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It must even go beyond, and include the other life that human life touches and only partly comprehends: the life of the great neighbor kingdoms of the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds-and of other possible worlds to come.

Where is such a truth to be found? A single truth, a unity, that will include and reconcile all these myriad diversities and contradictions, at the same time furnishing us with a practical working ideal?

It is to be found where we should most naturally expect to find it: in the facts of human instinct and human history-lying there about us open for all men to read. But we -foolish creatures, and slow to understand-look everywhere before we look there: in churches, cults, new movements, philosophies-though they too, directly or indirectly, all hint the same truth-before finally we look at the simple facts of our own life and progress, as individuals and as a human family. And thenwe see that truth has been fairly shouting at us, out of every vibrant atom, every vivid historic page. Life, when at last we do turn to it, illumines life for us-into such a blaze of wonder and meaning, that we understand how the ancients said that no man could "see God" and live.

But meanwhile, and until in final desperation we do so turn-to the simplest and profoundest source of instruction-oh, what a long and tortuous pilgrimage!

We begin, most of us, with the truth of orthodox religion; with the orthodox "church doctrines" of the faith of our fathers, passed on to us as children. We worry through that

strange and confused medley of ideas, involving besides Jesus, two other persons of a mysterious Trinity-a Father in Heaven, with a complex system of rewards and punishments, and a yet more mysterious Holy Ghost-till we come to the revealing disclosures of our college science courses. Then, we are either flatly "through with religion" (as though anybody can ever be through with it, and the eternally recurring questions), or we as flatly divide our minds into two compartments "actual knowledge" and "blind faith"-and shut the door between them, once and for all.

Whichever we do, nothing has happened. The problem remains to be solved.

We go along fecklessly, not bothering much and with no real necessity to bother, through the selfabsorbed years of getting started in business or our profession, falling in love, getting married. And then, with some inevitable blow, some unbearable pain of the maturer years, we are shocked into awakening. What have I done? What has sent this upon me? What is all this drama-these events, these men and women, and this eternal procession of years and sufferings and futilities?

And we, in our turn, in that tremendous procession, halt, face right about, cry out in our sore bewilderment and demand the answer to life!


The Church tells us that the answer is Jesus Christ; that He is God, He is Truth, He is Life. Leave all, follow Him, and "be saved." And men are "surrendering" themselves to Him, and being saved—to a serene and confident, instead of

harassed and torn, existence-every day, and in every country; and not all unintelligent and unreasoning men, by any means. This is not nearly so irrational a "way" as many hard-headed people believe.

Let us look at the Christian scheme of life, if we can, with fresh eyes. First the process of Creation:

In the beginning, the earth "without form and void"—nebulous matter not yet shaped into planets. The "Spirit of God" moving upon this formless mass, setting it in motion, separating it into land and water, the seas and the solid firmament. Then vegetation-herbs and trees; then "moving creatures," fish, fowl, beasts-finally man. The first chapter of Genesis follows faithfully enough the scientist's process of evolution. But adds to it the concept of the Cause of that process, and postulates that Cause as Person.


"God said," "God saw," "God called," his creations such and such. Finally "God made man in his own image," and man of course is a person. So it is evident that the Bible and the Christian Church see the creative power behind the universe as a person, and the relations between individual life and that Power as very definitely personal relations.

Having created man in His own image, this free and all-powerful God gave to him free will. At the same time, being a more powerful Person, and still ruler over man, He forbade him to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil-"for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."

Man disobeyed God, and "fell" from his state of "original righteous

ness," into a state of "original sin.” And this state of sin, and abuse of man's power of free will, to disobey and rebel against the will of God, continued and increased, until-as the head of one of the great Anglican Orders naïvely told me, "God had to do something!" Hence the Flood

which of course has its parallel in the Hindu and almost every other mythology. And as that did not seem to help much, or to check the power of evil that man's free will had evidently unloosed, there was finally the great idea of a divine example and Mediator. God in human form, come among men, to show them how a man could live: God Himself come to save man from the sins he had committed against Him.

