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is, appreciable by all. Moral reconstruction was needed too; and this latter point has been explained with admirable clearness by Froude :
“We mean by Christianity the principles taught by Christ upon the Mount, and which, as the type of human perfection, he illustrated in his character; we mean by the power which enabled it to grow, a spiritual influence working from mind to mind rather than an external supernatural force. In so far as the Church has adhered to the original pattern, in so far as it has aimed at making men good rather than furnishing their intellects with orthodox formulas, it has fulfilled its part in regenerating mankind.”
To a great extent the Church has lost both the form and the spirit of primitive Christianity; but, as Froude says, so far as it has been true to the original pattern, “the spread of it ceases to be a mystery.” “The Roman world was sunk in lies, insincere idolatry, and the coarsest and most revolting profligacy. There is something in human nature, in all times and countries, which revolts against such things; something which
says that lies are to be abhorred, and that purity is better than bestiality; and when the bad side of things is at its worst, the nobler sort of men refuse to put up with it longer. The Roman Government offered to the devotion of the Empire a Divus Nero or a Divus Domitianus. The image of a peasant of Palestine, a being of stainless integrity, appeared simultaneously, pointing to a Father in heaven, and requiring men in his name to lead pure and self-sacrificing lives. And if it be true that man is more than a beast, and that moral insight and self-consciousness are a part of his natural endowment, we require no miracles to explain why millions of men and women, with such alternatives before them, were found to choose the better part.”
RECALLING the essence of Newman's view of religion, and of the one which we have contrasted with it, we find that Martineau starts from the same position as Newman, but works in the opposite direction. He regards the existing dogmatic systems only as an accumulation of errors, to be cast aside. The way to truth is to rely solely on the Conscience and Reason of the individual man.
Belief in God is based by Martineau on three lines of argument. The first is, that the existence of the world implies a creative and designing (i.e., intelligent) cause. We may mention some of the many thinkers who give this argument their support. But it requires to be thoroughly modified. In the first place, our experience of active power in willing does not warrant the assumption of a divine or creative will; for our wills are very limited in range and are in no sense“ creative.” And, in the second place, the argument from Design cannot be maintained, in its original form, in the face of modern scientific doctrines. To-day it has become the problem of interpreting natural Evolution. We may point out,
of thought divine maintain Ethiopia of thinkers the passage nice? If so,
with illustrations from recent thought, the ways in which Evolution may be understood.
The second line of thought starts with the fact of moral obligation, and infers a divine Lawgiver. We notice various groups of thinkers who maintain “Ethical Theism," so understood. But is the passage from man's Conscience to God as Lawgiver a mere inference? If so, God and man are separate beings, and the inference breaks down, for the moral consciousness, separated from God, might exist if there were no God. We find that this separation leads to “ Ethical Deism,” and individualism in an extreme form. Each individual is supposed to have power to work out his own moral salvation unaided. This involves an exaggeration of the power of the individual will, an inadequate view of moral evil, and a denial of the social solidarity of men. We may notice how this individualism bears on the case between the Unitarian and the Evangelical. We find in Dr Martineau a truer view of the unity of the social life of men, which provides for “mediation " between the individual and God. We have suggested the view that Religion is the interpretation of an experience. This idea will have to be more fully worked out before its value can be estimated.
We saw that with Newman, the “experience” is restricted to the one fact of Moral Authority or Obligation, as given to us in Conscience. The central or vital part of Religion he takes to be the vast system of precept and dogma which, with him, corre
sponds to what we have called the “interpretation ” of the experience. It is obvious that the simple fact of Conscience will not bear the weight of this system, hence an external authority must be found; and this authority must be infallible, because the doctrines must be absolutely true. To this we have opposed the view that the centre of gravity in real Religion is the “experience.” The “interpretation ” may express, with varying degrees of fulness, what the experience means ; but it remains a partial expression at the best. Hence our central question is always this, What is the experience which, with its interpretation, makes Religion? We now proceed to consider Dr Martineau's answer to this question.
Dr Martineau is at one with Cardinal Newman in his view of Conscience as the natural basis of Theism, although he finds another fundamental basis which he regards as of equal importance. His contrast to Newman consists of course in his giving up the principle of absolute or infallible dogma, so that no authority outside the soul seems to be needed. But he rejects the dogmatic