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we—that we are in ourselves but incomplete and meaningless fragments, and that we derive at once our completeness and our significance from those counterparts of our own individual life which exist in the membership of the organic body. Wherein St Paul differs not only from the Stoics of his own day, but from many of the scientists of ours, is in the fact that he accepts with joyful acquiescence what they receive with sullen resignation. The same principle which contributes to the slavery of the outer man constitutes the liberty of the Spirit ; for the Spirit of love must find its liberty in the exercise of that nature which seeketh not her own.
The other sphere which, in the view of St Paul, manifests the freedom of the Spirit is religion, or the attitude of the soul towards God. Paul held that the religious freedom conferred by Christianity consisted in the fact that all hindrance was there removed to a direct Divine communion. In the older system of Judaism man had not enjoyed a sense of direct communion with God; this had been prevented by his sense of the majesty of law. The law had been to the Jew a virtual barrier interposed between himself and the Creator. He had looked upon it as something whose sole design was to remind him of his own inferiority, to keep him in perpetual remembrance of the fact that he was a servant. The law was to him a badge of his
slavery, a token of his bondage. It conveyed to his mind no other notion than that of obedience to a Master from whose mandate there could be no escape, and from whose sentence there could be no appeal; and therefore in its presence he lost his own sense of freedom, and felt his own personality to be dwarfed and overshadowed. But now let us observe in what respect the doctrine of St Paul differs from the doctrine of the Jew. It is not in the abolition of the law that the difference lies; St Paul never believed and never taught that the law was abolished. All the moral requirements of the Decalogue he felt to be as binding upon him as ever they had been upon his countrymen. The freedom which St Paul felt in the new Spirit was a freedom not from the law, but in the law. That which was abolished to him was not the substance of the mandate, but the sense of its being a mandate; the law still remained, but it was transmuted into love. In the old economy it had constituted a barrier to the direct communion of the soul with God; in the new it had become itself the channel of that communion. In the old economy it had been, as it were, the lightning of Mount Sinai, which warned the human spirit not to seek the Divine presence; in the new it had become itself the light of that presence seeking by its beauty to attract the spirit of man. The change was a change of relation, a change of mental attitude, a
change in the standpoint of the beholder. The law of the new Spirit was not substantially different from the law of the old ; the difference lay not in the law but in the Spirit. The man of the new Spirit accepted the old law of Judaism no longer as a penalty, but as a privilege and as a boon; approached it no longer as a barred gate, but as an open avenue which led directly and immediately to the presence of the Divine.
Now it has seemed to many as if our nineteenth century had reproduced in a new form, and with an aggravated intensity, that spirit of Jewish legalism which so long impeded man's sense of Divine communion. It has been thought that the doctrine of evolution has again interposed between the soul and God the barrier of a law which keeps the human spirit from recognising the nearness of the Divine. If it be so, then there can be no doubt that the modern doctrine of evolution is much more unfavourable to the religious spirit, than was the older doctrine of Jewish legalism. The law of the older doctrine was at least a moral law, and as such it had in it an affinity to the highest nature of man; but the law of evolution might have existed, and did exist where there was no spirit of man at all, and is in its abstract essence simply a law of nature. If the modern doctrine of evolution has placed the law of nature in the place which once was occupied by the life of God, if it has interposed
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between the Creator and the creature a mechanical chain of causes and events, which has rendered it impossible either for the Creator to reach down to the creature, or for the creature to rise up to the Creator, we shall then be forced to confess that the spirit of modern evolution is at variance with that instinct of religious communion which it has been the mission of the Christian spirit to foster and to mature. We shall consider this subject in the following chapter.
EVOLUTION AND DIVINE COMMUNION.
THE aphorism that ignorance is the mother of devotion, has obtained wide currency both amongst the friends and the foes of religion ; it has often led its friends to look with disfavour on knowledge, and it has frequently impelled its foes to look with contempt on faith. Yet the aphorism, in its unqualified form, is transparently contrary to the facts of history. As a matter of fact, if we survey the history of the ancient world, we shall find that the ages of devotion have been precisely those ages in which the culture of humanity was most visible and most deep. It cannot be forgotten that the religion which of all other pre-Christian faiths inspired men most keenly with the desire of Divine communion, was precisely that religion of Brahminism which expressed the belief of the most cultured and the most philosophical of ancient nations.
But if the aphorism in its unqualified form is