Although the Christian religion is not at enmity with culture in principle, still there is no gainsaying that it attributes only a subordinate value to all the possessions of this earthly life. The value of the whole world is not so great as that of the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life in fellowship with God. In this respect the Christian religion is in direct opposition to the view of the world taken by the modern man, and is neither prepared nor fitted for compromise with it. The question between them concerns no less than the highest good for man.
Therefore not only is Christianity accused to-day of rather opposing than furthering culture in the past, and of adopting towards it at the present day a repellent and hostile attitude, but men go further and declare that it has had its time, and cannot be a factor in the development of the future. If modern culture is to advance, it must wholly reject the influence of Christianity, and break completely with the old world-view. There must be inaugurated a Kulturkampf, compared to which that of Bismarck against the Jesuits was child’s play. For Christianity in its essence, and consequently in all the forms which it has adopted in its several confessions, is always occupied with such supernatural subjects as eternity, heaven, God, etc.; it gives a bill of exchange for the life hereafter, which perhaps will never be honored, and makes men indifferent to this life; it does not stimulate to activity, but recommends as the highest virtues, patience, forbearance, obedience, and contentment.
The present century, on the contrary, is wholly diesseitig; it believes no longer in unseen things, but reckons only with those which are seen and temporal. After the disappointment caused by the French Revolution, a deep, general dejection reigned in Europe under the Napoleonic regime. But oppression occasioned a rebound. When the hour of liberty struck, humanity awoke to a new life and went to work with unimagined courage. Its energy was crowned, and at the same time increased, by the brilliant successes which were achieved in science and technic, in society and state. Discoveries and inventions, with their application to life, showed what man could accomplish by his skill and labor. Within half a century humanity was, as it were, reborn, and the surface of the earth was renewed. What the forefathers in former ages, what even the preceding generation had not dared to think or dream of, now came to pass in reality. Humanity stood amazed at its own creations.
In the measure in which self-confidence grew, confidence in God, belief in miracles, consciousness of misery, the urgency of prayer, and longing for redemption decreased, at least in many circles. Kant had boldly spoken the word,—du sollst, also du kannst,—and the humanity which trod the stage of the nineteenth century adopted this motto. It perceived in itself a necessity, a will, a power, and an obligation to reform the world ; and with this pressure it felt its strength awaken, and an irresistible desire to set to work. The modern man no longer feels himself a miserable creature, who has fallen from his original destiny, and no longer regards the earth as a vale of tears, which has taken the place of the original paradise. He can conceive nothing more wonderful than this beautiful world, which has evolved itself from the, smallest beginnings and has reached its highest point of development in grand and mighty man.388 He is in his own estimation no mere creature, but a creator and redeemer of himself and society.389 More and more he becomes his own providence.390 And he is so, and becomes so through his work, for labor is creation. By labor men are divine, and become continually more godlike. Labor must therefore be the foundation of religion and morality, and also of the entirety of modern society.391 In earlier times, no doubt, both outside and within the bounds of Christianity, labor was estimated as of great moral value, but there was nevertheless no system of morals built upon it, either by the Greeks, who despised labor, or by the Christians, who considered this life as a special preparation for eternity, or yet by the new moralists, who deduce the moral law from the subject, that is, from the categorical imperative. But among such men as Ihering, Wundt, Höding, Paulsen, Spencer, and Sidgwick, we see ethics becoming more and more a section of sociology, which perceives in labor for himself and for others the calling and destiny of man. For labor reconciles the egoistic and social instincts and takes into captivity the whole human life.392 Labor is “the meaning of our existence.”393
This awakening of human energy is reflected in the world-view which now receives the strongest sympathy. Till now the whole world was riveted to absolute conceptions, such as substance and essence, spirit and matter, soul and faculties, ideas and norms. But now everything is changed; there is nothing firm, unchangeable, steadfast; there is no status quo, but only an eternal movement.394 Physics and chemistry dematerialize themselves, and seek their foundations in pure mathematical proportions; psychology has closed the account with substance and the faculties of the soul, and only reckons with psychical phenomena; logic, ethics, and aesthetics withdraw themselves from the government of fixed aprioristic norms, and seek to build themselves up on psychology and sociology; the atomistic world-view has given way in late years to the energetic, and the absolute is no longer considered as a being, but only as a becoming; “will is the real substance of the world.”395 If Descartes pronounced his cogito ergo sum as the principle of philosophy, the new world-view proclaims her moveo ergo fio; vivere is now no longer cogitare, but velle; in a word, modern wisdom can be summed up in this short epigram of Proudhon : Affirmation du progrè, négation de l’absolu.396
As this world-view is a precipitate of modern life, so in its turn it influences that life and gives it direction and guidance. The century in which we live is distinguished from all preceding ones by its restless activity, by its exploitation of physical and psychical forces, but at the same time also by its endeavor to obtain the greatest possible results from the smallest possible expenditure of power.397 The activities of men move in the most divergent directions, and cross each other every moment, so that nobody can obtain a clear view or give a complete account of them. And yet it seems as if all this manifold and many-sided labor accomplished to-day by men under the sun, is animated by one spirit, is directed by one aim, and is made serviceable to one end, namely, the improvement of the human race. Men live to-day in a land of abundance, but there still remains a longing for a richer and more durable happiness. This earthly life is confidently declared the sole home man; yet men seek even here below another and better dwelling. And therefore there are not wanting reformers who earnestly reflect on the miseries of this life, and recommend ways and means not only for the deliverance, but also for the perfecting of humanity.
