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it were, by an impulse of its own. He was no he thought subjects through which Maurice self-determining maker of books or collabo- only touched, staid and toiled where Maurice rator with publishers, but finding himself with simply alighted. Hence the two books that he a message, he had no rest till it was spoken. produced cannot be matched by any in MauThe history of such a mind in its relation to rice's voluminous collection. It is also true the religious thought of the age is worth heed- that the tie was not more that of theological ing, if we can get at it. It is now quite the agreement than of sympathy with the intelcustom to regard special thought or belief as lectual temper and feeling of Maurice, with a matter of pedigree; if one puts an emphasis his general characteristics and attitude quite upon his faith or shows a lack, it must be as much as with his specific opinions. I do traced to some other mind, and so back to not intend to convey the impression that Dr. some great final name like Coleridge or Hegel Mulford was not responsive to the religious or Calvin. But spiritual history cannot be so thought of the age. On the contrary, he was compassed; it may be self-originating. Some keenly alive to what is called the modern event in personal history, some peculiarity of spirit in theology; but his part in it was not mind, some obscure and remote influence may that of following, but leading. Follow indeed indeed cause a rift in the frame-work of belief he seems to have done; but for the same reathrough which it all flows out to be remolded son and in the same way that he did original in a form consonant with later knowledge. work in politics, so he would have done in The origin of doubt, or denial, or question, or theology had the subject come to him as protest in matters of religion is often obscure freshly. Had there been no Coleridge and and unknown even to self, and is quite as Thomas Erskine and Maurice and Bushnell likely to spring out of depths within or from and Robertson, Mulford would have been a seeming accident as from what is called the theologian of the same general character as spirit of the age. On my first serious inter- now. His work on “The Nation” shows his change of thought with Dr. Mulford in 1856, ability to grasp a great theme in an original I found him permeated with the influence of way; and the close alliance he discovered beMaurice to a degree that suggested an absence tween political science and Christianity would of criticism, but I am now inclined to think have led him to substantially the same theothat the main lines of his theology were fixed logical conceptions. Every page of “ The Rebefore the Jelf controversy made Maurice public of God” may be read between the lines known here. In minds of the cast of Dr. Mul- of “ The Nation.” It is sometimes said of him ford's the reaction against Calvinism comes that he is vague, that he has no system and no early and with power. Some features of his life formal logic; but it would be difficult to find an in college are to be regarded in the light of a author whose years from first to last are linked transition from one form of faith to another; together in such harmony, and whose posithere was a seeming indifference which was tions on all subjects are joined by so rigid the mask of agonizing doubt. It is probable and consistent a logic. that he had mainly thought himself clear be- While Dr. Mulford responded fully to the fore he had opened a book of theology, and modern movement in theology, he was little that his teachers then, as ever after, were the affected by it as it appeared in New England. Bible, the masters in literature, and human The protest made by him in Andover was total life itself within and about him. But Maurice and fundamental. The strife in the always came to him like native air, the vast comple- progressive theology of New England - and it ment of his own immature thought, and he was never more rapid in its onward movement reveled in him without limit or criticism. He than it was thirty years ago was towards never wavered nor lessened in his almost reasonableness and breadth, but it was without boundless regard for Maurice, but he came freedom. It must first be Calvinistic and then, to quote and name him less frequently. He if possible, in some way reasonable; it must be may be regarded as very early ceasing to sit broad and free, but always under some overat the feet of his master and soon coming to shadowing doctrine of divine sovereignty; it walk by his side, and at last as having as long was always paying out cable to the same old and stout a stride. Both are now beyond the anchor and interpreting the larger swing as a reach of human comparison, and so I may voyage. Hence it did not succeed in preventsay that in the last few years of his life his in- ing, norlaterin counteracting, the Unitarian detellectual grasp seemed stronger and his vis- fection. It beat a path for Methodism and Uniion clearer than that of his great teacher. He versalism. It grew more and more intellectual, had not the saintliness of Maurice, nor did he but it never reached the end of its argument; trouble himself with such questions as subscrip- and so, while protesting against rationalism, it tion, which Maurice deemed important, nor became itselfa system of mere reason and formal did he enter upon so broad fields of study; but logic with some wire-like attachments of bib
