Religion of Jesus
Walter E. Bundy
The Religious Demands of Jesus
DOWN to this point we have sought to indicate the sources of Jesus' religious experience, the objects of his religious faith, and the solid substance of his religious consciousness, in brief, the commanding and controlling elements of his religious experience. We now come to thatmore practical problem of determining the issues of Jesus' religious experience as they concern his followers. The issue of his religious experience for himself is clear enough. His personal experience of religion made him what he was. It accounts for all that he was able to say, to be and to do as a religious personality and character. But his followers feel that he has laid a task upon them, that he meant to do so, and they feel that they face the direct responsibility of realizing for themselves and for others the things that he himself sought and, in turn, sought to share with them and with all. What did Jesus demand of his disciples? What did he require in the way of religious livipg? What did he seek to do for his closest companions, for all of his contemporaries? What did he expect of his followers? What did he desire that they should do for others? These are the questions of practical piety, and the answers to these questions are of the greatest importance for us to-day.
As we have tried to show from the outset, Jesus belongs to that type of mind which, for want of a better name, we call religious genius. The great religious geniuses of history, without exception, have objectified the central
content of their religious experience. Inherent in the very nature of religious genius is the clear conviction that personal religious experience makes a difference in the whole life of the experient, in the lives of others, even in the life of the whole world. In fact, it is this difference in the character of the whole of our human life that the great religious genius seeks as the ultimate goal of his accomplishment. He is convinced that the subjective experience of religion has its objective issues and that men and the world in general must become other than they are. He experiences religion as a producing process. Consequently, the great religious genius makes his very definite demands. The whole of life, personal and social, must reconstruct itself to correspond to the essential content of his religious experience; it must become the full and free expression of the meaning of God within.
Behind this fundamental conviction of the religious genius is a sound psychological law that operates in all fields of human experience: The commanding and controlling elements of experience demand expression and seek realization. The predominating convictions and aspirations seek to create a corresponding personal character and to establish corresponding codes and controls of social conduct. In personal character and in social conduct the serious individual strives to become the living expression of his experience. He seeks to convert his experience into a life that realizes his deepest convictions and his most fervent faith. Fervent and firmly founded faith must seek realization if it is to maintain itself. If it does not find such expression, it soon dies or, if it survives at all, becomes a mere theoretical concept that is entertained rather than an actual truth by which the subject lives.
This is especially true in the field of religious experi-
ence. The only hope for the continued life of a religious conviction is that it seek to mold character and conduct. A religious aspiration can live only as it seeks to realize itself. Faith must function, or it atrophies. Religious experience seeks to impress the whole of life with its essential and distinctive content. Religion in all its forms makes its demands upon the individual and the group. It requires a difference in the lives of men, personal and social. It lays its responsibilities and obligations upon the very heart of the individual and his community. It establishes principles for personal character, codes and controls for social conduct that correspond to the commanding elements of the religious experience from which they come.
The demands of religion, then, bear an organic relationship to the content of man's religious experience and they reflect the stages in the development and expansion of that experience. When his religious experience is limited, more or less impoverished, the religious requirements felt by himself and his group are correspondingly limited and poor. In its more primitive forms religious experience finds only a limited expression. Primitive man's sense of religious obligation exhausted itself in seeking the divine favor or in appeasing the divine anger. His religious life confined itself to more or less impersonal acts of worship, and his religious virtue consisted chiefly in the care and regularity with which he appeared before his gods. In some instances the performance of religious acts consumed a great deal of primitive man's time. In some of the lowest forms of religion we meet some of the most elaborate systems of cult and ceremony with numerous feasts and festivals extending over days and weeks. In general, it is true of primitive man's ex-
perience that he felt but a single religious relationship and obligation, that of man to his Maker. The right offering, at the right time, in the right place, prepared and presented in the right way, satisfied his sense of religious responsibility. On such a level the religious life exhausts itself in correctness of conduct in an hour of worship. Although he lived under a conscious superstitious fear, the rest of his existence he led in a care-free fashion, purely egocentric, feeling no requirements for his personal character and social conduct.
One of the most remarkable phenomena of human history is the development and expansion of man's religious experience. Its elevation and enrichment is one of the most edifying chapters in the human story, and it is edifying because it has been accompanied by a corresponding refinement of religious requirements. The movement has been from the more elaborate to the more simple, from complex cult and ceremony to plain principles and practises of living. The religious requirements of primitive man were carefully stipulated down to the last detail; in his worship he was guided step by step. But religious experience in its higher forms leaves greater latitude to the worshiper. This latitude is in no sense a laxity, but grows out of a greater faith in the Divine and in man's capacity to perceive and to perform the divine demands.
The expansion of man's religious experience comes to include a second relationship. Man's relation to his fellow-man is raised to a plane that is on a par with his relation to his Maker. An excellent example of this expansion of the religious consciousness is to be found in the Old Testament decalogues of Exodus 20 and Deuteron. omy 5, where seven of the ten commandments deal with man's relation to his fellow-man over against the more
primitive code of Exodus 34,17-26 which comes from a religious experience that was conscious only of the relation of man to his Maker. In its highest form religion strikes the whole of life; religious obligation invades every detail of human existence, and man is never free from its requirements. The movement is from without in, from the punctilious performance of cult and ceremony to the perfection of individual and group life. This process of the purification of piety renders thee rree-quirements of religion easy of comprehension but difficult of performance, for they reach down and take a firm hold on the very source-springs of personal and social life. The chief danger that confronts religion in its higher forms is that the best elements of its experience will become theoretical and cease to be actual commanding forces which create corresponding character and control corresponding conduct.
The expansion, elevation and enrichment of man's religious experience is the work of the prophet, and it is the resourcefulness of the prophetic type of piety that has brought about the refinement of religious requirements. It belongs to the very genius of the prophet to simplify, to sift out the wheat from the chaff, to reject the elaborate and to insist on the essential, to depart from detail, to leave latitude in the comprehension and performance of religious duty, to widen the horizon of the religious outlook, to rise from the minor matters to the major issues, to discover principle rather than to dictate particular precept, to concentrate, to condense and to crystallize the commanding elements of religious experience. An excellent example of a product of such prophetic piety is to be found in that classic passage of Micah 6,6-8:
"Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old?
"Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
"He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
In such a passage the prophet is dealing directly with the divine demands, "What doth Jehovah require of thee?" Here we meet a departure from the elaborate in favor of the essential, a desertion of cult and ceremony in favor of plain principles and practises of living. The divine demands are brought down to a single simple statement. Such a passage can come from only a remarkably rich religious experience which expands to include character and conduct and which raises the divine demands to the moral and ethical plane. The rich religious experience back of Micah 6,6-8 does not dwell on detail. The requirements are cast in only the roughest relief. There is left to the individual and the group an almost loose latitude in the learning and living of religion. "To do justly," "to love kindness," "to walk humbly with God," are only most general principles. Prophet-like, Micah leaves to his contemporaries the correct interpretation and concrete application. The simplicity of such a statement is almost deceptive. The ease with which it is comprehended, its immediate appeal to better judgment, the subtle swing of sentiment which carries it
straight to the moral conscience, obscure for the moment the drastic character of such a demand. It is only as the full weight of such a statement settles down upon the moral will of the individual and the group that its difficulty of performance is realized.
As we pointed out in chapter one, Jesus belongs to the prophetic type of religious personality. His religious experience is of the prophetic pattern and we may expect from him only the prophetic type of demand. Jesus is the prince of humanity's prophets, and his follower is religiously convinced that the progressive expansion, elevation and enrichment of man's religious experience reaches its climax in Jesus. In him we meet religious experience in its pristine purity and power. Of an experience so rich and deep we may expect only the highest order of religious demand, requirements that cover every human interest and relationship, that move on the most exalted plane of human conception, that allow a large latitude in interpretation and application, that are as simple of comprehension as they are difficult of performance because they reach down to the very roots of personal and social life. Of him we may not expect too much in the way of detail. The modern demand for detail meets with disappointment in Jesus. In his religious requirements we meet more often with general implications than with specific instructions. He projects for men only the major outlines of the religious outlook; he provides only the skeleton of the social structure leaving to them the task of building in the detail; the fundamental elements of man's religious life he casts only in the roughest relief.
The religious demands of Jesus, as is characteristic of the religious genius, correspond to the controlling ele-
ments of his religious experience, the experience of God as high and holy, as living and loving Father, the quest of His kingdom and will. These, for Jesus, are the fundamental elements of religious experience and enterprise. Man's religion includes two inseparable elements: reverence and righteousness. These are the two great poles of Jesus' own personal piety; they are the things that matter most in the sight of God and in the lives of men. With the same emphasis and energy that he preached reverence for God he preached righteousness among men. It is at this point that Jesus brings and welds together the two most exalted heights of Old Testament piety:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12,30-31.)
