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THE FIRST FORM OF WORSHIP IS THE WORSHIP OF FEAR. 5
his mother's eye, he fell back in a depressing sense of inferiority and unworthiness. It was the half-terrified feeling of the yet unassured, but semi-conscious babe. Nor was it, until repeated experiences had corrected the sentiment, that a certain trust sprang up, to be speedily supplemented and recompensed by gratitude.
This sense of inferiority has its inseparable counterpart in a recognition of the superiority of the nursing mother. Accordingly the idea of God in its earliest and essential element is the idea of transcendency. Nature is greater than man. But nature, if not an unmeaning sound, is a being, since man is a being. And not a being only, but a conscious being; for man, who owns the superiority of nature, is a conscious being. Moreover, that being is invisible, for it is not apprehended by the bodily eye. Yet traces of its existence and operation appear on every side. Consequently an invisible being, superior to man, exists in the entire universe. As existing, as operating, as the source of sunshine and the fruits of the earth, it must receive a name. It is called God. God then is the invisible and transcendent source of man's continued existence. What God supports must have God for its author. This is man's first creed-and his last is but a development of the first. It is a natural and so a credible result of the influences in which man stands in their working in, upon, and with the deepest feelings of his nature.
The faith at first is vague and dim. Yet, as corresponding to man's nature and as connected with his inmost feelings and actions, it proves beneficial. Under its operation man's intrinsic qualities come forth, raising, refining and strengthening his whole being.
Originally the predominant sentiment of man in view of God was fear, an inevitable result of his own inherent sense of inferiority. Accordingly fear is historically known to exist in all low nations in their view of God. The earliest worship of the Biblical peoples was the worship of fear. The worship of love was a very late after-growth. This worship of fear
ROOT OF THE IDEA OF "THE FALL OF THE ANGELS." arises straightway from the sense of inferiority. implies that he by whom it is felt is a mere weakling, as compared with God, the author of the universe. The first form of worship is consequently the worship of power. In full agreement with this general fact, the book of Genesis, in its first verse, makes God power, the very name denoting power, or rather the concentration of the powers.
Now power has two aspects. It is either beneficent or maleficent, at least in appearance. Our metaphor of the nursing mother suggests that the beneficent aspect of power was the first recognized by man in point of time. But here it is easy to be mistaken. Some fostering influences there must have been open to man as soon as he saw the light of day, else the earliest moment of his existence and his latest would have stood in close proximity. Yet life must have been a struggle-a struggle, however, which for a time issued in victory, since the race succeeded the individual. Undoubtedly, darkness as well as light characterized man's earliest days which of the two predominated, so far as man's consciousness went, no clear indication enables the student to determine definitively.
One averment may, however, be made of this beginning of man's religious life. It involves an ideal; or, rather, it is the ideal. Man's conception of God is man's ideal. The ideal is recognized in his own conscious inferiority. "That power which I feel and own is superior, incomparably superior, to myself." He is superior, transcendentally superior, in power. In this recognition lies enfolded the whole history of religion, considered as representing a growth and an expansion in the human race. The elevating influence which has been already ascribed to faith gradually raises men in the scale of being. As they rise, their ideal ascends; and ascend it must, because the very essence of religion is a sense of inferiority on the part of man. Man can worship only what he feels to be superior to himself. In other words, man's religion is necesHence, as fast as man rises to a level
ily man's ideal.
ORIGIN OF MONOTHEISM.