It seems to me futile to concern ourselves overmuch at this date with the subsidiary Jewish and oldreligion ideas of the scapegoat, bloodsacrifice for remission of sins, expiatory death of the man-God, preferably son of a King, and so on, that loom so large in the eyes of the higher critics. That they are subsidiary and relatively unimportant is proved by their gradual falling away (one rarely hears nowadays even those hymns about "being washed in the blood of the Lamb"), with the great central idea of "God Incarnate to save man" remaining.

God Himself takes form and comes to dwell a man among men, "being tempted in all things like as we are," yet not falling, not giving in to the lower possibilities of personal power, succeeding at the expense of his fellows, ruling over, dominating and exploiting thembut serving, suffering, dying for men, leaving an eternal and unfor

gettable example. And the object of existence, for Christians, is to be saved from this inherited sin of the "natural man”—the habit of sin of their forefathers-and through believing in the redeeming power of Jesus and following His way, to come into Heaven, the eternal life and happiness God always intended for them.

This is my understanding of the Christian philosophy. It is a certain interpretation of the following facts: There is some sort of creative and sustaining power behind this universe. Man is in this universe, apparently at the head of the created life he perceives, yet by no means happy, by no means free; he is torn between two conflicting influences the carnal and the spiritual. Disharmony and maladjustment in any department of life comes, we have found, from the breaking of some law. Man is evidently going contrary to the law of the Creative Power for creatures of the human kingdom. If somehow the true law can be impressed upon him, and he will follow it, he will be no longer miserable, but free, triumphant, happy.

And, Christianity says, God Incarnate as Christ, came to show man that true law, and if man follows Christ, he is "saved" from all his miseries.

Is it, after all, such a "superstitious" and irrational picture, such an untrue statement of the actual condition of affairs? Are we intelligent, modern people so much at variance with it, shorn thus of its superficial elaborations and brought down to the bed-rock of its essential principles? What we are at variance

with, most of us, is the Christian form of expression: its insistence upon a single-and nearly always very sentimental-form of expression; and with the idea of the Ultimate Power as a Person. We can hardly be at variance with its idea of being saved from misery to freedom-the basic idea of every religion-nor, once we really understand it, with the process of being saved.


What is this process of salvation? As the "state of sin" represents the conflict between two wills (the higher will of God, and the lower will of man), being saved from sin is being rescued from this conflict-of warring motives, mixed desires, a lower and a higher nature forever battling with each other. Man "fell" when he came into the knowledge of Good and Evil-two opposing powers, two antagonistic sets of instincts, that ever after continued in his consciousness, coaxing, suggesting, urging him on, to follow two entirely different ways.

What are these two sets of instincts? What constitutes the "lower" and the "higher?" What are these two powers, Good and Evil, between which man is perpetually torn?

They are the brute behind us, and the "god" ahead: the lower state of life that lies on one side, and the higher state whose laws and possibilities we are beginning—just beginning to understand. In between these two states lies the human. Whether or not you believe in evolution, if you go no further back than the primitive man we all must recognize as our historic pro

genitor, every one knows that the whole story of human advance has been the story of a gradual journey upward, from the habits and instincts of the brute-man, through a gradually less brutal outlook, to a more definite perception and yearning after the higher state of God.

The law of the animal kingdom is, fight, kill, eat. Kill before you are killed. Get what you can as fast as you can. Preserve yourself, your mate, your young. There are bigger creatures waiting to get you, the moment you relax your self-protection. So strike-strike quickly and to kill! And in the gorgeously prolific animal world, where life is on such a lavish scale of creation and swift reproduction, this law of incessant destruction is perfectly consistent and right.

The law of the kingdom of God, as a handful of "divine" men gone beyond ordinary human development, have interpreted it to us, is not self-preservation, but self-abandonment. Do not defend yourself— give yourself. Do not protect your life and power, but give that life and power to creatures who have less. You can, because you have such an overflowing measure, far more than you need. It is the law of a life more abundant and a life conscious that it cannot be destroyed. And the men who have preached it, had that life and consciousness and spoke with the authority of experience.