Both commandments are the product of Israel's prophetic piety, but in the Old Testament they stand as lofty, isolated peaks that tower high above the dead level of Israel's religion. (Deut. 6,4-5; Lev. 19,18.) Jesus, however, strikes his line from one peak to the other as the high elevation on which the religious life is to move. This is clearest in that greatest of all words of Jesus, the Lord's Prayer, which moves from reverence to righteousness. (Matt. 6,9-13.)
At the very heart of human life Jesus places the experience of God. Men are to live a God-centered existence. This experience of God is not something intangible and theoretical but the actually commanding element in the
human consciousness; it is to reach down into the last and least details of man's existence-into his thought, feeling and conduct. The whole of his life man must live consciously in the presence of his Maker. This consciousness of being for ever in the divine presence is to be the creative and commanding force in his living. It must determine all that he is and aspires to be, all that he does and. hopes to accomplish.
Human life is a divine gift; as such it is to be accepted and lived. At the center of man's life is his Maker, toward whom he is to maintain an unbroken attitude of reverence. All about him are his human fellows, with whom he is to live on the principle and practise of righteousness.
THE CHILD MIND
Religion as Elemental Experience
The scene in which Jesus takes the little children in his arms and blesses them has always appealed to the Christian imagination as one of the most intimate and human touches in the Gospel picture. (Mark 10,13-16.) This it is, but in Jesus' word, which is the real heart of the incident, we have something more deeply human and elemental, for he is here laying the very groundwork for all religious experience.
"Suffer little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God." (Mark 10, 14b.)
"Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18,3.)
Just what elements in the child constitution appealed to Jesus we are not in a position to say, but to the child mind he promises the highest religious value-the kingdom of God. It is certainly clear that he is not setting up immaturity as a desirable state or virtue. Maturity as the goal of the religious life is too prominent in the thought of Jesus to permit this conclusion. In many of his words he speaks of seed-time and sowing, of small starts and beginnings, but these very words climax in the ripened grain and harvest, in large outcomes and issues.
Growth and increase are a prominent theme in his message. The seed sown in good ground brings forth, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundredfold. The thought of development is equally prominent in his religious outlook. The smallest of all seeds sp~rings up and becomes the greatest of herbs. Tesus regards the religious life as a becoming of something other than we are. There is continuity, but there is change. Men remain the same, yet they at the same time become something new and different. Life assumes new forms; its content is enriched; there appear new capacities, powers and capabilities. Jesus, then, can not be recommending the undeveloped state of the child mind. He seems to have in mind no special trait; rather he lays at the very base of religious experience the whole of the child's outlook and approach to life. He regards the child mind as indispensable in the relationship of man to his Maker. It is the very heart of his conception of men as the children of God.
Jesus gives us no analysis of the child mind as a basis for religious exporience, but we may undertake this in the light of psychology and at the same time feel that we are pursuing the right path, particulakly when the elements of the child mind have exact counterparts in the religious
experience of Jesus himself. We may be sure that they are the marks of the mind that would sense and share the highest religious values. As we shall see at once, they are all native and natural endowments which we bring into the world and which we must retain even in full maturity if we are to remain religious in the sense of Jesus. All of these features are primitive and naive, but they are not marks of immaturity. They are elemental aud essential to genuine reliziousness, and our most careful psychology recognizes them as indispensable in the highest forms of religious experience.
In the child there is a native and natural simplicity in the whole of his approach to life that enables him to discover the wonder in the world. He is sensitive to the mysteries of his existence. This wonder-world is an elemental part of all genuine religious experience. The student of the history of religion finds it in the most primitive as well as in the highest forms of religion. It is the fundamental mystery of man's existence, the fact that he is surrounded by powers other and greater than his own, that calls forth the attitude of religious fear, awe, wonder and reverence. This has an exact counterpart in the experience of Jesus, who has his wonder-world which calls forth the deepest of religious emotions. A finer example of this elemental response to the mystery of man's existence, to this awareness of living in the presence of powers beyond man's control, than comes direct and fresh from Jesus' own religious experience would be difficult to find:
"So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth; and should sleep and rise night
and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he putteth forth the sickle, because the harvest is come." (Mark 4,26-29.)
In the child there is an intense sensitivity and susceptibility to all that experience offers for apprehension and assimilation. The child in his immaturity peoples his world with imaginary beings; his fertile imagination transforms the most prosaic objects into wondrous creatures that do wondrous things; inanimate objects take on life; they are endowed with human and more-than-human faculties; they converse with him, and reveal the hidden secrets of his and their existence. The uncritical and uncontrolled imagination of immaturity becomes in the mature religious mind the faculty for the discovery of the Divine. This also has its exact counterpart in the religious experience of Jesus. He shows himself intensely sensitive and susceptible to all that experience offers. What for most men is plain and prosaic, dull and drab and dreary, in our existence became for him infinitely suggestive. His world is plain at no point, for in every item it is charged with the presence of the Divine. In the most prosaic facts and pursuits of human life he learns lessons of the Divine. A sower sowing his seed, a woman mixing dough, a patched garment, a bursted wine-skin, a lamp on a stand, cast-off salt on a rubbish heap-all suggest to Jesus the ways and workings of God and His kingdom.
In the child there is a clear consciousness of dependence. It is the organic issue of his sense of the wonderworld that surrounds him. He does not rely on his own
resources; he feels the need of powerful supplementation from without. He takes his refuge with those who understand better and who are stronger than himself. This, too, is fundamental to religious experience at its best. The forms in which this consciousness of dependence expresses itself may vary; they may be of a high or low order depending upon the stage of man's general development, but it is an absolutely indispensable state and condition apart from which genuine religious experien~e is impossible. The religious man never trusts exclusively in his own resources. - He feels the need of powerful supplementation as he faces all the items and issues of his existence. He finds a refuge and resort only in a religious approach to all that experience off ers. This, too, has its counterpart in the religious life of Jesus; it is a fundamental element in his experience of God. It is this consciousness of dependence, this sense of need for powerful supplementation, that is behind the whole of his prayer-life and that expresses itself in and through it. To his disciples he says that this sense of dependence must reach down to the last detail of life. Even a pious pledge may not be undertaken on the basis of one's own resources.
"Swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black." (Matt. 5,34-36.)
"Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?" (Matt. 6,27.)
In the child there is an unreserved trust and confidence. He approaches life with an instinctive trust; in others he has an implicit confidence. The whole order of things works with him, and he gives himself wholly to it. He feels that he is in the midst of an order that looks out just for him and that has his care at heart. His fervent faith in the fundamental goodness of his world bears him over any momentary disturbances and disappointments. The very flood of his faith carries him along. In Jesus we see this same trust and confidence. He does not feel that he is thrown into the midst of an order that is careless and heartless. In the world about him he discovers the provisions of Providence. Back of all that experience offers he sees the holy and helpful heart of the impartial Father who
(Linaketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and who sendeth his rain on the just and the unjust." (Matt. 5,45.)
Jesus is fully conscious of the exigencies of human existence, yet the very force of his faith issues in a simple statement of trust and confidence that staggers us: "Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. . . . Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, 0 ye of little faith? Be not
therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (Matt. 6,26-32.)
In the child there is a sense of absolute security. There is no skepticism that invades his mind and that inhibits the free flow of his life. There are no disturbing doubts; there are no dogmatic denials that hinder him in the unrestrained living of his life. There are no morbid fears that possess him. He is out of harm's way. He feels secure in his life-situation. This sense of security permeates the whole of the religious experience of Jesus. Uncertainty may throw him into struggle of soul; personal distress may bring cries of need from his lips. But his distress never develops into a permanent despondency and despair. He is never the victim of circumstances and the emotional reactions they may call forth. In his hardest hour he may feel himself deserted of the Divine, but it is into the Father's hands that he commits his spirit. This sense of security Jesus sets as one of the foundation stones of religious experience. In view of it he tells his disciples that they may feel that they possess real value in the sight of the Divine: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than .1wiany sparrows." (Matt. 10,29-31.)
In the child there is a wholesome and sunny optimism. The entire substance of his experience conspires in the
creation of this frame of mind. His relation to his world is happy and he confronts it with an irrepressible and irresistible cheerfulness. A passing disturbance only serves to augment his joy. He feels that life is a boon, not a burden. He goes to meet it in exuberant spirit, unshakably certain that it has much good in store for him. The golden days lie just ahead, and he is expectant and hopeful. The golden days may delay their coming, his joyous prospect may be postponed, but this fact can not daunt the enthusiasm he feels with life's whole outlook before him. This attitude with which the child confronts life has its exact counterpart in the religious experience of Jesus. He is never pessimistic in his piety. Even in his sharpest denunciations the element of hope is never missing. He meets the pressure of the present in the light of the future. The future is good because it is God's, who has great and good things in store for men. From beginning to end Jesus is expectant. The kingdom is at hand; it is about to appear; it is pressing upon the very doors. The kingdom may delay its coming, it may be postponed, but it will come. This fundamental optimism has its expression in Matthew 6,34: "Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
This is not a strain of other-worldliness, an impossible idealism that neglects the world of fact, but a naive and childlike approach to the problem of the living of life religiously. It is an optimism that belongs to the higher ranges of religious experience, and it is absolutely necessary if we are to face human life and find in it more than
a dull and dreary existence. Like the child, the mature religious mind must confront the world of fact with a faith that bids defiance to all that is contrary to it.