lical texts. Dr. Bushnell broke away from his readers at first by his emphatic assertion the orthodoxy of the day made indifferent to that “the revelation of and in Christ is not a him by his genius and doubly indifferent by religion and it is not a philosophy," — regardinsight and breadth of vision. Dr. Mulford, ing it as a universal or total under which these though profoundly admiring Dr. Bushnell, are specifics. Christianity is not a religion, never fell into his habit of thought. It is very but a revelation; it is not one of ten great resignificant and revealing that Bushnell, with ligions, but is God revealed in the life of huhis superb rhetoric and spiritual insight and manity. It is not a cultus nor a speculative lofty freedom, made less appeal to the young system, but is the divine order of human soMulford than such an author as Thomas ciety. The main part of the book is devoted Erskine. The reason is that in one there was to the revelation by Christ, the central a subordination of the logical sense to the im- thought of which is Christ's perfect oneness agination, while the other struck straight to with the Father, and also with humanity; the the heart of the Gospel with undivertible gaze. latter is personal and universal; the history of Dr. Bushnell often suggests the suspicion that Christ in death and resurrection and ascension he is trying to prove what he has already, by and in the Holy Spirit is the history of humansome other process, decided to be true; his ity; the work of the Spirit in the conviction of sin way often lies through the air, and sometimes and of righteousness and of judgment is the through the clouds. But Erskine and Maurice, continuous revelation of God in and by Christ whatever else may be said of them, were pitiless in the life of humanity. This is not a far-away, exegetes, with very slight regard for any sys- a future, a here-and-there and now-and-then tems or methods or conclusions beyond what process, but is a present, continuous, and unithey found in the revelation of God. Mul- versal process. It is here that Dr. Mulford ford is often spoken of, as these men were, links the revelation in Christ to that sentiment as vague and fanciful; but these impressions of humanity now so prevalent, making the are caught from surface features of his style. former inclusive of the latter. His treatment His strongest quality — and few men ever pos- of eschatological subjects is under a concepsessed it in a higher degree — is a relentless tion of eternity as a term of absoluteness, and logic; but his logic is not that of dialectics. not of time; the eternal world is here and now,
The modern movement in theology may be not there and thereafter. He makes no dogsaid to have two main features,-- rationality matic assertions as to destiny, but leaves such and breadth; it consists with knowledge and it themes under the general spirit, scope, and is larger than any system. These features are trend of the Gospel as a redemption of the conspicuously illustrated in “ The Republic world, and so enveloped in an atmosphere of of God.” It begins by affirming that the con- hope, but with an absolute and eternal emsciousness of God comes into the conscious- phasis of condemnation upon sin. ness of man through experience. Here is the If it were asked in what the power of this appeal to life —a keynote that sounds through- book consists, or what is its peculiarity, the out the book. The experience of the individ- answer would be that it is not marked so much ual, the family, and the nation in the life of by originality as by thoroughness and intenhumanity,— here is the revelation of God. sity of vision from a certain standpoint,This experience tends towards personality namely, the living God. His point of view through freedom and morality, and so comes gives him his vision and scope, and his fidelity to a consciousness of God as personal and to it is his power. The book seems to be free and moral. As man becomes a person, dogmatic - an appearance that passes away he knows God as a person, and so comes into when it is seen that the assertions are a sucrelations with God. Upon such a foundation cession of apprehensions or sights which when - the denial and reverse of agnosticism and taken together form a self-supporting unity. materialism the author builds his fabric by a As a whole, the book is the reverse of dogsuccession of statements, each one of which matic and is profoundly scientific, presenting is the result of close reasoning, but is without a view of theology in harmony with the huits dialectic form. He is careful to show that man mind and dealing with the problems of life personality does not involve limitation. The in a satisfactory way. It is like a look from personality of man is grounded in the person- the sun at the solar system, which so becomes ality of God, and God is known through a a simple and self-explaining thing - the point realization of personality; as man knows him- of view rendering needless the long and inself he knows God, and so comes to a sense of tricate calculations necessary if the view be freedom and morality and immortality. The taken from the earth. As astronomy is a most striking part of the book is that in which simple science to one who stands in the sun, Dr. Mulford discusses the relations of Chris- so theology is a plain matter to one who tianity to religion and philosophy, shocking stands beside God.
The larger synthesis which Dr. Mulford ing of doctrines and texts; if outcry for a thus makes displaces smaller theories, and school or zeal for orthodoxy are the signs of vindicates itself by its simplicity and large a theologian,- then he was not one. But if reasonableness. In other words, he sees his unfolding the relation of Christianity to the subject in the totality of its relations." When world is the real work of a theologian, he a writer does this, we do not accuse him of was one. That he possessed a glorious imdogmatism, nor ask him to prove a point; if agination; that he was awed almost into he will mount on his wings and tell us what he silence before eternal and infinite truth; that sees, we will accept his report. Still, while Dr. his thought trembled with deepest emotion Mulford appeared simply to announce his and was always ready to burst into adoring thought, his discovery of it was by a slow, ecstasy; that his sense of humanity ensphered severe, plodding process and by exact logical and colored the whole action of his mind, stages. He spoke as a seer, but he was first a these qualities serve to make him that sort of patient and careful thinker and student. His theologian now needed, and still more to be sympathy and imagination were large and needed as Christianity is applied in the reactive, but they never so gilded a sophistrydemption of society and comes to its own that it dazzled his judgment.