In the first place, there is being made an attempt, which should be remarked, to improve the racial qualities of mankind in an artificial way. Individuals follow one another like small, unsubstantial waves from an unlimited ocean of being, but are all nevertheless equipped with free and .active powers. They must therefore not be passive in the routine of nature, and must not lose heart from the thought that man remains eternally the same and is capable of no improvement or perfecting. The Christian religion may offer in its doctrine of the inheritance of sin such a comfortless view; but this dogma, that man is radically corrupt, must be saved by Christ, and can never become holy and happy by his own power, is the most demoralizing of all the articles of the Christian faith, and ought to be opposed and eradicated with determined strength. In its place must come the comforting conviction that man is still always becoming; he has already raised himself above the animal, and is moving in the direction of the Uebermensch. The evolutionary process, of which we have evidence all over the world, presses on not only forward, but also upward, to meet the light, the life, the spirit.398 It is only necessary that man understand this process, and take an active part in it; he must feel his responsibility for the carrving of the process through by man, and for its advancing through him to a higher type of being. It seems as if the physical development of man has reached its end, at least so far as its basal structure is concerned; but all the more necessary now is the spiritual development, that is, the conscious, intentional, systematic work of man towards his own perfecting. And to this belongs in the first place the improvement and ennobling of the human race.
But now we are faced by the fact that, as Karl Pearson expresses it, “the mentally better stock in the nation is not reproducing itself at the same rate as it did of old; the less able and less energetic are more fertile than the better stock.”399 And that is not all; but in all lands the law allows, apart from certain limitations of age and cousanguinity, complete freedom to marriage, so that it is possible for all kinds of weak, sick, incurable, and degenerate people to be united in marriage and to give birth to unfortunate children, and in this way to promote the steady deterioration of the human race. Nobody can deny that such a deterioration takes place. While hygiene does its best, on the one side, to prolong the life of the weak as much as possible, the number of these weak beings is continually increasing by the complete freedom of marriage. Weismann may assert that propensities which are acquired during life are not inherited, but the fact still remains that the physical and psychical condition of the parents influences that of the children. Insanity and crime, tuberculosis and alcoholism, and all kinds of venereal diseases are increasing among all nations; increasing numbers of inmates are sent to hospitals and prisons; and all this lays on the community a burden which in the long run it will not be able to bear. Therefore it is our duty to devote the greatest possible attention to marriage, and to the people between whom it is concluded.
In the first place, it is necessary that the act of propagation be restored to honor. Ascetic Christianity has imprinted the stamp of impurity on it, and humanity therefore will never become better by returning to this mode of thought. But it will enter the path of self-perfecting when it turns its back on all asceticism and comes to understand the holiness of propagation. The act of generation is not impure, but a holy sacrament, and all conception is immaculate. True progress will come when humanity returns to the classic honoring of the strength and beauty of the body and regains the old respect for the divinity of propagation.400
But with this restoration to honor of the propagation of the race earnest investigation must be combined. The science of “eugenics,” which was already inaugurated by Francis Galton in 1883, and for which he not long ago founded a research-fellowship at the University of London, must become a science which subjects to exact inquiry everything that bears upon propagation and heredity, and endeavors to discover the laws by which these are governed. Such an inquiry has not yet been prosecuted far enough to warrant the deduction of conclusions on which legislation might be founded. But public opinion can be instructed, and the way for new legislation respecting matrimony may be prepared, and the state can at any rate begin to make medical inquiry obligatory before marriage, forbid marriage in definite serious cases, and so prevent the birth of unfortunate children. Artificial selection shows how genera and species may be modified among plants and animals; if this selection is applied also to the human race, it will promote its well-being and improvement in the highest degree.401
In close alliance with this attempt to ennoble the human race by artificial selection is the effort which is making for the perfecting of humanity by a radical reform in education. Many opinions exist as to the nature of such a new education. Some accept in principle the perfect equality of man and woman, defend free marriage and free love, and would withdraw education as early as possible from the family and delegate it to the community. Others, on the contrary, esteem the woman in every respect distinct from man, and wish to maintain and re-establish her in the ro1e of mother and educator of her children. According to these, biology and anthropology prove that woman, who, in her whole physical and psychical development is much more closely allied to the child than man, and lives by instinct, intuition, and feeling more than he, is on this very account a much better representative and supporter of the human race; she is more “reminiscent of the past,” more “prophetic of the future,” and therefore superior to man. In the new philosophy of sex, of which biological psychology already dreams, the woman and the mother will stand “at the heart of a new world,” become the object “of a new religion, and almost of a new worship.” The mothers are the most valuable portion of the people, and must therefore be liberated in the future from all other cares than those of motherhood, and be treated by state and society with the highest honor.402