A final feature in the child mind is a singular lack of pretense and self-consciousness. The child is openly and frankly what he is. He speaks and acts under no artificial restraints; his thoughts and feelings find free and spontaneous expression. He is uncramped by custom and convention; he has not yet felt the pressure of social expectation and technique. In public and in private he is simply what he thinks and feels. His self is not yet submerged in a social system; he has not yet learned the suppression of public opinion. This lack of pretense and self-consciousness has its exact counterpart in the thought and conduct of Jesus. It is a religion of pretense that he condemns most severely. It is at the very heart of all that he has to say to the religious-by-profession of his day. The Pharisee was keenly conscious of his religious virtues and merits. Reputation was a strong motive in his religious life. He undertook his practises of piety in public-his fasting, almsgiving and praying. Social approval was often the end that he sought, decided def erence to himself from others rather than depth of inner devotion. The religious-by-profession of Jesus' day lived a self-conscious existence. The Pharisee must be constantly on his guard; he was not allowed to forget himself for a moment. He must know exactly with whom he talked and walked, under whose roof he entered, exactly what was set before him to cat and how it was prepared. He lived his life under the constant and conscious danger of defilement. A fine reflection of this selfconsciousness is preserved by Luke in his account of the penitent act of a sinful woman in the form of a reflection
of Simon the Pharisee at whose table Jesus is a guest. As Jesus' host observes the character of the woman and Jesus' approval of her act, he questions the genuineness of Jesus as a prophet (7,39b) : "This man, if he were a prophet, would have per. ceived who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner."
Jesus' classic condemnation of a religion of pretense we find in one of his major addresses: "Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and to have salutations in the marketplaces, and chief seats in the synagogue, and chief seats at feasts: they that devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers; these shall receive greater con. demnation." (Mark 12,38-40.)
"But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments . . . and love . . . to be called of men, Rabbi." (Matt. 23,S-7.)
Jesus' classic picture of exaggerated self-consciousness in religion is found in his parable of the two men who went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, the other a publican (Luke 18, 10-13) : "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publi. can. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get."
Over against this he sets the contrasting picture of the publican who, without pretense of any kind, conscious only of his need, utters a tense, terse supplication. "But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner."
According to Jesus, there were two sinners who went up to the temple to pray, and the one went down justified rather than the other.
One of the most refreshing features in the Gospel pic. ture of Jesus is this singular lack of pretense and self-consciousness. A religious profession never crosses his lips; he never recites a single religious virtue that he himself possesses. And yet he made the most imposing impression as a religious personality. The people say, "What manner of man is this?" (Matt. 8,27.) "We have seen strange things to-day." (Luke 5,26.) "We never saw it on this fashion." (Mark 2,12.) "Certainly this was a righteous man." (Luke 23,47.) Jesus is unrestrained even by religious custom and convention. He follows his religious instincts even if they bring him to trespass upon sacred and long-standing tradition. He heals on the Sabbath and his disciples pluck grain; he does not observe the religious custom of fasting; he goes through no ceremonial washings before meals; he associates almost preferably with publicans and sinners. To these social and religious outcasts he feels himself strongly drawn, "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2,17.)
Among them he met with the readiest response. They shall precede the religious-by-profession into the kingdom of God. (Matt. 21,3 1.) Throughout the Gospel picture we see Jesus as the congenial guest who is at home in the company of all classes of his contemporaries. He condescends to none; he defers to none. When he crosses with the regular requirements of religious respectability, he seems unconscious of it until the guardians of convention call his attention to the irregularity of his conduct and associations. The whole of Jesus' known life is an unspoiled expression of his religious experience.
Jesus sets the child mind as the indispensable foundation for the erection of a solid religious structure in our human life, and he is here true to the very best of humanity's religious genius. Piety in its highest and most convincing forms always rests upon this solid substratum. This fundamental demand strikes upon the modern ear like a strange, unintelligible sound. The modern mind feels that the harmony of its life is disturbed by the introduction of a thing so elemental, and the spirit of this demand seems to bring a harsh, unbearable clash to the modern mood and temper. But the modern mind must possess the principal marks of the child if it is to become religious in the sense of Jesus. And the very practical question arises: Can the modern mind gear itself into this fundamental position of Jesus? The modern mind is convinced of its maturity; it is clearly conscious of having outgrown the naive, the childish and the primitive. Can it become as a little child in its attitude and feel that to it belongs the kingdom of heaven?
There are elements in the modern make-up that seem opposed to this requirement of Jesus. The modern mind
prides itself on its knowledge, very justly in the fact that it has cleared up much of the mystery that confused and awed primitive man and that still arouses the wonder of the child. Modern man knows more about the world in which he lives, he feels more at home in it than did primitive man. Many of nature's forces which primitive man feared and fled modern man has mastered and drafted into his service. This tends to rob the modern mind of its native and natural simplicity in the whole of its approach to life. A justified sense of pride in attainment and accomplishment exposes the modern mind to the danger of losing its sense of wonder. The whole of our experience seems to conspire to take this from us. With all of our insight into the laws and operations of the universe and our own earth we may never become insensible to the fundamental mystery of our existence without a hopeless impoverishment of our experience. The laws which we discover are not of our making; the mighty forces which we command do not originate with us. Primitive and modern man alike stand in the presence of the wonder-world. Man sleeps and rises night and day, but the earth bringeth forth fruit of itself; man knoweth not how. In our better moments we are sensible to the fundamental mystery of our existence, but according to Jesus this consciousness of living in the presence of the wonderworld must be the constant content of our experience. Slowly we are realizing that learning is not dangerous to elemental religion, that after all the real wonderworld is at the end rather than ahead of the learning process. The child is sensible to the wonder-world that baffles his understanding, but when we meet the most critical scientific spirit in its finest form we find that it is supersensible to this wonder-world. With all of his in-
vasions into the unknown modern man will always find something beyond that arouses his awe and wonder, that calls forth the reaction of deep reverence, and he will never press his path beyond the presence of the Divine. In elemental experience he will feel himself one with the Psalmist, in whose piety Jesus himself grew up: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
"For thou hast made him but little lower than God, and crownest him with glory and honor." (8,4-5.)
Our modern life is infinitely complex, almost hopelessly complicated. The very flood of things overwhelms us. A baffling maze of materials presents itself to us for apprehension and assimilation. The very eventfulness of our existence is distracting. It becomes increasingly difficult to make an assessment of our experience and to single out the essential and fundamental. The very pressure of life from without robs the modern mind of the native right to retreat and retirement. Reflection concerning the fundamental aims and ends of life is sporadic; we practise it only as time' permits. We are very rapidly losing the fertile faculty of imagination that sees in life more than appears on the surface. Our world is becoming less and less suggestive as we become less and less suggestible. The pressure of the practical makes us the creatures of regularity and routine. Life is plain and prosaic, and for many of us moderns it settles down to a dull, drab, dreary existence even when we are surrounded by comparative physical comfort. Men and things become monotonous to us. There is little in them or in us to stimulate meditation concerning the Divine.
And the reflections of Jesus on all the elements of human experience, according to which life is plain at no point and which learns daily lessons of the Divine, strike us as a beautiful pastoral idyl, quite possible in the sunny hills and plains of Galilee but out of all harmony with the din and discords of our modern industrial world. The modern mind at this point surrenders its hold on Jesus and leaves him to join that small circle of humanity's idealists and dreamers to which it feels that he belongs.
In the modern mind there is only a limited sense of dependence. Our command over the physical and natural world generates a sense of self-sufficiency. Our evident attainments and accomplishments encourage us to rely on our own resources. What have we not done on our own account? What is there left undone that we do not expect to do in the not-too-distant future? We feel that we are dependent upon the material and social order, but we are confident that our own modern methods will result in satisfactory distribution and adequate adjustment. Our sense of dependence seldom reaches beyond the world of appearances. We feel little or no need of more-thanhuman supplementation. Seldom do we take refuge and resort in the religious approach to the problem of living human life individually and collectively. We feel that the necessary illumination is only a question of time and that the requisite strength is only a matter of more mature growth and development. We are willing to undertake life on the basis of our own resources. This is commendable enough except for the fact that behind this willingness there is no commanding religious conviction concerning the ultimate dependence of the human on the Divine.
The modern mind is not characterized by unreserved
trust and confidence in its approach to life. It is ultrasensitive to the hard and harsh facts of existence. It feels that it is caught in a desperate struggle for survival. A withered flower in the field, a fallen sparrow, do not suggest the provisions of Providence, but both appear as victims of a natural order that seems indifferent toward the fate of its offspring. Only the more favorable facts, in our better moments, suggest that after all the world is friendly toward us and perhaps has our ultimate good at heart. But our general mood is skeptical rather than confident and trustful. We feel that the universe is hostile rather than helpful. In our modern maturity we find it difficult to retain any appreciable measure of the child's instinctive faith in the essential goodness of things. The flow of our feeble faith is checked by the first jam of contrary facts. It is not strong enough to sweep its own course clean and find its way to its ultimate outlet.
