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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Thoughts for the Times

Thoughts for the Times.

This is another excellent and suggestive book from the pen of page 14 Haweis, the Rationalistic Pastor of the Anglican Church, London.

God is the stream of tendency by which all things fulfil the law of their being.

God is the enduring Power which makes for righteousness. God is a sympathetic power. These three elements constitute the scientific—moral and religious aspects of Deity. If there is a physical law in the world from which I argue that God must have points of contact with matter in His character of a stream of tendency—if there is a moral law pointing to a divine order or arrangement of moral qualities according to a Power which makes for righteousness, may I not go a step further, and point to the affectional regions of life as indicating an affectional and sympathetic element in God 1 Christianity is a type of life—an influence, an enthusiasm of love, of humanity.

Definitions of right and wrong differ in different countries and different ages; but it is not true that there is any substantial difference about the broad principles of right and wrong. The Stoics taught men to be indifferent to pleasure and pain—a grand theory, but it left out the heart. Epicurus taught men to live only for pleasure and flee pain (which was wise in practice) but he left out God. The Academics were neither wise nor grand, their best philosophy was to prove that previous philosophers meant nothing—if not scepticism. Christianity has a settled ideal of excellence. It has also heat as well as light—which Judaism had not.

Christ taught not only the precept, but he showed the practice of an universal love. Inward as well as outward purity lie taught, unlike Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato. The Trinity in unity—we think of the Father as a creative manifestation—of the Son as an incarnate manifestation—of the Holy Ghost as an inspirational manifestation.

Original Sin—As tendencies are inherited from the past—so tendencies are transmitted to the future. Turn the light of truth—the lamp of truth upon the bible. God, divine communion, ideal life of a divine Saviour—there is a basis of doctrine and of action for us all. Meet on these certain broad grounds.

Christianity has survived many shocks. It has survived the meta-physical speculations of the Alexandrian school and the subtleties of a mongrel Greek and Asian philosophy, &c.