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of the process by which truth is evolved; so that, in the end, conviction rests upon the presumption of the correctness of the logical process. But Christ adopted, as a general thing, none of these methods. It is true that, in his intercourse with his enemies, who sought to “ entangle him in his talk,” he manifested a remarkable degree of logical acumen and wonderful power of argumentation; so that, compared with him, Socrates is but a cunning questioner, or an artful dodger, alongside of a profound and fair reasoner. It is true, also, that he sometimes reasoned from nature up to nature's God. But this was not his general method of teaching. It could not have been so consistently with his professions. His avowed object was not to propound or construct a system of philosophy which should rest on the demonstrations of science; but it was to reveal a system of religion which should stand on the basis of faith. The first idea of a Divine revelation is, that the thing revealed is not attainable by any mere process of reasoning: There is no necessity that God should interpose by a special revelation, to teach men astronomy, botany, or chemistry, because these sciences are within our reach and may be learned by the simple exercise of the powers which the Creator has given us, and by methods of human invention. But God cannot be known except he reveal himself. Man, in his relations to the spiritual and the invisible-duty, as growing out of those relations, and destiny in the future, these are matters that we cannot approach by any scientific process. They cannot be proved by mathematical demonstration or by chemical analysis, by induction or synthesis, or any logical process; and for this reason they must be revealed. These were the matters of which Jesus treated; and for this reason he rejected the ordinary methods of men, and announced truthby authority. We do not, therefore, find him engaged in any metaphysical disquisitions, nor laboring, in profound philosophical discourse, to explain to his disciples how he had elaborated his doctrines from the principles of science, or reared them on the facts of experience or consciousness. But he speaks simply as one who knows whereof he affirms. He tells them that the Father has taught him and sent him to bear witness unto the truth; not to demonstrate it logically—that the seal of heaven is upon his commission ; and the reason he gives is, “ Verily I say unto you, it is thus or so,” and on the basis of that authority he challenges their faith.

Swedenborg has imitated him in this regard. In all his revelations, which he claims as coming from the spiritworld, he merely relates the things that be saw and heard, as if he never suspected that any body would doubt their truth or fail to receive them on his authority. In this he was consistent. He professed to be a seer of things which to other men were invisible; and he knew well enough that the nature of his revelations was such that they could not be demonstrated to others logically or stand on the basis of human science ; and, therefore, his appeal must be to faith, and that faith must rest on authority. Spirits in the other world may appear and live, very much as they do here, but that fact, it it be a fact, cannot be proved by logic. It must rest on authority. Whatever may be said or thought of the validity of the authority of the Swedish seer, the very method that he adopted .goes far to prove that he was honest and sincere, and not an intentional falsifier or deceiver. And this was pre-eminently the method of the Man Christ Jesus. He taught as one having authority, and his appeal was to faith. Much has been said against this characteristic of Christ, and objectionable as is the idea of believing on authority, to some minds, the principle is legitimate, and the Great Teacher would have failed in his mission if he had adopted any other method of teaching. The reason is that the faith of the heart is even more needful than the faith of the intellect, and to secure that, truth must be embodied in some living form, to which faith can cling, and on whose authority it can rely. The dying man cannot pause to review all his reasonings and test anew the logical aspects of his faith. But he wants the teacher, on whose authority he can rely, to stand by him, that he may look up into his face and hear the word of life fresh from his lips and believe them, with all his heart, because of him from whom they come. The mother who has laid her child in the dust and, in the woe of her bereavement, stands by its grave, does not want to receive the logic of her faith. But she wants some one, in whom she can confide, to stand by her, that she may lean her aching head upon his bosom, and feel the inspirations of a diviner life and holier faith flowing from her heart's confidence in his

authority. And this we have in Christ. And this is the reason that faith in him is often strongest and most blessed in its influence when the intellect is enfeebled by disease and approaching death, so that it would fail in any attempt to comprehend a syllogism of Aristotle or a problem of Euclid.

IV. Christ': Method was positive and absolute. In all mere human reasonings, whether conducted on the method of induction, analysis, or synthesis, there is a shade of uncertainty. Of the past, much is confessedly fabulous, and all history gives us no more than pictures of things that have been. The present is with us, indeed, but much of it is in the distance and uncertain, or unknown. And as for the future, we cannot penetrate its darkness, or, by any process of reasoning, announce one positive or absolute truth in reference to it. The result is that wisest teachers deal much in conjectures and hypothesis, and are often compelled to be content with possibilities and probabilities. But it is not so with Christ. His method was absolute. The truths he announced are not stated hypothetically, but positively. We find in liim no timid reasonings from premises that are doubtful, or hypothesis that may made good. But with him, the past, the present and the future are alike in this regard ; and he announces what shall be with as much assurance and as little doubt as what has been or is now.