Momentary disturbances and discouragements strike us as permanent and necessary. They cause us to acquiesce rather than augment our aggressiveness. The fact that the sun shines on the evil and the good alike, that the rain falls on both the just and the unjust, hinders rather than helps our faith. We seek a fitness that will enable us to survive rather than a faith that will cope successfully with all the emergencies of our existence.
Modern men may be said to possess a sense of security in their relation to the physical side of their existence. With a commendable courage they are willing to take the physical risks involved in the living of life. But when it comes to the psychic and social side of existence modern men are not so secure. With all their mastery of the physical universe they have not yet mastered themselves. Modern men have yet to learn the secret of living
together. Every ramification of our contemporary social order is invaded by a feeling of insecurity. Men do not trust the best in themselves, still less do they trust to the presence and appearance of the best in others. We hesitate to live and act at the impulse of our finer instincts. We suppress our nobler sentiments for fear that they may be rendered ridiculous. We have not yet learned that their full release is the only hope for a sense of social security. History should teach us that humanity has made its greatest steps forward, that it has always experienced an elevation and enrichment of life when men have dared venture upon life, trusting to the best in themselves and in others, acting upon their best instincts and impulses. This submerged fear inhibits the free flow of social and individual life. We shall never experience a sense of security, we shall never feel that we are really out of harm's way, until we learn to trust the human constitution at its best. We are the doomed victims of social despondency and despair until we learn the lesson of Jesus: That men are of more value than many sparrows, not one of which falleth without the knowledge of the Father.
The modern mind has not been able to retain a wholesome and sunny optimism. The sense of social insecurity has robbed us of it. The outlook for the future is that of great advance on the material and scientific side. But the modern mind is moody, at times almost morbid. Our spirit is caustic and sour, sometimes even callous and stale. The spiritual outlook is not bright because men in their many conflicting interests do not seem to understand each other. Our modern attempts at mutual understanding arc pitiable. They hardly touch the surface of our social problems. Conferences result in compromises and
concessions, but they end with the parties as far apart as ever in feeling and faith. Over the countenance of our modern civilization there comes now and then a touch of color that suggests the warmth of good will, but usually it turns out to be only the flush of the fever that is at work within us. Over our lips pass repeated expressions of confidence when all the while we are skeptical at heart. The prospect of the future is not sufficiently commanding to carry us through a painful present. We are guided by the considerations of caution, by the policies of prudence, rather than by the fundamental ends of human life. We have openly rejected the opulent optimism of Jesus according to which the future is good because it is God's. When Jesus says, "Why are ye fearful?" his words come down to us like a distant echo which we feel was not meant for our ears. We live in the world of fact and seldom rise to the higher realm of faith. Practical realism rather than religion is the source of our life-outlook. It is for this reason that our optimism, so sporadic in its appearance, is short-sighted and equally short-lived. It is not something with which we can confront the whole of life and bid defiance to all the conflicting elements of our experience. And it is for this reason, in turn, that modern man shows himself bankrupt of resources in coping with the great crises when they arise.
To accuse the modern mind of pretense in the hypocritical sense would be unfair, but we do succeed in deluding ourselves about ourselves. We are not frankly and fully what we think and feel. There are too many restraints of every kind. A great part of our thinking, feeling and faith comes to us by social inheritance and imitation. We hesitate to cross with established usage even when our best impulses are at work, even at stake.
We lead a restrained existence. We are held in by custom and convention, by what is expected of us, by considerations of propriety, culture and civilization. The modern social order and system is not hospitable to individual and group innovations; it is not friendly toward the introduction of those personal factors which might disturb and eventually improve it.
Much of our modern religion is self-delusion. The modern mind would resent a charge of irreligiousness, but much of our religiousness is only imaginary. Like certain psychopaths who suffer from imaginary health, we suffer from imaginary religion. The religion of the modern mind has not kept pace with our modern intellectual development. In form and content the modern notion of religion is often crude; often it hardly transcends taboo. So far as we are religious, we are overly selfconscious about it; we are constantly on our guard. Our religiousness often amounts to little more than a psychological complex. If it is touched upon in the way of criticism, even with the hope of improvement, we have a terrific discharge of zeal for the faith, a veritable deluge of religious prejudice. Seldom in our corporate life do we completely forget ourselves at the impulse of true religion; seldom are we so engrossed in doing the work of the world religiously that we forget ourselves and later wake up to the fact that we have been religious. And yet this is the very pulse of genuine human piety, the seat of its life. A social order in which men are not permitted to forget themselves may not be called religious in the sense of Jesus. Self-consciousness is fatal to all genuine piety. The forgetting of self, even the utter abandonment of self, is absolutely necessary to all religious
experience, individual or group, that is to attain any degree of purity and power.
Such are the elemental foundation stones of religious experience: a native and natural simplicity that discovers the wonder in the world, an intense sensitivity and susceptibility to all that experience offers for apprehension and assimilation, a clear sense of dependence upon the Divine, an unreserved trust and confidence, a sense of absolute security, a wholesome optimism, a lack of pretense and self-consciousness. Whether the modern mind with its peculiar make-up and mood is disposed to accept or to reject this fundamental position concerning the relation of the child mind to real religiousness is a matter of no great importance as far as the truth of Jesus' position is concerned. It is not just the peculiar personal position of Jesus. The student of the history and psychology of religion knows as a matter of hard historical fact that this elemental approach and attitude toward the whole of life, which Jesus chose to illustrate in the child, is the one indispensable condition for the appearance of genuine religious experience. Religious biography teaches us that the more elemental the religious experience, the greater is its purity and power. However, the attitude of the modern mind toward this position is of greatest practical importance. If the modern mind chooses to reject a thing so elemental, it can not be religious in the sense of Jesus. And the psychology of religion will add that it can not otherwise be religious at all.
WESTERN CHRISTIANITY-THEORETICAL AND ACTUAL
Religion as Commanding Experience
Of recent years, particularly since the Western World has demonstrated that it is capable of sinning on such a tremendous scale, our Western Christianity has come in for a volume of criticism at the hands of the East, especially at the hand of Indians, for its deliberate departures from Jesus. The Indian mind with its rich religious genius has pointed out in no uncertain terms the great disparity between Western profession and Western practise. The Indian has gone even further. He sets our Western Christianity at a deep depreciation and at the same time feels a growing and gripping appreciation of Jesus that amounts often to a devoted discipleship. [I have in mind particularly the criticisms of Gandhi and Sadhu Sundar Singh. An excellent book on this reaction of the Indian mind is that of E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Indian Road. See also the article by Professor Woodburne, "The Indian Appreciation of Jesus," Journal of Religion, VII (January, 1927)]
The Indian mind is accomplishing "a dissociation of Jesus from the West." The Indian "is making a remarkable discovery, namely, that Christianity and Jesus are not the same-that they may have Jesus without the system that has been built up around him in the West . . . Christ without Western civilization."" From the Jewish angle, Rabbi Klausner, of Jerusalem, writes: "Christianity has stood for what is highest ethically and ideally, while the political and social life has remained at the other extreme of barbarity and paganism. . . . This can never be the case . . . where nation and belief are
separable."' And in our better moments, we of the West know that these observations from the East are words of wisdom. We of the West must confess that we have never pressed close to the heart of all that Jesus represents and can accomplish for our human life.
If we are conscientious and courageous enough to turn to an analysis of our Western Christianity and the various elements of its religious experience, we shall find that it has regressed into a religion of respectability. We are Christian by convention and confession, but we are not Christian either in character or in conduct, that is, if we understand Christianity as a reproduction of the personal piety of Jesus. In a sense, Christianity has been too successful in the West, for it has become the common convention of Western peoples to profess it. It is a tragic case of what were originally commanding elements of experience being forced into the theoretical background and left there entirely apart from the arena of actual life. This is always the danger that threatens a religion that in its essential substance represents a high order of values. The best that it off ers is crystallized into convention and confession, and it ceases to create character and to control conduct. When a religion degenerates into a convention, it is dangerously near corruption; at least, it is rendered incompetent for the meeting of the vital problems of human life. The Western World is officially Christian, but in our character and conduct we cater to considerations of respectability rather than respond to the fresh and strong impulses inherent in our faith. Our Western Christianity is too comfortable in its religious conventions, too complacent in its religious confessions. The vigorous and vital elements of a relig-
ious faith that is actually the commanding factor in the whole of an experience have gone out of it. Our religion takes on the form of theological theories rather than of a whole life-experience with a theocentric control. We are exceedingly zealous in keeping our Christianity theoretically pure, but in actual life our faith is powerless.
