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The sense of unfitness between the life and its environment must inevitably deepen with the enlargement of life itself; it will find its highest manifestation in man, and its most perfect illustration in the highest man. It will be felt increasingly in proportion as the ladder of evolution is ascended; and he who shall prematurely reach the spiritual summit, shall be of all others the least in harmony with his environment. The doctrine of evolution coincides with the doctrine of the old faith in holding that the perfect man must be a man of sorrows.




In the representation of the Book of Genesis the primitive man did not accept his fall as an ultimate and irreversible destiny. The beginning of his age of calamity was the beginning of his age of prophecy. From the very outset, according to the narrative, he gave evidence that he was too large for that new environment which had at once received and confined him. The evidence appeared in his becoming the recipient of a prophetic vision, in which he saw himself restored to more than his pristine greatness, reinstated on the height of his first eminence not simply by a gift of birth but by an act of moral conquest. It was foretold to his spirit that a time would come in which the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. The vision was prophetic of a new phase in the order of evolution, whereby that animal nature which now was predominant in man, should be conquered by that sacrificial nature which now

was weak and inadequate. It was the prevision of a time in which the nature which at present was least fitted to survive, was to supersede that nature which now seemed likely to survive for ever.

This beginning of prophecy was really a new departure on the part of man. His spirit was already looking out from those narrow limits that encircled it, towards a great day of restitution in which he should get back his own with interest. Yet even in his most sanguine moments it never occurred to him that the restitution was to be effected by his own unaided power; the day for which he looked was ever contemplated by him as a “day of the Lord.He had learned from the traditions of his past that the first man had for a time been stainless, because he had for a time been the partial recipient of a Divine incarnation. The breath or Spirit of God had constituted his primitive glory; if a second glory were to become the heritage of humanity, he felt that it could only do so by means of a similar impartation. It was not by the ascent of man to God that he hoped for the elevation of human nature; it was purely and entirely by the descent of God to man. Nor did he believe that his vision would be fulfilled by a simple regress to the days of Paradise. He recognised the fact that the days of Paradise liad been short, just because the Divine incarnation in humanity had been only partially fulfilled—just because the breath of God had penetrated no deeper than man's nostrils. The time to which he looked forward, and the only time to which he could look forward with any hope, was a day in which man should be the recipient no longer of a partial but of a plenary incarnation, in which the breath of God should permeate not merely his outer organism, but his heart, his soul, his consciousness, his deepest life. Accordingly, the day on which his prophetic eye rests is the day of a new revelation, or, as he calls it, a new covenant. He contemplates the time when God shall put His law in his inward parts and write it in his heart—when the Divine Spirit shall be so poured out upon all flesh that the relation of man to God shall be no longer the attitude of simple obedience, but the relation of a son to a father. He longs for an age, and he anticipates the coming of an age, when outward law shall become that inward law which men call love-and when the necessity to perform moral actions shall be no longer a necessity imposed from without, but an irresistible impulse springing from the Divine life within.

Such was the burden of man's early prophecies. There was, however, another element which lent to these predictions a peculiar force and vividness; we allude to the fact that they centred around a historical person. The age of holiness to which

man looked forward was an age which was to follow the common law of development. It was to have its beginning, not in a general diffusion over the masses, but in the life of a single and solitary individual who was at first to constitute its only representative. The life of holiness was to be propagated from the historic personality of a second Adam, just as the life of sin had been propagated from the historic personality of a first Adam : as man derived his corruption from his union with the latter, so he was to derive his incorruption from his union with the former. Accordingly, man's primitive hope rested originally on an historical incarnation, on an advent of the Divine life on a single human soul. It rested on the time when there should appear in the world one who could emphatically be called the sinless servant of God-one who should fulfil to the uttermost the law of perfect obedience, and keep unbroken to the letter the table of the Divine commandments. In this sinless servant of God the prophetic anticipation of the human heart beheld the medium not only of a new Divine revelation, but of a new Divine life. In him the life of God was, in an altogether unique sense, to be incarnated in humanity ; God was to put His Spirit upon him. It was no longer to be that mere external contact which had constituted the short-lived glory of the first Adam ; it was to


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