1. God is a reality. He does not derive the fact of the Divine existence from any process of logic, nor attempt to defend it by any demonstrations of science. He assumes it as an absolute truth, and announces it positively and without hesitation or conditions. With him, God is no myth, but a positive existence; his will is the Supreme Law of the Universe ; his character, the Eternal Father, and the Everlasting Friend. He does not speculate as other teachers, in reference to the disposition and purposes of God; nor propound his hypothesis of what may be and what may not be. But directly, and without equivocation, he announces the truth of God, sitting on his throne of thrones, holding all things under his supreme control, and reigning in an unchanging benignity, that “makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust”-feeds the fowls of the air-decks the lilies of the

field—watches the sparrow when it falls, and numbers the hairs upon our heads. He yearns with inexpressible tenderness over the creatures that he has made, and even over the prodigals when they wander; and the rule by which he walks without deviation is, to do and to communicate good. On these simple, absolute and eternal truths, Jesus rears the whole fabric of religion. God's relation to man is not, as others teach, hypothetical or dependent upon circumstances, and changing with the changes that take place in man. But it is an attitude of unchanging benignity, which, amid all changes, remains the same, and nothing can turn away the great love wherewith he hath loved us. That love begins and ends and consecrates all the teachings of Christ, and he every where announces it as an absolute and eternal truth.

2. Duty is positive. Among men, there have been and still are, various and conflicting theories of duty and moral obligation; and the fault of the most of them is, that they are relative and · hypothetical, not positive and absolute. They have respect to the external, rather than the internal, and their effort is to solve the problem of duty, not by an unyarying and immutable Law; but by circumstances and expedients. Hence the long codes of laws and rules for the regulation of men's hands, imposing what are called duties, and promising rewards, and annexing pains and penalties; all resting upon, and mistaking, expediency for duty. But Christ announces one positive and Eternal Law, as the reality of all moral obligation, and the practice of it the sum of all duty, and that is the Law of Love. The idea of duty is that of something due for something received. The absolute truth is, that all human beings have received and are continually receiving from God the abundance of his love, and on this indestructable basis rests the duty of love to him. If we love him we shall love our fellow men, because they are his children and our brethren. And on this immutable foundation of truth, namely, God's eternity and man's fraternity, rests the duty of love to God and man. Here, then, is the source of all moral obligation and the sum of all duty, and they are absolute and unchanging.

That was a great word which Newton uttered, when working his way through phenomena up to their causes, he laid his finger upon the one law of universal gravitation, and, planting himself upon the summit of human thought, announced the truth, that the universe is governed by attraction ; and that this one law regulates all the movements and distributes all the harinonies of the worlds that God has made. Whether the vapors rise or the rains fall -whether the earth moves or the ponderous orbs of Jupiter and Uranus sweep their mighty circles through the regions of space—whether the dew-drops glisten upon the flower or the mote dances in the sun beam, the rivers flow or the ocean heaves its tides; all these complicated movements proceed from, and are regulated by, one great law. But that was a greater word which was uttered by the Man Christ Jesus, when standing amid the mysteries of the moral universe, he announced the truth, that that, too, is governed by attraction, and that one absolute and eternal

regulates and pervades all its movements and activities —that in and by this law of love, God reigns over it, and conducts all its vicissitudes onward from Eden to the final consummation, and that, in all this course of discipline, he has not departed from it in any single instance. On this firm and absolute basis of the love of God, rests all moral obligation binding us to love him and our brethen, and in these, all duty is done. Christ thus gives us the great first principle, which is applicable to all times and all circumstances, and of that application we have yet much to learn. What we want is not codes of laws, and rules and regulations for the outward man ; but we want conformity to this law of love in the inner man. We want to apply it to the family circle, and teach husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters how to live by it, so that our homes and firesides may be consecrated by it, and become temples consecrated by the teachings of the Great Teacher, and hallowed by the sensible presence of the God of love. We want to apply this law of love to our social intercourse with our fellow men; so that social life shall be a life of love and kindness. We want to take it into the marts of trade and commerce, and the fields of industry, so that the antagonisms of business shall feel its power, and the counting-house and the work shop shall be pervaded by its presence, and become meet for the dwelling of Christ. We want this law infused into government and legislation,

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