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all-embracing kingdom of God which comprehends the utmost fulness and diversity of life. Modern Christian theology has, in fact, greatly advanced in realisation of the important fact that only in and through life—the actual life of humanity and of its Head, Whose strength and sympathy are so freely vouchsafed men in their conflicts and need, the real processes of human life as seen in history, whether that of the individual, the family, the nation, the world—can the truth of any vital theology be known, such truth one not only with the life of God, but also with the true life of man.
There has been no reason to regret the main relations sustained to modern Christian theology by literature, for it has supplied theology with the most needful correctives to dogmatising excesses and perversities. In literature we take the progress to have been from theology back to religion. The change from theological form in Paradise Lost' to religious feeling in 'In Memoriam' is significant of a growth in spiritual simplicity and strength not without a vivifying influence on theological thought. The modifications of men's notions of God, man, and the world, which modern
science has wrought, have been reflected in literature, and have helped to give needed stress to neglected aspects in theology. The eighteenth century mechanical mode of thinking has been replaced in literature by the transcendentalism of Coleridge and Wordsworth, with their pantheistic leanings, to be succeeded by the “ Christian Pantheism” of Browning, the immanence of Carlyle, to whom the material universe is still “ the living garment of God," and the disposition in Tennyson to identify Deity with the order of the universe. If less that savours of the form of dogmatic Christianity has found its way into modern literature, it has been more deeply penetrated with those subjective elements which have vindicated for themselves a place as determinants of truth. Our recent literature has made its influence felt in stimulating to charity and catholicity where had reigned only rigidity of traditional belief, and in replacing personal “other - worldliness” by modern altruism and those ethical ideals which, borrowed from the theological representations of the kingdom of God, it has nobly enforced as supremely needful and capable of present realisation,
Improved relations have also been gained between Christian theology and Art. More than four centuries have passed since the close connection and correspondence previously existing between Christian art and theology became so severed, that the influence of Christian art on the development of theology in pre-Reformation times has come to be imperfectly understood and inadequately recognised. The history of the artistic and theological relations of that large pre-Reformational period reveals the intense intimacy of their mutual relations, as theology was now reflected in art, and art now anticipated the formal dogmatic teaching of the Church. When Christian art thus embodied the best Christian thought of the time in forms which the humblest could comprehend, and which led the popular thought, there was a majesty in the mission and a reality in the message of art which we, since the days when art was supplanted by letters, no longer realise. Between man's artistic instincts — as developed through painting, sculpture, music, and architecture — and Christian theology, the relations have, in Puritanic and in later days, been strained and inharmonious. The emphasis laid by Christian theology on the spiritual problems of life and the transitoriness of things earthly and human has been felt in ways that, narrow though deep, have carried with them implicit condemnation and rejection of art. It has not been seen how sense can and ought to be made to minister to a richer spiritual service — how necessary an expression, in fact, Christian art in a broad sense is of Christian faith; but our more recent Christian teaching has better grasped and elucidated how, under the transfiguring light of the Incarnation, potential harmony, which we see so long deferred in those unceasing conflicts between the religious and the classical, has been restored between the unseen and the visible, so that, in union with, not separation from, the world, the ministry of the beautiful in colour, sound, and form may now, as in the old Christian art, be claimed for the God of Christianity, who has made such consecration of art a prime spiritual concern. We may surely say that Christian thought has been vastly better for those Ruskinian teachings that have helped the men of modern days to feel how religious is art, how fitted to inspire to belief in God, Whose worship is in the spirit not the letter, and also to love of man. In these recent Christian developments, art, in every form, whether as music, painting, or sculpture, so far from ruling our thought, simply subordinates itself in an harmonious and sympathetic manner to spiritual aspiration, which it with reverence seeks to cherish and support, even when, in its theological expression, it craves that “the beauty of the Lord our God be upon” it.