fullness. Dr. Mulford might be styled a social While" The Republic of God” is eminently theologian. Theology has chiefly played about a fair and correct interpretation of Christianity, the individual; it needs no prophet to see we value more highly the atmosphere of the that its field is to be humanity in a collective book, and find here its greatest power and sense. It is henceforth to interpret the truth originality. It is the utterance of a great mind that “God so loved the world that he gave and bears its stamp. It is lofty beyond the his only begotten Son.” Hence his work in usual sense of the word. It is passionless as some sense is prophetic in its nature; it proto earthly feeling, but it is keyed to the fervency vides for the questions which are now rising into of heaven. It is world-wide apart from all the the consciousness of the age and pressing to ological strife; it makes no recognition of the front. It is the gravest mistake to regard parties or schools, but is taken up and pos- him as the exponent of certain minor questions sessed by the one thought of the revelation of destiny; his indifference to the current disof God in and by Christ in the life of humanity.cussions of such questions was so great as to In form it has the loftiest dignity ; it shows shut them out from even private conversation. no strife or struggle of words after emphasis, Still, he allowed no inhuman theology or narbut has the calm of absolute conviction. The row exegesis to blur the glory and the reality thought runs along the borders of poetry and of Redemption. sentiment, and one step aside would lead into The true field of his life and activity is in the the world of prophetic ecstasy. Indeed, the future. As the nation unfolds its life and disscriptural key to his theological and political closes the divine plan on which it is built, it thought would be found in the Apocalypse, — will be seen that this young scholar traced its a book to him of intense reality and present lines and revealed its secret. And so also as meaning. His style is not at first an easy one humanity moves on in fulfillment of the reto read; it presupposes too much in the demptive purpose of God, it will be seen that reader; it gives the last stages only of a proc- the same hand has traced its mighty move. ess of thought, and requires one's assent to ment,-if not with absolute correctness, yet so the whole; it is abstract and without empha- near that he may be counted among the sis, but it has a charm fully realized only when prophets and teachers sent from God. His his pages were read by himself. Then the character and his work have been well set rhythmic form of the sentences appeared, — down in the lines which Whittier addressed falling from his deep and, as it were, distant to his memory: voice like the breaking of waves on a sandy
Unnoted as the setting of a star beach.
He passed ; and sect and party scarcely knew I would thus, if possible, indicate the spirit When from their midst a sage and seer withdrew in which this man wrote upon theology. If a
To fitter audience, where the great dead are
In God's republic of the heart and mind, hard dialectic; if casting down other systems
Leaving no purer, nobler soul behind. and setting up one's own; if a deft dove-tail
T. T. Munger.
ELL, well, you is Marse Phil's son — yo' favor 'm might'ly too;
m ;We wuz like brothers, we wuz — me an' him; You tried to fool d' ole nigger, but, marster, 't would n' do
Not ef you is done growed so tall an' slim.
Hi! Lord ! I 'se knowed you, honey, sence-long befo' you born –
I mean, I 'se knowed de fambly dat long;
An' ef dee want to — could n' do no wrong.
You' gran’pa buyed my mammy at Gen'l Nelson's sale;
An' Deely she come out de same estate;
Hit 's sutney gwine to come out soon or late.
When I was born, you' gran’pa gi’ me to young Marse Phil,
To be his body-servent like, you know;
Bofe tasslin' an' den shootin' in de row.
Marse Phil was born in harves', an' I dat Christmas-come,
My mammy nussed bofe on we de same time;
We wuz two fibe-cent pieces in one dime.
We cotch ole hyahs togerr, an' possums, him an' me;
We fished dat mill-pawn over night an' day,
An' when you see one, turr warn' fur away.
When Marse Phil went to college, 't wuz, “Sam — Sam's got to go"
Ole marster say, “Dat boy 's a fool 'bout Sam."
Dat Dear hit use' to sooth' him like a lamb.
So we all went to college, way down to Williamsbu'g,
But 't warn' much larnin' out o' books we got; Dem urrs warn’ no mo' to him 'n a' ole wormy lug –
Yes, suh, we wuz de ve’y top de pot.
An' ef he did n't study dem Latins an sich things
He wuz de popularitest all de while;
An' when he come I lay, dee use' to smile!
You see he wuz ole marster's on’y chile -- besides,
He had a body-servent at he will;
Dat is, ef dee could have de groom Marse Phil.
'T wuz dyah he meet young mistis,- she is you' ma, of co'se!
I disremembers now which mont' it wuz;
An' I says, “ Marse Phil, yes, suh, so you does.”
Well, suh, he made dat tailor meck ev'ything bran' new;
He would n' wear one stitch he had on han'
Marse Phil, I tell you, wuz a gentleman !
So Marse Phil cotes de mistis, an' Sam he cotes de maid
We al’ays sot we traps upon one parf;
“ All right; we 'll have to kill de fatted calf.”
An' dat wuz what dee did, suh; de Prodigal was home;
Dee put de ring an' robe upon you' ma ;
An' den de darkness settled from afar.
De storm hit comed, an’ wrenchted de branches from de tree,
De war,— you' pa,- he's sleep dyah on de hill;
I jes says, “ Yes, but tell me, whar 's Marse Phil ? "
His ve'y spi't-an'-image, I declar'!
You favors, honey, bofe you' Pa an' Ma!
Thomas Nelson Page.
VOL. XXXV.- 122.