Our religious customs and conventions, creeds and confessions, have developed into a highly complicated and elaborate system, but religious experience wherever it is deeply serious is usually extremely simple. It furnishes a single center about which the rest of experience finds its natural but subordinate place. Our Western Christianity is not sufficiently simple to be deeply serious. We have forgotten, if we ever knew, that the pure and powerful religious spirit finds convention and confession poor conductors for the life-forces ihat it feels. The great prophets have always been men of simple spirit; their very simplicity has contributed to their greatness. They have always been the foes of conventional religion whether in the form of cult and ceremony or of creed and confession. All without exception have been sinners against religious conventions, not the least of whom was Jesus who went straight across some of the most sacred traditions of his people in response to the experience of God that commanded him. And Jesus demands of his disciples a courage that will break with any or all convention, no matter how firmly established or how long revered-a thing that our Western Christianity seems to fear most. Never was a more terrible indictment against a religion of respectability uttered than fell like a sharp shaft from the lips of Jesus, "Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the
harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." (Matt 21,31b.)
The social successes of Christianity in the West, if we may speak of such, have been sporadic and detached. Now and again, a group will declare itself publicly for the Golden Rule and actually conduct itself accordingly in the settlement of any frictions. But the major phases of our group life in the West have never been religious in the sense and spirit of Jesus. From the standpoint of its application to the great human problems of living together, the religion of Jesus is like certain rivers of his own East that rise fresh and pure in the mountains, flow with a rapid torrent down to the upper plains, rendering fertile the neighboring districts, only when they reach the dead level of the desert to seep out of sight in the hot sands without ever reaching the great bodies where the bulk of the world's life goes on. The Western World has never even approached the higher ranges of religious experience on the level of which, according to Jesus, the whole of human life is to move. The social aspects of our Western Christianity confine themselves to sentimentalities. It has never gone further socially than a religion of humanitarianism. When we do seek to find social salvation we seldom get further than programs and propaganda, conferences and committees, surveys and statistics, methods and merely mechanical means. A social salvation in the sense of creating group character and of controlling group conduct Western Christianity has yet to offer and to accomplish.
Our Western Christianity presents not more than a pale semblance of all that Jesus represents in the way of religion. In our Western experience of religion there is
nobody is expected to attain."'
The religious positions of Jesus often conflict with our prejudices-religious, social, personal, intellectual-and the usual Christian attitude is: So much the worse for the positions of Jesus. This aff ront is not thought or uttered, but our actions disclose our attitude. This ignoring of Jesus' demands is due to the fact that we do not possess a religious experience that corresponds to his. What for him was actually commanding has become for us purely theoretical. We accept Jesus in theory, but we reject him in practise. Where he refused to concede we are content to compromise. We lack the courage necessary to conquest, the confidence necessary to conquer. We follow him afar off. We Westerners are denominational by conviction, Christian by confession, disciples of Jesus by convenience. At the hands of the Western World the person of Jesus has suffered that paradoxical fate of being deified and denied at the same time.
The Western Christian experience of God is impoverished. The experience of God as high and holy lies in the remote background. It is not a commanding conviction that stands out clearly in the forefront of all that we seek to be and to do. Our modern reverence is theoretical rather than actual, impersonal rather than personal. The will-to-worship seems to have departed from us. Worship recalls men to the fundamental meanings of their existence and forces them in turn to face the tasks 6f life in the light of these meanings. Reverence for God, reverence for man as His creature, reverence for the whole of life as His gift, we do not seem to feel except in our better moments or at times of our more f avorable experiences. Religious reverence does not stand out as a commanding attitude of the Western Christian mind, for we do not seem to approach the whole of our life as a sacred obligation of man to his Maker. In the major phases of our Western life we do not seem to think, to feel, to act or to live as in the prese nce always of a high and holy God.
There is no element in its religious thought that Western Christianity clings to more tenaciously than to the Fatherhood of God, which it ascribes, with all reverence, to Jesus as his great contribution. But this too has retreated into the background of our Western religious life. Jesus' experience of God as living and loving Father we affirm and accept but it is not a commanding conviction that we share. We seem unable to build it into our social structure as the basis of all human inter. course. The modern social order puts its own value on man, estimates his worth, but not from the religious point of view of Jesus according to which all men are His children. We judge men in the light of their backwardness
or progress in culture, on the basis of their abilities and attainments, not in the light of their native attitudes and aspirations as potential sons of the Divine whether they are conscious of such or not. We judge men on the grounds of race, color and economic condition. We seem to have lost Jesus' scale of human values according to which even the least of humankind possesses infinite worth. Jesus' scale of human values is completely shattered by our modern social, racial, political and class strifes and hatreds.
The infinite worth of man Jesus set at the very foundation of all social structure, and this religious approach permits no social distinctions and discriminations. Jesus was never self-conscious in his contacts with any class of his contemporaries. He is with all and for all alike: rich and poor, scribe and Pharisee, lawyer and rabbi, publican and sinner, distressed and outcast, neglected and needy. Paul was never truer to the religious experience of his Master than when he wrote, "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor f ree, there can be no male and female; for ye are all one man in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3,28.)
It was Jesus' experience of God as Father out of which the Golden Rule came, "All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you even so do ye also unto them." (Matt. 7,12.)
In this single sentence Jesus has set a social task that will tax the Christian world to the limit. It is the only solid
principle that will hold human contacts within bounds and keep them wholesome. But it is more than a moral check, more than an ethical purgative. It is the experience of God as Father in action, aggressive because it feels the initiative and impulse to good upon and within itself. With this word Jesus breaks down the last restraint in the way of the social will to goodness. But it is only another of those words of his that we admire and advocate but do not actually adopt. As a principle of group conduct it is already one of the hoary treasures in the Christian scale of theoretical values, as promptly praised as it is poorly practised. Our enthusiasm for it exhausts itself in praising the positive form given it by Jesus over against the negative forms in other religions. As an ethical enterprise the Golden Rule has never appealed to us.
Jesus' words on service and sacrifice as the only adequate spirit for the living of life have found great souls who have been his true followers. But our Christian West lives its life with these maxims consigned to the theoretical background. In the major aspects of our Western life a sense of mastery dominates over all sense of ministry. But in the religious experience of Jesus the minister is the master (Mark 10,43-44), "Whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all."
It was a commanding conviction that brought Jesus, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. (Mark 10,45a.) But this word strikes us as another of those puzzling paradoxes that were intended to please rather than to be
practised. However, for Jesus, service and sacrifice are more than mere slogans and catch-words, pious preachments and lofty ideals; they are to be actual, unremittingly basal practises in our human life whether on a minor or on a major scale. The cross can never be removed from religious experience for it is an integral element in human life. The Christian world has yet to learn that the cross is more than a theological theory, a soteriological scheme, a salutary symbol. It has yet to learn that service and sacrifice are the only principles and practises that will enable men to live together on a religious basis commensurate with the pure spirit of Jesus.
The religious mind feels the need of divine forgiveness. For his shortcomings, failures and sins man feels that he can not make adequate atonement with his Maker. As a pFinciple of personal piety, then, the forgiveness of sins springs from a sense of sheer desperation on the part of the religious consciousness. God must forgive, otherwise man is hopelessly lost. The forgiveness of sins was one of the pivotal points in Jesus' message of God as living and loving Father. In a parable like that of the prodigal son we see that he lays this divine disposition and this human quest at the very heart of man's relation to his Maker. Jesus himself assured penitent humans of the divine forgiveness. It is a cardinal petition in the great prayer which he gave his disciples. (Matt. 6,9-13.) The forgiveness of sins as the divine disposition toward men Western Christianity has preserved from Jesus. The Christian of the West has always felt that God not only must but does forgive, and this confidence has found expression in our Christian creeds.
But in the religious experience of Jesus the forgiveness of sins is something more than just the basis of the hu-
man hope for mercy from the Divine. It is more than a principle of personal piety; it is a social practise. And he even went so far as to base the divine forgiveness upon the human disposition to forgive: "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. . . . For if yc forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6,12 14-15.)
Thus Jesus lays the forgiveness of sins as a foundation stone in the social order. But forgiveness as a principle and practise of social conduct in human relationships has followed the path of other commanding elements in the religious experience of Jesus: It has its honored place in the gallery of theoretical Christian values. As a principle and practise of men living together as groups it has never been able to command our Western conduct. We seem never to have thought of carrying it over into the major phases of our complex civilization and culture. The West, Christian by confession, is commanded by the disposition to retaliate, to recompense in kind, to require reparations, and to mete out revenge rather than to forgive the sins of brothers and enemies.
At this point our Western Christian conscience has become corrupt, for we have surrendered a principle and practise of Jesus. We admire its sublime idealism and implications, but we are convinced of its impracticability, even of its impossibility for us. In reality, it is one of the greatest of Jesus' contributions to the universal human problem of living together. We possess sufficient religious
intelligence to know that forgiveness as a social practise is not a weakness but requires a superb moral strength. We hesitate, however, to trust the forgiven. But according to Jesus, forgiveness human and divine does not cancel responsibility for rigid moral character and conduct. Forgiveness in the religious life of Jesus was a moral force, an ethical power, for the reconstruction of life even from the most shattered materials. This applies to the forgiver as well as to the forgiven. It means a restoration of social faith and feeling in harmony with the spirit of forgiveness. In his demand for forgiveness as a social principle and practise we see how hard and heavy are the demands which Jesus places upon his followers and what a wide gap yawns between his religious experience and ours.