But whatever difference of opinion on this or similar points may exist among the reformers of pedagogy, all agree that education requires radical changes and must be built up anew on a scientific basis. Education is of far too great importance for the future of humanity to be abandoned to caprice or chance. Education is “man’s chief problem, and the home, school, state, and church are valuable exactly in proportion as they serve it,” yea, “the highest criterion of pure science is its educative value.”403 And the science which must be the principle and foundation of education is genetic psychology. This teaches us that man has slowly risen from the animal, and repeats in his development as embryo and suckling, as child and boy and youth, the different stages of phylogeny. The, soul of man is thus not complete, but as it has become, so is it still becoming; it does not stand alone, but is cognate with the souls of the animals and plants and all creatures; it strikes its roots deeply into the past, as the tree does into the ground, is the product of an immemorial heredity, and can and must be conceived and explained by the history of the human race. We shall never really know ourselves until we know the soul of the animals, and especially that of those which are in the line of our descent.404
He who takes into account the lesson of evolution quickly comes to the conclusion that the present-day system of education is one great error. Up to now men have given almost exclusive attention to the soul of man, and to its hereafter. They have taken their start from ideas, fixed norms, unchangeable conceptions, and have placed before themselves as their chief aim to implant maxims and dognias, and to fill the head with representations and ideas which are in opposition to nature, and can therefore never be assimilated. This education has neglected the body, fatigued the brain, weakened the nerves, suppressed originality, slackened initiation, and the consequence is that the children on leaving school have possessed no independence, and have had no eye to see and no ear to hear. They have been completely estranged from life; and what is of more importance, the education which has alone been hitherto procurable has shown its incapacity, especially, in that during its continuance men have retained the same nature and the same defects; it has not eradicated a single sin or brought about any moral improvement whatever.405
Instead of this a new system of education must be instituted which in the first place is to be characterized by an honoring of the child. The child has been hitherto governed peremptorily and from without, but in the future the child must be placed in the centre, must be considered in whatever peculiarity it may have, and must be developed according to its own individuality. It is now the era of the child. The child is born good, for there is no hereditary sin; every defect in the child is only a hard shell, which contains the germ of a virtue, which as such has the right not to be eradicated, but to be trained. There must be no question of punishment or breaking of the will; if the child is not good in later life, then it has been a victim of its parents and teachers, and upon them lies the guilt. They have to bow to the superiority of the child; a child is only another name for majesty.406
Further, this great reformation must be wrought in education,— it must return from school to life, from books to nature, from theology and philosophy to biology. In the life of the child sense, nature, and the body are, in the foreground. Before consciousness awakens, and intelligence and judgment are formed, the child is passion, desire, movement, will. Formerly men said that life was thought, but now we see that life is will. Will is the essence of the world, and the innermost nature of man; first life, then thought; first the natural, then the spiritual, The muscles make forty-three per cent of the weight of the human body, and are the organs of the will and the creators of all culture. Man is one-third intelligence and two-thirds will. The “age of art” must thus take the place of the “age of science.” The body with its members and organs ought to be developed before all things; manual labor, gymnastics, sports, and all kinds of play ought to take up a large, yes, the principal part in education. For mere knowledge. produces a serious danger; better ignorance than knowledge which does not develop the strength of man; “muscle-culture” is at the same time “brain-building”; power must accompany knowledge.407
As to the knowledge which must be communicated in the various schools of instruction, the natural sciences ought to take the place which was formerly given to the so-called spiritual sciences, literature, history, theology, and philosophy. The science of nature must form the groundwork of all teaching, and the common possession of all civilized people. For even the spiritual sciences can no longer be understood and practised with benefit, if they do not rest, on the basis of the science of nature. Without knowing man in his prehistoric life, they cannot attain their full development. If they have latterly advanced, and have reached assured results, they are indebted for this to the application of that method which is used in the sciences of nature. This, then, is the indispensable foundation for all other sciences and for all culture. Nobody ought to be nominated to any important office, therefore, or to be accepted as a member of parliament, or as a minister of the state, unless he has acquired a solid knowledge of nature. In a word, the old world-view must be replaced in all schools by the world-view of the doctrine of evolution. Then only will a great future stretch out before education, for knowledge of nature has not merely an intellectual, but also great practical, technical, and ethical value.408
But a reformation which will usher in a new era for the human race cannot confine itself to a change in the system of education. If reformation must consist principally in replacing the old world-view by that of evolution, then educational reform is but a single step in a long road, and there remains a great deal to do. For the old world-view—that is, that conception of world and life which has been formed under the influence of Christianity—is so intimately interwoven with our whole being, with all our thoughts and actions, that to eradicate it would seem almost a hopeless task, and if it could be accomplished, would throw humanity into a violent crisis, the consequences of which no one can foresee. Church, and state, and society, religion, morality, and justice, marriage, family, and school, habits and laws, and our whole culture are, notwithstanding many foreign elements which have intruded from elsewhere, built on a Christian basis and animated by the Christian spirit. He who desires such a reform may, no doubt, make a beginning, but who knows what the end will be, and who can estimate the cost? None the less, if such a reformation is to be wrought, it cannot be satisfied with a mere change in the system of education; it must proceed to a total rebuilding of society.
