Excerpt from The Open Court, Vol. 33: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea; July, 1919
Gospel Of John, is not so early as the Synoptics and that it is probably a less accurate record Of the sayings and deeds Of Jesus, but nevertheless we Often find it richer and deeper and more per suasive, more satisfying to the heart.
Not only is this religion Of the spirit free in its rejection Of the authority Of the letter Of Scripture. It is free also in its appropria tion and creation Of other literature. Men are still writing psalms and hymns Of faith. We use in our devotion the lyric poetry Of Tennyson, Longfellow. Whittier, Goethe, and a host Of other poets. Their words inspire and illuminate us. Similarly we employ the literature of our statesmen, moralists, and dramatists to refresh our souls and to direct our wills. They are our living prophets, and we have no doubt that they too speak inspired messages.
A third characteristic Of the religion which is superseding Protestantism is its relation to the social order. Luther did indeed approve Of Christians entering into marriage and into business and industry. But he felt that they were able to do this safely because they had first been saved and regenerated. He did not regard society itself as sacred. The present world remained fol: him a foreign and hostile realm. It was only the special grace Of God in the hearts Of men which could enable them to participate in this common life.
The newer spirit of religion regards this social order as itself sharing in the divine life. It regards patriotism and labor and art as inherently sacred, sacred because they contribute to the fulfilment Of man's larger and nobler life. Existing social institutions are not perfect. They are in the keeping Of finite and fallible hands, but they are the organs and' instruments Of our corporate life. They preserve the finest fruits Of the long struggle Of the race up from savagery and superstition. The modern Christian therefore takes them In good faith and with full enthusiasm. He is entirely in. Earnest when he asserts that he has abolished the distinction be tween the secular and the sacred. TO him all life, all occupations, are saturated with ideal meaning, with tender Spiritual intimacy and aspiration.
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com
This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.show more