At the very heart of Jesus' feeling and faith we found the kingdom of God, but this great object of his personal religious aspiration does not survive in our Western Christianity save as a pious phrase or in the diluted form of the church as the kingdom. What it meant for Jesus and what he meant by it, it no longer means for us. It strikes our Western Christian conscience as too Utopian. For Jesus, however, it was not just an alluring adventure but the goal of all human life that wills to make itself worthy. It too has found its way into the theoretical background of our Western Christian thought. It is one of those many impersonal beliefs that we hold, but as a conviction that would alter our social character and conduct it is lost to us. Slowly but surely, Western Christianity has relinquished its hold upon history. We lack the stamina of soul, the constitutional courage necessary for an organized human life on the scale and in the spirit of the kingdom of God. A Christianity that does
not take seriously the faith, hope and expectation of a higher and better order of life for all men everywhere does not merit the name it bears.
The pride of the West has been its culture and civilization, and Christianity has come in for its share of credit in this production. The West is quite satisfied with its Christianity, but there are elements in the religious outlook of Jesus that it fears because they seem opposed to cultural progress. But there is nothing in the religion of Jesus that conflicts essentially with true culture and civilization. The best forces for such progress come from Jesus himself. But certain elements in our modern life can not hope to escape his sharpest criticism and condemnation. He gives us no philosophy of civilization, but he does give us a religion for the living of life. Culture and civilization must have religious goals and ends. Progress must mean purification and perfection of human life as well as increase of knowledge and means of material existence. Renaissance must mean more than intellectual illumination; it must have its religious significance, resulting in a recovery of man's moral sense and a regeneration of his ethical power. Religion is always conditioned by the state of culture and civilization in which it appears, but in its best form it must be the commanding element that gives a culture and civilization its distinctive character.
The kingdom of God in the experience of Jesus means all that is highest and best for humankind; thus it carries with it its own cultural implications. The work of the world lies at the very heart of his religious faith and is its immediate task. Religion in the experience of Jesus does not withdraw its best from the world, but the human problem of living together is the very field in which re-
ligion is to make its greatest contribution. And it requires no great power of insight to discover any disharmony between our social situations and the religious ideals and demands of Jesus. Christianity has been a very powerful force for culture in the West, but it has not yet pressed its way into the controlling centers of the Western group mind. Organized Christianity has been on the throne in the West but it has misunderstood its task as temporal power. It has as yet never been able to sink the best of its genius into the national and economic mind of the West and produce peoples that are Christian in their national and economic life. Jesus, like Isaiah before him, would look upon political prudence and intrigue, upon economic exploitation in the East or West, not only as a breach of f aith with man but as a break of faith in God.
The greatest weakness of our Western World is the complete lack, in the major phases of its life, of any clear consciousness of call and commission higher than the demands of culture and civilization. We seem to have lost all sense for the more ideal things of religion, according to which whole peoples seek to know and to perform the divine will in every phase of their life. Individuals and groups, peoples and states, cultures and civilizations, must possess a consciousness of high call and holy commission to a complete cooperation with the Divine. Our modern social problem in the West is really religious rather than economic, political and so forth. For us, it is not a question of what religion, but the question of building the best of our religion into the very nerve and fiber of our Western life. Apart from the highest religious aims and aspirations there is no hope of a secure social structure. We have yet to learn that a sense of
responsibility to men must grow out of a sense of responsibility to God. Our social successes in the future will depend upon our ability to make this religious reference and to apply it to every aspect of our group life.
The Christian West possesses only a fractional faith. It touches portions of our life, but it is not strong enough to command the whole. Our Western faith is trivial rather than triumphant; it will not meet the pressures of our Western life. It fails to function in time of crisis, nor will it bear up under the strain of routine. Our Christian West lives along its make-shift existence, trusting in practically everything except the truths that Jesus lived by. Jesus committed himself to a very different order of values from that to which we trust our fates and fortunes. We trust to power, prestige and profit, the very things which he declared, and which history has showed to be, perishable and perilous. We have not yet learned what religious faith is, and yet Jesus declared it to be the greatest power accessible to human experience. Faith is more than something that we hold; it lays hold on us. It is not just something that we entertain; it is something that enlists us wholly in its service. It is in the power of a religious faith to make and remake men, individually and collectively, that the grounds of its validity must be sought. If Christianity is to assert itself socially in the West, it must mean the redemption, recovery and restoration of our group life. In the words of Jesus we are a "faithless generation." We suffer from a shortage of spiritual life in our group issues. In our pride of physical strength we are struck suddenly sick at heart, and in time of crisis show ourselves utterly bankrupt of religious resources.
The pressure which Jesus puts upon his followers is
tremendous. To live the whole of our life with the religious reference seems a task far beyond our poor powers, yet it stands as his unremitting requirement. His social message is not an elaborate discourse that digresses into all the channels through which our group life flows. His answer to the social question is simply the religious reference for the whole of human life. The religious interest must command us completely; there is no other secure and safe approach to our social frictions and strifes. A civilization and culture like ours that does not set the best of its religious values at the very center of its hope for the future, be it immediate or remote, that does not feel them as the commanding elements in its group experience, and that does not sense the tremendous moral pressure which these religious values bring to bear upon group character and conduct in the present, can not be regarded as belonging in any real sense to the discipleship of Jesus. Western Christendom has yet to learn the elementary things of its professed religion.
Conventional and confessional Christianity in the West has failed as a social religion because it has been little more than a religion of convention and confession. Christianity in the West must come to a new and fresh understanding of itself and its task. In its fear for its preserved purity it has lost its power. We very devoutly worship Jesus, yet we are not disposed to work with him. We deify him rather than commit ourselves to his discipleship. The religion of the future in the West will not be a new religion, but a new and fresh devotion. It must be the religion of Jesus, and the essence of a religion that names itself after him must be devoted, undivided discipleship. Any deviation from this clear construction
is a departure from the plainest and most staggering of all Jesus' demands, "Follow me."
Religion as Participative Experience
The Christian religion from the very outset has been Christocentric; all of its thought, feeling and f aith has focused upon the person of Jesus as the one great center of loyalty. The conception of Jesus' person has been the touchstone of orthodoxy and has formulated the articles of the Christian creeds. Any doubt carries with it the brand of heretic and unbeliever. Historical Christianity has always been sure as to who Jesus was and has made corresponding demands upon its adherents. Thus historical Christianity has demanded first of all the sharing of a faith about Jesus rather than a sharing of Jesus' own personal faith.
The student of the life of Jesus is keenly conscious of the fact that there is a very definite disparity between the demands of historical Christianity and the demands which the historical Jesus made upon his own personal followers. This disparity is not to be stated in any abstract theological phraseology but in the simple language of the psychology of religious experience. It is the disparity that exists between religious object and religious subject, between the object believed in and the believer, the extreme opposites in religious experience. For historical Christianity, Jesus has always been a religious object, even in the absolute sense, but for the historical student, Jesus of Nazareth was a religious subject on the basis of the best New Testament sources.
In the first three Gospels Jesus never presents himself as a religious object. He speaks and acts with authority; he issues his commands and makes his demands upon his followers; he calls and rejects, but all that he says and does and is, is always at the high call and holy commission of Another. Rather than being a religious object, the Jesus of the first three Gospels has his religious objects to which he devotes himself with the whole of his exclusively religious consciousness. Rather than setting his own person as an object of belief, Jesus himself is the great believer. There is just one great religious object in his experience, God the Father whose kingdom will come. He never ascribes to himself divine prerogatives. His cures are not his own; it is by the Spirit of God that he casts out demons and heals the afflicted. (Matt. 12, 28.) The kingdom which he announces is not his own; it is God's, and will come when God wills. In every aspect of his personality and work Jesus remains rigidly religious. Not once does his thought of and for himself transcend the limitations of the pure religious consciousness. Even when his thought rises to the exalted heights of the Messianic dignity, he remains religious: He is or is to be the Messiah according as the Divine wills.
There is one aspect of Jesus' work which some scholars of strong theological disposition regard as a clear instance of his transcending the limitations of the human consciousness: His assurance of forgiveness to penitent persons. It is true that Jesus announced the divine forgiveness of sins. It was a fundamental theme in his thought of God and he did not hesitate to assure it to particular persons such as the paralytic (Mark 2,1-12) and the penitent woman in the house of Simon (Luke 7,36-50). However, Jesus is not himself forgiving sins in
the sense that God alone can forgive. In a contention on this very theme such as we have in Mark 2,1-12 it is clear that he is not ascribing to himself the divine prerogative. Jesus himself says that his word, "Thy sins are forgiven," is synonymous with, "Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk." And the incident closes with public attention centered upon the cure rather than upon the contention. (Mark 2,12.) The general public present feels that it has witnessed a mighty deed of a prophet of God and there is no hint to the effect that it has to do with a blasphemer. Jesus is never approached by any one with the request for the forgiveness of sins. He does not forgive sin, but assures penitent sinners of the divine forgiveness. It is to God alone that men are to pray for the forgiveness of sins: "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18, 13) ; "Forgive us our debts" (Matt. 6,12).