with his God, his actual God begins to wane and sink from sight. Hence a succession of divine dynasties is inevitable. Chronos is supplanted by Jove. To speak more correctly, man's idea of God is an ascensional idea. The worship called forth by power begets the worship of love. Elohim is superseded by "our Father." In this gradual clearing up of man's idea of God, God's unity comes, in the lapse of centuries, to find recognition and advocacy. In the beginning, the ideas of unity and plurality are too abstract to be owned. Man's conception is no less confused than shadowy. He sees and worships God in the sun; scarcely less does he own him in the moon and in the stars. The nature-worship which this implies is the worship of a natural power with the aid of personification. In time, however, the question is forced on the conscious and reflective intellect, "Are these all gods?" By and by there comes for answer, "They are not separate gods, but forms and manifestations of one God." Then an Abraham appears to inaugurate the reign of monotheism. And that monotheism, as affirmed and represented by him, is of so rigorous a kind as to exclude all duality. God is, God is one, God is power, God is good, God is the Father of all, are the successive stages through which man's thought, call it, as you will, either a recognition or a revelation, it is in reality both-these are the successive stages; the rounds in the ladder on which man ascends to God, and God, as in Jacob's dream, comes down in angelic forms to
It is, however, only the loftiest natures, like that of Abraham, Moses, David, the Hebrew prophets-it is only the most thoroughly religious souls, that can and do see God as he is, in his own essential and unshared spiritual oneness; and none has had the light and joy of the beatific vision in clearness, distinctness and fulness, but "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. ii. 15), who in consequence is in that vision one with God (John x. 30). Yet it must be added as a necessary qualification, that absolutely God is known and apprehended
THE IDEA OF SATAN SPRINGS FROM MAN'S SELF-ESTEEM.
only by God. The Divine consciousness, which is the consciousness of the all-pervading self, is in its nature incommunicable. Could it be shared, monotheism would not be the one true religion. There is, however, an anterior state of the religious sense, and that state, going back to the dawn of human culture, never ceases wholly to exist, except in the princes and kings of the religious hierarchy. That state postulates Satan as the inevitable antithesis of God. This dualism, like all first things on earth, has a physical origin. Whether man's earliest conception of God lay in the acknowledgment of his beneficent or of his maleficent aspect, doubtless the two existed and co-existed very soon. The elements
of both, as apprehended by man, lie around him in his cradle. Day and night may serve as their representatives. Certainly the contrast of light and darkness begins with man's infantile recognitions and ends with his loftiest culture-though in the later stages the two are simple figures of speech. But the great source of the natural dualism is man's own apparently twofold nature. Man is conscious of what he calls bad feelings as well as good. This consciousness, in its origin and earlier unfoldings, is, if not strictly physical, certainly not properly ethical. Only later on in man's growth does the general sentiment take a moral character. In that change I am born. My existence is primarily due to man's self-esteem acting on his acknowledgment of wrong motives and wrong actions. Vicarious religion is the root of religious errors, and vicarious religion is a rank growth of an overweening idea of self. "No, that revenge, that lust, that malice, is not mine. I am not so base; it comes to me; it is forced upon me : either it is from a false accuser or an adversary, but it is not from my own heart; the resistance I offer is the proof; besides, I love it not, but hate it; how can it then be mine? Perhaps I am my own false accuser, my own adversary, torturing myself by my own fancies ? . . . I am not so silly. Does it proceed from disease of body? disease of mind? I am sound and vigorous in both. No; it has its origin out
VICARIOUS SIN VICARIOUS HOLINESS.
of myself. Witness the suddenness of its appearance. thoughts come uninvited and unsuspected. They are clearly infused, aye, often thrust in; they take possession of me as by storm. The adversary is without; at least he is another than myself; one morally inferior to myself, yet having power to enter my heart and lead me astray. This is the only true solution. There is an adversary, perhaps a troop of adversaries."
Hence the superstition of the Satanic host. One superstition begets another in its own likeness. Having thus thrown their demerits on another, in another's merits men find their own. And the vicarious sacrifice of Christ is but the necessary complement of the vicarious wickedness of Satan. The twins will die at the same moment.
Am I interested in their demise? Yes, for my death presupposes the perfection of human nature and the supremacy of God. And in those two sublime realities all real good is absorbed and centered. The death of Satan is the death of the great adversary of God and man. That most desirable result I hope to accelerate in giving a somewhat detailed history of the rise, progress and decline of the darkest fiction and hugest falsity that ever overshadowed and harassed the human race.
EXCLUSIVE PREVALENCE OF THE DARK SIDE OF THE DUALISM.
In the lower races and under unfavourable external influences, the recognition of God either arises in a faint and evanescent form, or seems almost to sink and disappear. Ecclesiastical shortsightedness and the tyranny of narrow dogmas may have concealed the recognition from the eyes of imperfectly informed and meanly cultivated travellers on the one side, or gone far to efface it on the other; yet after due allowance has been made for mental blindness and the exaggeration of system, prejudice and caste, the impartial observer is com