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a change of mental attitude towards that conflict. It is reached by the recognition of the fact already stated, that the sense of sin does really proceed from an increased power of holiness, and therefore from an increased spiritual vitality. The man who experiences it rests himself in the conviction that it indicates the presence of a Divine life within him. In one aspect, his sense of sin becomes his comfort, because it implies the diminution of the sin itself. He feels that he never could have awakened to the knowledge that he was breathing a foul atmosphere unless, like the first Adam, there had already been breathed into his nostrils the vitalising breath of an atmosphere which was pure. He takes refuge in the sense of his own demerit as a proof that there is dwelling within him a life higher than his own, which has thrown his own into shadow—that life which St Paul presents to his Christian converts as Christ in them the hope of glory.
Now St Paul declares that when a man has reached this third stage of the spiritual evolution he is placed in a new relation towards surrounding things—he enters for the first time into a sense of perfect freedom; “the law of the Spirit of life hath made me free.” St Paul would certainly have disagreed with those modern men of science who regard the sense of freedom as arising simply out of our ignorance of law. On the contrary, he
declares that it is only by our knowledge of law, and by our assimilation to law, that the sense of freedom is acquired. He would say that as long as a man regards his spiritual nature as a nature which ought to be exempt from all worldly conditions, that man will feel himself perpetually in a state of slavery and bondage ; he will groan under the weight of chains which, it seems to him, he has no right to bear. But the moment he comes to realise that he has a right to bear them, nay, that it is for him a spiritual privilege to bear them, he will then, for the first time, find himself to be free. He will reach his sense of freedom in his assimilation of surrounding law, in his acceptance of that law as the law of his own being. He will enter upon a new life of spontaneity, a spontaneity which shall consist not in his ignorance of causes, but in his power to utilise causes; and his actions shall become more completely voluntary just in proportion as they become the necessary expression of his higher life.
According, then, to the Apostle of the Gentiles, the third stage of the spiritual evolution opens to a man those doors of the present world which were closed against earlier stages. The period of unconscious spontaneity, on the very ground of its unconsciousness, had no relation to the practical work of life. The period of struggle, on the other hand, on the very ground of its being a struggle, necessarily placed the world in an attitude of antagonism to the human soul. But St Paul says, that with the advent of the third period there comes a power which, even in the midst of the world's struggle, can keep the heart and mind, and so keep them that the struggle of the world will no longer be felt as a pain. He says that, when the soul of man has appropriated the Divine life in its full development, that Divine life will confer upon him a power to utilise the world which he did not possess without it. His liberty of diet will increase in proportion to the soundness of his spiritual health. The world is often represented as the antagonist of the spiritual life. The truth is that, in the earlier stages of its development, the world is its antagonist. This is only, in other words, to say that it is not yet in full correspondence with its environment. Many kinds of food, which are innocuous, and even beneficial to the man, are hurtful to the child. As long as they remain hurtful, they constitute so many hindrances or qualifications to the child's enjoyment of worldly freedom. But as the physical nature of the child develops, this region of hindrances is gradually abridged, until, in the perfect soundness of that nature, the original antagonism is wholly overcome. This is precisely Paul's view of the liberty of the Spirit. It is a liberty of mental and moral diet, a power to appropriate without injury certain worldly pleasures and worldly avocations, which, to the man whose spiritual nature is only incipient, cannot become possessions without involving hurt.
Now there are two spheres in which, in the view of St Paul, the liberty of the Spirit operates—the sphere of society and the sphere of religion. Let us look first at the sphere of society. What is that social change which the Spirit of Christianity has produced upon the world, or, to employ scientific language, in what respect has the old order of social evolution been modified by the new? In the old order of social evolution the individual is again and again reminded that he cannot live for himself alone—again and again forced to remember that he is in reality but one member of an organism, and owes his subsistence to the harmony of his life with the life and being of the other members. Now this is precisely the doctrine of the Christian Spirit. Christianity has proclaimed and emphasised the truth that the life of the individual man is not his own—that he lives and moves and has his being in the life of a great organism, of which his own personal existence is but a single member. What, then, it may be asked, is the difference between the social privilege claimed by the Christian Spirit, and the social dependence experienced by the subjects of the old law? If in both systems the individual is only a fragment of
the whole, why should the later lay claim to a freedom which the earlier has never professed to enjoy? The answer lies here : the Spirit of Christianity finds its freedom in that very circumstance which to the pre-Christian age constituted the ground of slavery — the necessity that each life should rest upon another life. And the reason why the new Spirit finds its freedom in a fact which was the old nature's slavery, is that the nature of the new Spirit is love. Freedom is the gratification of one's nature; if it be so, the freedom of the Spirit must consist not in the independence, but in the dependence of the Christian membership. It is in the assertion of this organic unity, without which the life of the individual is meaningless, that the Christology of St Paul presents so remarkable a parallel to a doctrine of evolution, supposed by some to be purely modern. In the system of Auguste Comte, of Mr Herbert Spencer, of Mr Leslie Stephen, of Mr G. H. Lewes, and of modern scientists in general, we are forbidden to study the life of the individual man as if it were in itself a completed whole. We are reminded that humanity is not a mere collective name for a series of mental attributes, but itself an organic life of which the individual is only a part. This was exactly the doctrine of St Paul. He declared again and again that we are members of a body which, while it comprehends us, is yet larger than