In the first three Gospels Jesus never sets himself among the objects which he presents to his disciples and to his contemporaries for religious devotion. He never demands that others believe in or on him. There is only one passage in the first three Gospels in which he is represented as requiring belief in himself, and this is a very clear Christianization: "And whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it were better for him if a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."
This passage is an extract from the religious experience of the earliest Christians and is quite foreign to the religious experience of Jesus. It is only in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus is represented as regularly requiring belief in himself. In the first three Gospels there is not a genuine passage in which he demands faith in himself in the sense that he demands f aith in God. He cured only in the presence of a warm personal confidence in his ability to help and to heal, but never once does he set himself as an object of religious devotion. The whole theme of his message from beginning to end is, "Have faith in God." (Mark 11,22.)
The strict Jewish monotheism that was nerve and fiber of Jesus' experience of God would make it impossible for him to set himself as a religious object. Apart from this monotheistic background that is always clear and distinct in the Gospel picture, there is not a single element in his own personal experience of religion that would suggest an exaltation of his own person for religious devotion. As Professor Wernle writes: "Of no man did Jesus require a belief in his own Messianic dignity as a condition for entrance into the kingdom of God, to say nothing of his having thought that belief in his Messiahship could in any way be a substitute for faith in God and love of men."
In all the debates that historical Christianity has waged on the humanity of Jesus the heart of the issue has been neglected. The principal question is not whether Jesus' words and attitudes at any particular points transcend
the limitations of human consciousness. The human consciousness is of such varied forms and manifold content that it becomes a purely relative term dependent upon the stage of its development. In form, the human consciousness may be high or low; in content, it may be rich or deeply impoverished. At the beginning of chapter three, we sought to show that Jesus was conscious of genuine human limitations-limitations of knowledge, power and personal worth which appear in the religious consciousness in its highest forms and in its richest content. The principal question on the humanity of Jesus is better framed: Does he at any point in word, deed or attitude transcend the limitations of the genuinely religious consciousness? And on the basis of the first three Gospels themselves the historical student must answer in the negative.
Not for a moment does Jesus cease to be really religious, and from the historical and psychological point of view, it is impossible that he presented himself as a religious object. All the way through our study down to this point we have seen that he is a religious subject, consciously an experient of religion. He is a man of religious faith; he believes in God and His kingdom, which faith calls forth all the corresponding emotions. His self-consciousness is exclusively religious, in attitude, aspiration and expression. For Jesus to have presented himself as a religious object, when in reality he was a religious subject, would involve a contradiction of the religious consciousness that is impossible on a basis of psychic health. The idea that he presented himself as an object of religious devotion is a psychological impossibility.
Historical Christianity has held both to the deity and
to the humanity of Jesus, a paradox that is possible in religious faith but quite out of the question as historical and psychological fact. The church has been able to maintain this paradox because it ascribed to Jesus a theoretical rather than an actual humanity. But when we come to confront the first three Gospels and their picture with the question: Religious object or religious subject? then there is but one answer from the historical point of view. The man who prayed to God as Jesus prayed can never have regarded himself or have presented himself as a religious object. As Professor Mundle writes: "If we turn our attention to the question as to how the Christ, with whom faith has to do, and the Jesus of history, the object of historical research, are related to each other, we shall have to say that the historical Jesus was never an object of religious faith and by his very nature could not be."'
Many protests have been made against the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, but it is more certain to-day than ever before that the two belong to very different realms of experience and that they may not be identified in the historical sense. The Jesus of history was a religious subject; the Christ of faith has never been other than a religious object. The one is a fact of our human history; the other is the creation of an enthusiastic faith. The personal religious experience of Jesus is different both in form and content from the religious experience of the first Christians. In form, the religious experience of Jesus is theocentric: All that he thought and felt and believed in the way of religion centered upon God and His kingdom. In content, his relig-
ious experience includes just a single object of worship, the high and holy God of Israel who is also living and loving Father. In form, the religious experience of the earliest Christians was Christocentric: The whole of their hope of salvation was connected solely with the person and work of Jesus. In content, their religious experience permitted the appearance of a second religious object; along with God the heavenly Christ takes his place as an object of devotion on a plane with God Himself. This is especially clear in the vision of Stephen,
"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7,56.)
In such a religious experience a human historical figure has become completely deified. As one moves from the simpler experience of Jesus to the more involved experience of the earliest Christians there is evident a great development, even more, a total transformation. In the experience of the earliest Christians Jesus became something wholly other and different than he was for himself in his own personal experience. In the religious experience of Jesus we find only the Father-God, but in the early Christian community the Son takes his place alongside the Father as equally worthy of religious devotion and worship.
Upon the historical appearance of Jesus Christian thought has erected a whole scheme of salvation. His human life was only an incarnation, an episode in finite existence, merely a single scene in the great divine drama that moved toward the redemption of men. About his person great systems of thought have formed, all shadowy tributes to his religious greatness. With none of
these theories does the historical student have any quarrel. They are, for the most part, genuine reactions of genuine religious f aith to all that it has been able to find in him. The most orthodox person can not find greater religious significance in Jesus than the historical student finds. No Christian of history accepts the religious significance of Jesus with readier heart than the modern historical disciple, and he feels that he is nearer Jesus and what he meant that his followers should be than any generation of Christians since his death. But the historical student will not locate this religious significance in the weird web of theology that has obscured the real Jesus from our sight. He will find that he can state his experience of Jesus in much simpler language than has been able to satisfy Christian thought in the past. He feels that the church has never esteemed its Lord too highly, but he does feel that the church has made of Jesus something that he never was as a matter of historical fact and that in the process the church has turned a deaf ear to his call to discipleship. The historical student feels that the religion of Jesus requires more than the adoration of his person. He feels that for the church Jesus has become a highly idealized and theoretical figure and that his greatest contribution to mankind, his religious experience, has been almost wholly ignored and neglected.
For Jesus, as for us, religion was not a divine scheme but a human problem, a problem which he faced and sought to solve for himself in the light of all that he could learn to know of God and with the full earnestness of his soul. He never sets his own person at the center of a system of salvation. He speaks out of the highest per. sonal and prophetic conviction:
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." (Mark 13,30-31.)
But he never attaches the religious hopes of mankind exclusively to his own person. He never set himself as the sole mediator between God and man as Christianity of the absolute type has done. In his presentation of the religious relationship of man to his Maker there was no mediator, for there was no need of such. In the experience of Jesus the way between God and man is cleared. In a parable like that of the prodigal son (Luke 15,1132) we see how simply he conceived of man's relation to his Maker-the repentance and return of wayward children to a loving and forgiving Father.
The cross of Jesus has almost broken down under the weight of the theories of atonement that have been heaped upon it. But Jesus himself attached no expiatory or propitiatory significance to his death; he fitted it into no scheme of salvation. The cross was his own personal religious problem which he solved in the light of the divine will for himself. God in his experience needed no objective atonement: He seeks only a simple and wholehearted obedience. In his thought the religious redemption of men is exceedingly simple. It is a direct drive to the heart of the loving Father who forgives because He loves.
The Christological speculations that have dominated Christian thought and Christianity's understanding of itself and its task have no counterpart in the thought of Jesus-the relation of Son to Father, of Father to Son, of the two natures, the unity of the trinity, and the trin-
ity of the unity. There is nothing theological or theoretical in his thought of himself. His relation to the Father is simply and plainly religious, the difficult matter of learning and performing the divine will. The church has never permitted any skepticism on this point of Jesus' identity. But on this point of such dogmatic certainty in Christian experience Jesus himself was silent. From Jesus himself in the first three Gospels we have not a single unequivocal statement; and what and how he esteemed himself remains hidden for ever in the inner recesses of his own soul. But it is certain that his thought was never egocentric, that he never conceived of a religion that hinged wholly and solely upon theoretical conceptions of his person, their acceptance or rejection.
The fact that Jesus has so little to say of himself constitutes one of the most hopeless problems in the history of the life-of-Jesus research. His own person he neglects to discuss; never once in his public message does it come to the forefront, where it has always been in Christian thought.and faith. It is with the kingdom of God that he connects the religious hopes of the future. He is not consumed with the thought of himself but with the great cause of God which he champions even to the cross. His own person he relegates to that dim background where it never comes to light except as it can serve and sacrifice for God's kingdom. His own personal fates and fortunes never once alter the essential content of his message; from first to last, the kingdom is everything. It has claimed him for its very own to do as it wills. By it he is carried far out beyond any thought of himself. He sets no Christological confessions as necessary conditions for participation in the kingdom. He even warns his
disciples against a too exclusive attachment to his person as a dangerous self-delusion: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt.7,2123.)
And a modern Christianity that interprets its experience and its task solely in the light of orthodox conceptions and confessions concerning Jesus' person is treading upon treacherous ground.