However, even if we do not reckon with the conscious will of man, there is already at work in present-day society a hidden force which affects it, as it were, in heart and reins, and distinguishes it from all earlier forms in a very remarkable way. We may approve or disapprove of this movement, but the trend of modern society is in the direction of freedom, autonomy, and democracy. All boundary lines which formerly separated men, and all bonds which encumbered their movements and activities, have been broken down one after another. All forms of servitude—slavery, bondage, feudalism, and subordination—are thought to be opposed to the independence and dignity of man; even service for wages appears to the modern man humiliating, and is accounted merely another form of slavery. All the relations which have grown up between men in the course of the centuries are more and more losing their organic, moral, and natural character, and are being replaced by voluntarily formed contracts. Liberty of religion and conscience has been succeeded by freedom of habitation and occupation, of trade and intercourse, of union and association, of writing and thinking; and thought has so much outstripped discipline that the most absurd ideas arouse the greatest admiration.
Specialization and multiplication of occupations go hand in hand with this autonomy. The number of trades which were organized as guilds in Germany in the eighteenth century were counted by tens; they are now to be numbered by thousands, and continually increase, almost from day to day. Labor is endlessly differentiated and specialized. All activities which are auxiliary to the provision of the necessities of life have become independent occupations. The machine which has replaced the impleinent in the hand of the workman, and operates much more quickly, uniformly, cheaply, and powerfully than any human power, increases the division of labor, and makes the simplest article into a product which is accomplished by the cooperation of many hands. And this specializing of labor may be observed not only in material, but also in spiritual domains. There was a time when one could say of a person that he knew everything that was written in books, but such an encyclopaedic knowledge is not possible now, even for the greatest genius ; sciences are divided and multiplied, and are so far removed from the common centre that the investigator in one science is a complete stranger in the disciplines of the others, and does not even understand the terms employed in them.
With this specialization of labor is combined, contrary to what would perhaps apriori be expected, an increase in social dependence. It is usually said that the French Revolution has made men free and equal, but to tell the whole truth one has to add that it has replaced personal by social dependence. We depend on each other now more than ever. Nobody, no man, no city, no village, no people, and no state is independent any longer. We have no food and no drink, no covering or clothing, no warmth or light, no furniture and no implements, which are not procured for usby the community from day to day. Each man has significance only as a part of the whole, as a “labor-unit of the social organism”; if he be left to himself, and excluded from the social body, he is powerless and loses his value. This life in community, which forms such a remarkable trait in the society of to-day, is indebted for its growth in a large degree to the decline of the value of personality.
And this social dependence is continually increasing; the organization of society is progressing from day to day under our eyes. Society has already become a most artificial system of manifold and complicated relations, a gigantic organism, wherein all members are closely connected; but all agree that the socialization of society proceeds without intermission; we are carried steadily forward in the direction of what Lamprecht calls the “bound enterprises.” The anarchy which reigns in the production of goods, the abuse of power of which the trusts are guilty, the law of parsimony in labor, the caprices of demand and supply, and the conflict of capital and proletariat,—all this leads to social organization and demands help from the all-embracing state. And the state has already traversed a good part of this way. Private enterprise has been replaced in many departments by the service of the community; one circle, of life after another loses its independence. Jurisprudence, army, navy, taxation, the postal system, telegraphy, trams and railways, instruction in all kinds of schools, the care of libraries and museums, of health and cleanliness, of poorhouses and asylums, the exploiting of water and heat supply, of gas and electricity, fire- and police-departments, roads and canals, parks and theatres, savings banks and insurance companies, and many other interests, are wholly or in part withdrawn from private enterprise and given into the hands of local or national authorities.