In between these two is the human, with his mixed laws, drawn from both sides. "Be good, be unselfish"; but also, "be successful, and as powerful as you can." "Be square with the other fellow, be generous, be upright"; at the same time, "don't

forget to look out for Number One." "Cherish great principles"; but "be on the safe side." Follow your aspiration, but keep your powder dry.

So the house divided against itself, rocks on.

There is a type of man who says, whenever a question comes up that's hard to decide, "what would I do if this were a desert island, and I faced this problem stripped to its primitive essentials?" There is another type that says, "what would Christ's attitude be in such a matter? How would a God, the greatest spirit one can conceive of, think and act with regard to this?"

These are the two extremes.

But we are not primitive men. Neither are we, as yet, gods or supermen. We are human creatures. And the human kingdom originated with, and rests upon, one thingunion or organized society. Primitive men discovered that greater felicity, less harassment, could be experienced by joining forces, pooling energies, safeguarding one another, instead of fighting every creature who came along. And that primitive discovery and crude initial movement grew and developed, taking in larger and larger areas, until the last and greatest union was not simply into clans or tribes or federations, or even nations, but a union out of all nations and all conditions of men, seeking yet wider liberty and well-being, in the United States. of America.


All our good in the human world has come from uniting; the good in the animal world comes through fighting. Law is determined not by any outside will, but by the nature of

the elements it has to do with. The law for organized society is determined by the nature of that society, which is union and not the separate fighting and hostility natural to a non-organized animal world. The line of demarcation between the animal and the human comes just there: when separate fighting, wholesale fear and enmity, are left behind, and coöperation, mutual protection of recognized mutual interests, begins. Thus the "oneness" and "unity" and "separate-self sacrifice" taught by all the great saviors and guides of our race, is so obviously the law for us, that it seems strange it should take so long-and so much persuasion-for us to accept it.

But as a matter of fact, this union, though officially agreed upon, has never been completely undertaken. Some part of every group, some part of every person, always "stays out," seeking to enjoy all the benefits of the union, yet seeking also to enjoy the benefits of private power and perquisites, "special privileges," on the side, trying to serve the law of God and the law of the brute, selflessness and self-assertion, at one and the same time. Hence the cross-currents, complications, misery.

This the state of sin-this strife and division and treason against ourselves this the universal malady the saviors of the world have recognized, as they gazed into the distraught face of humankind and asked, "wilt thou be made whole?"

Is there one of us who does not need this salvation?

A man is saved when his life is rescued from this conflict, and unified around one set of principles; when at all costs, he gives himself

up to follow the higher way, and knows the relief, peace and joyousness that come with that "surrender." The process of salvation is a real process. It does occur through Christ-but not through Christ alone. It occurs through whatever form or system the principles of love, unity, selflessness, are made vivid to the individual. We are saved, as was anticipated, by finding and following the law for

our own estate.

The Christian is saved by Christ, the Buddhist by the Lord Buddha and the Truth he so eloquently preached, the Hindu by the Yoga of the Lord Krishna. Most Christians do not believe this. They say, "my savior is the only savior." But I have lived in the homes of Buddhists and Hindus, and in their schools and colleges with their young people; and I have seen as beautiful lives and as wonderful transformations through their God and their way, as through the Christian. Not the form in which you see the Highest, but the intensity of your conviction concerning it, and the degree of your ardor to serve it, is what saves.

Religion-the worship of Godis the worship of a higher state of life and the effort to attain to it. The Incarnations are living representatives of that state, and the living proof that by following the law of the higher way, we shall come into a greater power and a life more abundant. Their mission is to make that "divine" way not only more attractive, but irresistible. So they are Mediators between the human and the divine.

The Christian religion admits only one such Incarnation. The older

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