When Jesus comes to speak of those things which matter most in the sight of God, he always speaks in terms of the divine will, never in terms of the acceptance or rejection of his person. Entrance into the kingdom he makes absolutely dependent upon the performance of the divine will which he presents in the simple but difficult terms of rigid ethical character and moral conduct. The great question which historical Christianity has set before the world is: What think ye of the Christ? But the questions which arise out of the religious message and experience of Jesus are of quite a different order. What think you of God and His kingdom? Is God your Father? Are you His children? Do you perform the Father's will? Such questions can not be answered in abstract theological terms, for they are the pressing problems of a practical and living piety with which Jesus
confronts his followers. Each must answer them for himself. Organized Christianity can not answer them for him nor keep him from answering them for himself. The follower of Jesus can not answer them in the terms of doctrine and dogma, creed and confession, officialism and orthodoxy; all such is too impersonal.
Jesus did not demand that his followers believe in or on him, but that they believe with him. To be sure, the command, "Believe with me," is not to be found in his words. Nevertheless, it is the undertone and import of everything that he has to say, whether in public or in private. The great prophet of religion has but one thing in mind in delivering his great message: That his hearers may share the faith that possesses him. Sharing belongs to the very genius of religious faith. Religion is not so much a process of teaching and learning; it is rather a process of communication and impartation. It is less the mastery of a subject-matter, more the sharing of a spirit. The whole inclination and disposition of Jesus was to share what he himself had sensed, sought and secured as permanent religious values. He sought to share his faith in God as living and loving Father, his f aith in His kingdom, in short, the whole of his experience of God and His meaning in human life and history.
The religious faith of Jesus does not come down to us in the impersonal terms of doctrine and dogma, creed and confession. It comes to us in the intensely personal terms of fears and hopes, apprehensions and aspirations, fundamental life-convictions and certainties, utter consecrations and commitments of self. Too often historical Christianity has sought to indoctrinate and dominate rather than to impart and communicate. In this conception of itself and its task historical Christianity has
made a wide departure from the religion and spirit of Jesus, who had no such impersonal methods and programs. He trusted himself and his cause to deeper forces-to the ignition of interests, the firing of faith, the contagion of convictions which result in corresponding character and conduct. Such are the sources and sorts of spiritual stimulus to which he committed himself entirely.
Jesus not only challenged his followers to believe what he believed but to believe as he believed. They must share the manner as well as the matter of his faith. The religious faith of Jesus is a personal passion that consumes him entirely. However, it is not a source of narrowness and dogmatism. He formulates no statements for repetition but he demands a consecration, a launching of the whole life in the implications of a deep experience of God that sets all else at stake. Religious faith in his experience is something that calls and claims, something to which men commit themselves, which commands them and in the service of which they are ready to consume themselves. In this respect Jesus' religious demands are wholly unconventional, but they are absolutely uncompromising. He demands that faith possess a fervor that is sufficiently strong to make it commanding. Faith must be with feeling, only thus can it come into its own as a source of enthusiasm and energy that men actually live by. In the religious experience of Jesus faith becomes a life-enterprise, and he demands that it be just such for his followers.
Such are the religious demands of the historical Jesus. But, as Albert Schweitzer says, modern Christianity fears the all-too-historical Jesus for he registers a condemna-
tion unpleasant to the comfortable modern view which Christianity entertains of itself and its task in the world. Historical study makes Jesus too enthusiastic and entirely too confident for modern Christianity to feel at ease and still profess discipleship. It reminds modern Christianity of its losses and relapses from the religion of Jesus. It is much more comfortable to confess a religion about Jesus than it is to strive to live the religion of Jesus after him. The 1postles' Creed is easily repeated, but to believe what Jesus believed and to believe as he believed is a very different matter. To believe that God is a living and loving Father, that all men are His children, that God has a kingdom, that it can and will come, and that soon, and to devote the whole of human life, personal and social, to preparation for its coming to the extent of exhausting life itself in the kingdom's service, is a difficult religious task. But just such is the religious experience of Jesus, and over against its richness and reality our modern Christian experience appears as woefully impoverished and unreal. The things that were commanding for him are not commanding for us as he meant that they should be. To seek to share an appreciable measure of the religious experience of Jesus is the great task of his followers.
There is just one great demand of Jesus: "Follow me." It is the only command he ever gave a disciple. This simple command springs from a depth of religious conviction and certainty that is amazing. Such could be born only of a tremendous confidence in his experience of God as valid and wholly true. Such a command can come only from a religious personality that is entirely sure of itself. The very ease with which this simple command is comprehended is deceptive. It is at once clear
even to the plainest intelligence, but it lays the heaviest of demands upon the moral will of the individual and the group. In such a simple statement Jesus loads human loyalty to the limit. The simple way of Jesus is not smooth; it is straight and narrow; few are they that find it and still fewer they that enter in thereat. (Matt. 7,14; Luke 13, 24.) The yoke which Jesus places upon his disciples is not easy; his burden is not light. It is easy enough to dogmatize about the morals, ethics and religious teachings of Jesus, as has become our Christian habit. It is easy because all generalizations are easy. Generalizations involve capacity for conception of ideals, even conviction concerning their truth. But to try to live the religion of Jesus after him, to clothe it with our contemporary human flesh is a very different and difficult matter. We possess the enthusiasm that will praise.but hardly the energy that will enable us to practise. The task which Jesus places upon his disciples takes all the exaggeration and hyperbole out of a passage like Mark 10,25: "It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
It is not surprising that his disciples replied, "Then who can be saved?" (Mark 10,26.)
Thus Jesus has greatly simplified our understanding of religion. The religious life is simple and single. It presents its difficulties, not to the intelligence, but to the moral will. In his simplification he has rendered relig. ious living infinitely more difficult. Religion must build
itself into the very structure of individual and group life. Creed and confession will not bring us into the faithful following of Jesus, for it is in the moral field of character and conduct that genuine religious experience seeks and finds its natural expression. If, in our own day, in the midst of conflicts between fundamentalism and modernism, between evolution and anti-evolution, we could learn that first lesson in the following of Jesus and take the first feeble steps in that direction, our religious life would be infinitely enriched and we would experience a fresh burst of religious energy.
Religion is not a matter of views that are piously phrased and that are accepted and entertained unquestioned and unchanged. Genuine religious experience casts no conscious thought in the direction of its departures from the past; it takes no pride in its loyalty to what has been. Wherever vital and genuine, it is simply and wholly itself, equally indifferent toward any newness and oldness that it may represent. It prides itself neither in its orthodoxy nor in its originality because it is never self-conscious enough to turn to such an analysis.
The religious experience of Jesus demands more than recognition, respect and reverence. It is something that by its very nature and genius demands reproduction. And his true follower will be less inclined toward interpretation, more disposed toward imitation. Jesus called men to be his followers; workers with him, not worshipers of him; sharers in a life of service and sacrifice; contagious centers of conviction concerning God and His cause among men, not confessors of creed; sources of spiritual stimulation and inspiration; dispensers of the great good-news, not defenders of doctrine and dogma; agents of a Will that is high and holy, living and loving;
heralds of hope and helpfulness, not hounds of heresy; organs opposing oppression and opening up the clogged sources of optimism, not organs of officialism and orthodoxy; disciples of his in devotion to God and men, not deifiers of his person; champions of the divine cause, not police of the purity of religious opinions.
If we survey carefully the goals and objectives for attainment which Jesus set before his disciples, we find that they are exclusively religious. He throws men into the midst of a theocentric existence: God is to command every center of human activity and interest. It is for God alone that men and their brothers exist. Thus Jesus strips the religious life of all its adornments and accretions. He lays bare the very heart of the whole matter. At the center of life, personal and social, he anchored a commanding experience of God that has its natural issue in corresponding character and conduct. Religious faith he charges with a warmth of feeling that results in the launching of the whole of life in the quest of the divine will.
In Jesus' religious demands we strike upon the prophetic genius for concentration and compactness. Amid a multitudinous variety he singles out the one or two major matters. He accomplishes a radical reduction in religious requirements. His demands are the simplest and plainest, yet the highest and the most difficult of performance. He brought about a radical revaluation of all religious values: The last shall be first, the first last; the least shall be great, the great least.
For Jesus the demands of religion are as various and uncertain as the demands of life itself. The most pressing demands upon one disciple may never even face his nearest neighbor. Each individual and age must meet its
own problems in its own way, but always at the dictates of a commanding experience of God. Religious living in our human world can demand the greatest variety of conduct in concrete instances: Now it may be a cup of cold water, again help to a sufferer, still again the forgiving of one's brothers, the overcoming of evil, or the triumph over temptation, whether in individual experience or in the major phases of the world's life as a whole. Reverence toward God and righteousness toward man as the poles of individual and group experience of religion constitute the inexhaustible program of Jesus. This is infinitely removed from immediate realization, but it furnishes us a task both for to-day and for to-morrow.
Jesus calls men to be his coreligionists, to be sharers of his faith, his fellow-crusaders in the quest of God's great kingdom.