Well, then, social reformers say to us, if these things are so, what can we do but help on and direct, promote and complete, this powerful movement which is already proceeding? We are working in the same direction if we break down finally the last barrier which separates men, and that is capital, private property. The Reformation has procured for us religious freedom; that is, the equality of all men before God. The Revolution of 1789 gave us political liberty,—the equality of all men before the law. A third reformation is now in order,—the establishment of freedom in society, and the equality of all men in respect to the possessions of culture. What good are religious and political freedom for men if social equality is withheld from them? What value has the declaration of the rights of man if the right to labor and food and pleasure remains unsecured? As Protestantism has prepared the way for liberalism, and liberalism for democracy, so now democracy ought to be fulfilled in socialism. The motto of liberty, equality, and fraternity will be completely realized only when the community, leaving the means of enjoyment and the ratio of consumption to the individual, possesses itself of all means of production, land, factories, and implements,—and, systematically regulating the whole production, divides the product among all citizens, according to their merits or necessities. In a word, the reformation of society will reach completion only in the socializing of all the possessions of culture.409
Men cherish the boldest expectations on the faith of all these reformers. Marx, it is true, held the opinion that he had set socialism free from utopianism, and had established it on a firm, scientific basis. His effort was to conclude an alliance between the suffering and the thinking part of humanity and to make science serviceable for the proletariat. Therefore he made a study of presentday society, tried to learn the laws which govern its development, and endeavored to show that the old society could produce an entirely new one by way of evolution. He refused indeed to draw up a complete description of the future state, but he did not shrink from proclaiming his expectations concerning it, and thus he ceased to be a scientific inquirer, and came forward in the ro1e of a prophet. And when he further not only published the results of his inquiry, but also made it the basis of a programme which was to be adopted and realized by a definite party, he threw off the toga and put on the mantle of a preacher of repentance and a reformer. Even Marx thus could not escape from utopianisrn; and the socialism which operates under his name is, as a doctrine concerning a future society, no scientific school, but a political party. The society of the future naturally is no subject of experience and investigation, but an object of hope and expectation, of desire and endeavor. This is sufficiently proved by the fact that socialism, in consequence of the serious criticism which its anticipated future state has aroused, has finally abandoned all details and left to the future what the future shall bring forth.410
Nevertheless it can never completely abstain from framing a description of the future state, either with respect to its own members or those who are outside; for after all each man wishes to know, to a certain extent, in what direction and to what end lie is led by such a radical change in society. If the ideal which men strive after cannot be described, or on being described betrays to all its impracticability, all confidence is lost and all obedience is at an end. Hope alone keeps socialism alive; “the vision of the future is for every present circumstance the strongest bearer of power.”411 Socialism, therefore, ever seeks its satisfaction in the forecast of Bebel, that the future state will bring a condition of happiness and peace for all men. The state with its ministers and parliaments, its army and police, will not be necessary in the new society, for all those relations of possession and power in the behalf of which they have been called into being will have passed out of existence. All men will receive equal positions in life and a suitable subsistence. Each will have to accomplish a definite work; but this work will require only a few hours a day, and for the remainder of his time each man way devote himself, according to his free choice, to spiritual occupations, to companionship, to pleasure. There will no longer exist distinctions between rich and poor, idle and industrious, learned and ignorant, the population of city and country, because there will no longer exist commerce, trade, money, or unequal division of pleasure and labor. Each one after the necessary labor will do what he pleases, so that according to his free option one will become a musician, another a painter, a third a sculptor, a fourth an actor. Even diseases will disappear more and more, and natural death, the slow dying of the powers of life, will become more and more the rule.412
Socialism does not stand alone in these utopian expectations. It has had its predecessors in Plato and Thomas More, in Campanella and Morelly, St. Simon and Fourier, Proudhon and Comte, and in many other theologians and philosophers, in many religious sects and political parties. Humanity as a whole has always lived, and still lives, in hope, notwithstanding all empiricism and realism. Men paint the future state in very different colors; and according to the different conceptions each one has of the highest good, represent that future state as a kingdom of morality (Kant), or humanity (Herder), as a kingdom of liberty, in which spirit fully penetrates nature (Hegel), or as a Johannine church, which will at the end replace the church of Peter and Paul (Schelling); as a world in which ideal or material possessions are the chief enjoyment. But such a future is expected by every one; all religion, all philosophy, and all views of life and the world issue in an eschatology. And not only so, but all systems have in common that they finish the world’s history with to-day, and hereaf ter expect only a world era wherein the hope and the dream of humanity will be realized;413 all eschatology which lives in the heart includes the belief in a speedy parousia.
