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which crude and confident forms of representation have not been wanting, wherein the Universalist view has appeared as dogmatically necessary or been oracularly announced as true. Restorationism, adopted by Schleiermacher, and treated more doubtfully by Neander and Nitzsch, has been avoided by Julius Müller, Martensen, and Dorner, while Maurice and Farrar at home have disavowed the Universalist position, though popularly regarded — and the same is true of

1 Nitzsch's position appears from such passages as the following, System der Christlichen Lehre, S. 397 : “Der Gedanke einer ewigen Verdammniss und Strafe ist insofern ein nothwendiger, als es in Ewigkeit keine erzwungne Heiligkeit des persönlichen Wesens, und in Ewigkeit keine selige Unheiligkeit geben kann. Dagegen ist ungegründet, dass die Wahrheit des Wortes Gottes und das Reich Gottes selbst die Wirklichkeit ewig verdammter Wesen bedürfe, oder dass Gott einem persönlichen Wesen nur dazu die Existenz in Ewigkeit erhalte, um ihm die Möglichkeit der Heiligung und Beseligung in Ewigkeit zu nehmen."

Again, S. 399, he says : “Die Möglichkeit des Bösen ist um des Guten willen da; wird es aber in seiner Wirklichkeit durch die Gnade der Erlösung nicht schlechthin vernichtet, so wird es doch verhältnissmässig vernichtet, und gereicht auch so zur Verherrlichung der Gnade. Ist ewige Strafe, so muss sie eben selbst mit zur Vollendung des Heils gehören. Die Erlöseten können sich also zwar nicht nach der Verdammniss irgend eines Menschen sehnen, wohl aber nach dem Weltgericht als Offenbarung als Entscheidung als Sistirung aller Herrschaft des Bösen als Aufhebung aller gemischten und unreinen Zustände.”

Martensen—as lending it countenance. Modern Christian theology has not been able to close its eyes to the fact that Universalism, æsthetic and attractive as its appeal must always in many ways remain for us, especially in view of the dissonance and cheerlessness of what might appear any real eternal Dualism, has not been able to free itself from the ethical difficulty presented to its monistic consummation in the mysterious self-determining power of the will, whence accrues the dread possibility of permanent choice of evil, or to extricate itself from the exegetical difficulties with which it is entwined. It has not felt able to countenance the representation of sin as necessary to the spiritual development of the creature, for it has more philosophically apprehended what a denial of moral freedom this would involve, and has, in fact, not been able to find that Restorationist theories take sufficient account of the dread nature and possibilities of sin, that bane of earthly existence for which neither the power nor the goodness of God may be blamed.

Recent Christian theology, while abandoning the old dogmatic tones of doom, has unequivocally affirmed the fact of what is known as Final Judgment, in which the Son of Man is to be Judge, and unbelieving opposition to Him the ground of condemnation. It has taught men with new emphasis that they may not lightly esteem sin and unbelief now, and think of judgment only as that which lies before in some great day of assize, but that judgment is here and now begun in every pang that follows sin, in every disobedience that helps to fix character and destiny. This recent emphasis on the present and constant process of spiritual judgment as well as on the future and necessary completion of issues here begun, such future judgment nowise arbitrary and independent of laws presently operative in our spiritual being, makes judgment in the life to come appeal in a more real way to us than was its wont in Christian theology. Bowing in deep expressive silence before many questions on which its latest and wisest Eschatology must, after every research, be content, like its Lord, to utter “never a word,” because of the limitations of its knowledge, it has yet been moved to press upon men, with unsurpassed spiritual earnestness and urgency, the immediate duty of repentance and faith, of laying hold of eternal life in Christ, of living in this present world as those who have felt the grand inspiring powers of the world to come.

More than ever before, Christian thought to-day feels the oneness of the revelations of that world to come with the revelation of the world that now is, the unity of that kingdom of Christ, whose perfect realisation we await as a vision of the days, with the redemptive kingdom Christ has already created on the earth. It enters thoroughly into the spirit of the words which Lipsius 1 has lately uttered : “Mit der persönlichen Fortdauer ist zugleich die Gewissheit einer künftigen Vollendung des Gottesreiches gegeben. Dieselbe wird vom Glauben aufgefasst als die vollkommene Gemeinschaft der im Gnadenstande befestigten Gotteskinder mit Gott und durch Gott unter einander in vollendeter Liebe. Gegenüber allen doch unbeantwortbaren Fragen nach den äusseren Existenzbedingungen dieser Reichsvollendung bleibt aber dieselbe bescheidene Zurückhaltung geboten, wie gegenüber der Frage nach

1 Die Hauptpunkte der Christlichen Glaubenslehre im Umrisse dargestellt von R. A. Lipsius. Braunschweig, 1891.

der Beschaffenheit des individuellen Vollendungslebens. Nur das Eine ist dem christlichen Glauben gewiss, dass in dem vollendeten Gottesreiche die dermaligen Schranken des Naturlebens niedergerissen sein werden und in einer verklärten Welt eine verklärte Menschheit ihre Stätte finden wird, welche frei von Sünde und Schuld im unzerstörbaren Besitze des Ewigen und in der allen Zeitenwechsel überdauernden Bethätigung dieses Besitzes lebt.” It has, too, in its surer grasp of the consummation of life, reached a sounder conviction of the perfect subjection wherein God shall be all in all. No analogies of nature and no speculations of philosophy, it is true, have enabled modern Christian theology to define in terms precise and full the manner of that triumph wherein righteousness shall ultimately prevail, and the ways of God be wholly justified in the view of His rational universe, but of the certainty and completeness of that last victory it has become strengthened in its unfaltering conviction.

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