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us, is the tree of knowledge. And the latest voice of history only re-echoes his own earliest word, that in the day we depart from him and eat of that tree, aspiring to know as he knoweth, we do surely die. Well does Julius Müller
say, “There is but One perfectly free from error and free from sin CHRIST. He alone could lay claim to the faith of men in himself as one who spoke the truth, on the ground of his moral purity; and he therefore can pronounce judgment upon whatever
Testimony does not receive and harmonize with him, as a wandering into the paths of darkness; he alone can analyze its connection with a depraved bias of will. That which Protagoras the sophist said of man subjectively, that he is the measure of things,' is objectively true of the Man who is our Lord and our God. But as for us, seeing we are never free from sin, and are therefore continually liable to error, it is our highest wisdom not to trust ourselves, still less to make ourselves the measure of things,' but to rise above ourselves to Him who alone is holy, and who, as he is the life, so is also the truth.” 1
1 Christian Doctrine of Sin, B. I., Pt. I., Chap. III.
THE PANTHEISTIC CHRISTOLOGY.
The questions of philosophy are always closely Philosophy
related to those of religion. This is no more separated
true when the relation is one of sympathy than ligion.
when it is one of antagonism; no more true of pantheism than of positivism. Even a sensuous philosophy opens anew the whole field of religious thought by denying its reality. The human mind, while gratifying its natural thirst for the discovery of truth, either concerns itself directly with the primary facts of religion, or with theories which involve the question of their existence. Naturalism does not, any inore than transcendentalism, renove us from the realms of theism. The inevitable recoil of our antipathy, as surely as any direct impulse of sympathy, is constantly bringing us to those realms. This necessary connection is more apparent, however, in the case of the a-priori philosophy. The material on which Fichte, Schel
ling, and Hegel wrought, is the same as that of
Christian theology. The nature of God and all more mani existence, and the origin and tendency of things,
were the themes on which they speculated, in
common with Augustine, Anselm, and Descartes, though in a different spirit. Pantheism itself is no less a
This connection fest in transcendentalism.
religion than a philosophy; a religion to reverent and poetical natures, which love to look at truth through the haze of the affections or prism of fancy; a philosophy to purely inquisitive minds, which study all subjects in the dry light of the intellect.
In one view of the case, therefore, it might seem superfluous to consider the attitude of pantheism towards the doctrines of religion. Why go on beyond it to speak of that which lies within itself? But we use the word “religion” in two senses.
There is a natural religion and a revealed religion; a here.
“ religion subjective religion of the human consciousness, and an objective religion of authoritative precept; an idealistic religion, and an historical religion. It is the former of these that constitutes the essence of the pantheistic system : what becomes of historical religion, under the handling of pantheism, is a question The religion still to be considered. The nature of its investi- substan
tially the gations is such as to make this, almost of neces
pantheism. sity, our first inquiry from its point of view. If it is to have any development at all, if it is not to be forever a fountain without an outlet, it must begin to flow forth by this channel. Pantheism takes us through the whole realm of religious ideas, and claims to bring us, at last, to a universal solvent. If that solvent is not to lie in our minds unused, but to be applied to the phenomena of human life and society, the particular historical religion which we may happen to hold, will naturally be the first thing to come under its power. If Hegel had lived in China, and made disciples there as he did in Germany, his philosophy would have been applied to the
writings of Confucius ; if he had lived in Turthleisimmy key, his followers would have straightway apbe applied. plied that philosophy to the religion of the Koran; but living, as he did, where Christianity is the historical religion, those who accepted his views began, at once, to use them in accounting for the New Testament records. Hence the rise of the Pantheistic Christology, more generally known under the designation of the Tübingen School, which has filled so large a space in the biblical criticism of the last half century, and to which I propose to devote the present lecture.
Let recall here, so far as the nature of our
undertaking requires, the central doctrine of Hegelian
Hegel's philosophy. It is that of the progres
sive development of the Absolute Idea, through a triplicate and never-ending process. By the Absolute Idea I understand him to mean the one sole reality, besides which nothing either is or can be conceived to be. In its logical results, though not in its essence, it is the same thing as Spinoza's Substance. In like manner it agrees with the Subject-Object of Schelling, while it seems hardly to differ, in any respect, from Fichte's World-Ego. This
idea is not a substance or entity, at least in our conception of it, but a process. The absolute,
considered in itself, is either something or nothing. As apprehended in consciousness it is a “becoming," an endless evolution which had no beginning. In the evolution, or “ becoming," there is all the time affirmation, negation, and higher affirmation. This triplicate moveA triplicatement, forever carrying the absolute idea out
into more and more perfect manifestations, con
The absolute idea.
with Comte's “ three states,"
stitutes the whole material of our knowledge. The movement goes on, not only in the phenomena of the universe considered as one, but in each division and subdivision, down to the least province of discovered facts. It is the method of progress in all civilizations, in all histories, in all arts, in all religions. Taken in the broadest sense it constitutes philosophy, which is that manifestation of the absolute idea in which its self-consciousness culminates. The doctrine may be clearer to us, perhaps, if we compare it, or rather contrast it, with Comte's
Compared threefold law of progress. According to Comte the facts of observation are accounted for: first by hypothesis, either theological or metaphysical; then there is a negation of the hypothesis, through a destructive criticism; and then there is an advance from hypothesis to the positive laws of phenomena. It is only in this threefoldness of movement, however, that the two schemes even suggest each other.
With Comte the process is but intellectual; with Hegel it is real and universal. Comte recognizes only a limited movement in time, while IIegel makes it absolutely eternal. In Comte the three steps of the movement succeed each other chronologically, • till at last only the third remains, which is permanent; in Hegel these steps are simultaneous, and every one valid, and will continue to be forever. The absolute idea, even when asserted most rudimentally, is not an hypothesis, but all the reality there is for the time being. The negation and criticism of its forms do not destroy it, as Comte makes theology and metaphysics fall before positivism, but are ever resulting in its higher affirmation.