This ineradicable hope of humanity is full of potent charm. And if to-day it springs up with new strength, shuns no exertion, esteems all opposition conquerable, and strives to introduce the new era for humanity by all kinds of reformation, it compels respect and stimulates to activity. When Ludwig Stein preaches a social optimism, which wages war on all Nirvana-philosophy and turns its back on all conservatives and pessimists;414 when Metschnikoff proclaims in the name of science the coming day of the abolition of all sickness, the lengthening of human life to a good old age, and the reduction of death to a gentle, painless fading away;415 when Stanley Hall tells us that the world is not old, but young, that the twilight in which we live is not that of the evening but of the morning, that the soul is still always becoming, and is capable of a much higher development;416 when James declares that the world is, or becomes, that which we make it:417 when all these men appeal to our responsibility, to our consciousness of duty, to our power and energy, then our hope is rekindled, our courage is raised, and we are stimulated to go forward immediately without further hesitation.
Nevertheless it should be observed that while this optimistic activity seems to depend only on man, and to feel not the least need of divine help, yet on the other hand it breaks through the circle of immanent thought and action, mounts to transcendency, and seeks strength and security in metaphysics. The doctrine that man is corrupted by sin and cannot sanctify and save himself by his own strength is commonly accounted the most fearful of all errors; autonomy and autosotery reject all heterosotery. But at the same moment when all transcendency and metaphysics are denied, the human being is exalted above his usual state and is identified with the divine. The superhuman task of transforming present society into a state of peace and joy requires more than ordinary human power; if God himself does not work the change, hope can be cherished only when human power is divinized. This is in fact the intimate idea of that philosophical theory which Strauss has most clearly formulated, that the infinite is not realized in a single man, but only in humanity; humanity being the true unity of divine and human natures, the man becoming God, the infinite spirit descending to finiteness, the child of the visible mother nature, and of the invisible father spirit, the doer of miracles, the saviour of the world. What humanity confesses concerning Christ, and pronounces in its idea of divinity, is merely a symbol of what it finds in itself, and what it is. Theology is mainly anthropology; the worship of God is humanity adoring itself. Comte, therefore, was quite consistent when he substituted the worship of humanity for the worship of God.418
This deification of man proves clearly that no eschatology is possible without metaphysics. But this is shown still more clearly by another fact. Culture, ethics, idealism, all striving after a goal, must always seek alliance with metaphysics. Kant reversed the relation between them, and tried to make morals entirely independent of science; but on those morals he again built up practical faith in a divine providence. In the same way, any ethical system which aspires to be true ethics and to bear a normative and teleological character, not failing into merely a description of habits and customs, is forced to seek the support of metaphysics. If man has to strive after an ideal, he can gain courage only by the faith that this ideal is the ideal of the world and is based on true reality. By banishing metaphysics, materialism has no longer an ethical system, knows no longer the distinction between good and evil, possesses no moral law, no duty, no virtue, and no highest good. And when the immanent humanistic philosophy of Natorp, Cohen, and others endeavors to base ethics exclusively on the categorical imperative, it loses all security that the “ought” will one day triumph over the “is,” and the good over the bad.419 Whatever one believes to be the highest good, this highest good is either an imagination, or it is and must be also the highest, true being, the essence of reality, the meaning and destiny of the world, and thus also the bond which holds all men and nations together in every part of the world and saves them from anarchy.420 The Christian finds his assurance of the triumph of good in his confession of God’s sovereign and almighty will, which, though distinct from the world and exalted above it, still accomplishes through it its holy purpose, and, in accordance with this purpose, leads humanity and the world to salvation. But he who rejects this confession does not therefore escape from metaphysics. It sounds well to call man the rebel in nature, who, when it says “Die!” answers, “I will live.”421 But with all his wisdom and strength man is powerless against that nature in the end, unless it be subject to a will which maintains man in his superiority above it. That is the reason why, even when theism is denied, the true reality, the world-will which is hidden behind phenomena and very imperfectly manifested, is nevertheless always thought of as analogous to that of man, and especally as an ethically good will. Notwithstanding all his self-confidence and self-glorification, man is, in every possible world-view, incorporated in a larger whole, and is explained and confirmed by that totality. Metaphysics, that is the belief in the absolute as a holy power, always forms the foundation of ethics. In our days evolution takes the place of such metaphysics.
