightened conscience and reason sufficient guides, so that no objective, established standard is needed ?

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