The modern man derives his faith and animation, his activity and his optimism, from the idea of evolution, which according to his belief governs the whole world. If he endeavors restlessly to establish a holy and happy kingdom of humanity on earth, and stands firm in his belief in its realization notwithstanding all diiticulties and disappointments, this can he explained only in one way,—that he feels himself borne on by the true reality, which is hidden behind the oftentimes very sad phenomena. Striving and laboring to attain his ideal, he believes himself in harmony with the innermost motive-power of the world, with the mysterious course of nature. To work, to endeavor, to strive, to become, is the deepest meaning of the world, the heart and the kernel of true reality. The doctrine of evolution thus takes the place of the old religion in the modern man.422 It is no science; it does not rest on undeniable facts; it has often in the past and in the present ‘been contradicted by the facts. But that does not matter; miracle is the dearest child of faith. All change in the world, as if it were nothing, is identified with development, development with progress, progress with material welfare or ethical culture, with liberty or morality. Although monism in its different forms denies that the absolute power which rules the world has personality, consciousness and will, yet it always speaks of this power as if it were a person. Consciousness, instinct, will, labor, endeavor, development, aim, and holiness are unintentionally ascribed to it; it is even identified with absolute divine love in a naive way, which is in direct antagonism to the scientific pretensions of the speakers. And love is then called “the original of all social forces, the creator and reconciler of all; the only true God is love.”423 Just as the pagan treats his idol, so modern man acts with the idea of evolution.
The superstitious character, which is more and more taken on by this idea, is clearly seen in the contents of the optimistic expectations which are cherished concerning the future of the human race. . For these expectations involve nothing less than that human nature in the future, either slowly by gradual development, or suddenly by leaps of mutation, will undergo radical change. In the future state there will he no longer any sickness or crime, no envy or malice, no enmity or war, no courts of justice and no police, but contentment and peace will be the portion of all. Now it is possible to say that sin and crime are owing to circumstances alone, and thus will disappear with the reformation of the environment. But this is nevertheless such a superficial judgment that no refutation of it is necessary. Every man knows by experience that sin is rooted in his own heart. If there ever is to be a humanity without sin and crime, holy and blessed, then it must be preceded by a radical change in human nature. But such a change is not too great for the expectation of the optimists, for they are assured of it by evolution. Man has advanced so much in the past that we may cherish the best hope for the future. He was an animal, and became a man,—why should he not become an angel in the future? As by immanent forces alone life has proceeded from the lifeless, consciousness from the unconscious, intelligence from the association of representations, will from feeling, spirit from matter, good from evil, what should hinder man from conquering in course of time all sin, putting an end to all misery, and establishing “the kingdom of man” on earth once for all, the more because he himself by exertion can lead and promote the evolutionary process? Thus the idea of an Uebermensch is intimately connected with the idea of evolution. Darwin himself believed in it, and comforted himself for the suffering of this present time with the hope that man in the far future would become a much more perfect creature than he is now;424 and the optimistic evolutionists join in this expectation: man is still in the making, he is still at the beginning of his development,—a rich, beautiful future lies before him.425
But although this future may speedily appear, it is not in existence yet, and it is not likely that it will dawn in the days of the present generation. What profit all these expectations for the men who now live, and each day draw nearer to their end? Socialism scoffs at the Christian faith, which promises a bill of exchange on eternity; but eternity is after all more worthy of our trust than an insecure, doubtful, and distant future. So the doctrine of evolution has found itself suddenly confronted with the question, what significance the eschatological expectations have for the individual. In the materialistic period, which lies behind us, it had for this serious question only a contemptuous smile. But the belief in a future kingdom of humanity is always confronted by the problem of personal immortality. And the doctrine of evolution assumes now in its new idealistic form quite a different bearing towards this problem.426 Why should it be impossible to introduce this immortality into its system? If man in the long process of his development has raised himself by his intelligence high above the animal, probably he can make himself immortal by continual development. Of course it is improbable that all men who have already lived and borne that name have reached such immortality, for the transition from animal to man has been very gradual; and it is also possible, as the adherents of conditional immortality assure us, that even now and in the future not all men will be able to advance so far, but only they who ethically work out their own self-perfecting. But in itself there is no reason why man by his own development should not become immortal.
Death certainly cannot be thought of as a catastrophe, as a punishment of sin, as a judgment which is executed upon man. It is simply a normal phenomenon, a gradual transition, such as often takes place in the organic world. The egg becomes a chick, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly; and so man advances, as at birth so at death, into another form of existence; he changes his clothing,—he lays aside the coarse, material body, and continues his life in a finer, ethereal body. So Darwinism successively brings .us into company with Swedenborg and Jang Stilling, Davis and Kardec, Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Annie Besant, Mrs. Eddy and Elijah Dowie, with all the theosophists and spiritualists of recent times. And it is not to be wondered at that many adherents of the evolutionary doctrine are at the same time advocates of spiritualism.427 For all these tendencies are produced by the same root idea: they are all strongly opposed to the Christian doctrine of creation and fall, of hereditary sin and ethical impotence, of redemption by Christ and salvation by grace; and they declare instead that all is eternally becoming, that in an absolute sense there is no coming into existence and no dissolution, but only a change in the form of existence. This leads to the consequence that, as Haeckel has equipped substance, ether, and atoms with spirit, soul, conscience, and will, so men have truly existed eternally; and it is no wonder that pre-existenceism has again gained many adherents to-day.428
But although there may be difference of opinion on this point, human development is a part of the great evolutionary process and is bound to fixed laws. Man is what he does, and perhaps already has done, in preceding states of existence; all that happens to a man upon earth, his external as well as his internal condition is a strict consequence of his behavior and actions. There is place only for merits, for the law of reward of man’s works; there is no grace or forgiveness in the course of nature. The ethical law is the same as the natural law; everywhere karrna reigns,—the law of inevitable consequences. Therefore there exist also differences among men, not in origin and disposition, by divine ordinance, but by the use or misuse which they make of their gifts. Men do not run with equal ardor; they do not exert themselves with the same vigor. There are sarcical, psychical, and pneumatic men; and according to their work in their earthly existence they continue their life after death. Death is no death, but life,—a form of transition to a higher existence. The deceased do not even know that they have died; they keep a body, they see and hear, think and speak, consider and act, just as they did here upon earth. Perhaps they continue their intercourse for a shorter or longer time with men on earth, as spiritualism teaches; or they return in another body to the earth, as theosophy assumes; or they continue their purification in some other way.429
But whatever evolution thinks about the future, it affords no rest for the mind and none for the heart, because it takes away from us the Lord of the world. If there is no being, but only becoming, then there is no final state, either on this side of death for humanity, or on the other side for the individual man. The doctrine of evolution is even mortally wounded by this eternal process, because the idea of a never-ending development means a process without aim,430 and thus no longer a development. For every state exists only to make way for another; as soon as the kingdom of man came into existence it would pass away, and this the more because, according to the testimony of science, the present world and the present humanity cannot last eternally.431 If there is no omnipotent and holy God who exists above the world, and is for it the goal and resting-place of its strife, then there is no final end, no completion of the process of the world, and no rest for the human heart. It is then an empty sound even to speak with Höfding and Münsterberg of the eternal preservation of values,432 for all value disappears with personality; or to take refuge in a mysterious Buddhistic Nirvana, as is proposed by Schopenhauer and von Hartmann, wherein all life, consciousness, and will sink into an eternal, hypnotised condition.433
From the standpoint of evolution there is place only for an eternal return, as was already assumed in Greek philosophy by Heraclitus and the Stoics, and in these later days has been advocated even by Nietzsche. Nietzsche was first a pessimist, pupil of Schopenhauer and Wagner; later he became a positivist, and, rejecting all metaphysics, took his standpoint in reality as the one true world; still later he combined with this the doctrine of the Wille zur Mackt; the real world became for him an ocean of powers, which is not, but eternally becomes, which has no origin and aim, but continually rises and falls, appears and disappears. Although he draws from this creative energy of the Wille zur Macht the belief in the appearance of the Uebermensch, and takes this as the aim of the process of the world, yet it is self-evident that this belief is in direct opposition to his positivism, as well as to his doctrine of the eternal return. The Uebermensch is not only a pure product of his imagination, but can only be a transition form in the process of the world.434 An optimism which is exclusively built on evolution is always transmuted into pessimism if one ponders a little more deeply.
This is apparent also in the so-called meliorism of James. If pragmatism is opposed to idealism, and takes its standpoint in the empirical world, it cannot attain to an eschatology. One may with Comte require from science that it give us the power to look forward and predict the future;435 but Ostwald rightly says that our knowledge of the commencement and end of the world is null,436 for the world is so enormously great, and human society so complicated, that nobody can calculate with any certainty how they will develop in the future. Every one who holds strictly to experience must protest against a metaphysics of evolution which speaks of an infallible and eternal progress. All this belongs to the province of faith, and is not able to withstand a logical and ethical criticism. On the ground of empirical reality we can only resign ourselves to ignorance; we know not what the future may bring, or how humanity will be developed. The only thing we have to do is to fulfil our duty. We cannot stop the process,but we may perhaps bend and guide it a little. Let us take the world as it is, and make the best of it. Perhaps the future will be better than we think.437
This meliorism certainly does not bear witness to strong faith and great courage. It has to all intents abandoned the whole world to pessimism, and maintains itself only by holding fast to duty. But this isolation of the categorical imperative from the totality of life, in which it is presented to us in man and humanity, has in no small measure contributed to the appearance and spreading of a pessimistic feeling in the nineteenth century;438 the system of Schopenhauer depends closely on Kant’s criticism. If the essence of things is unknowable, the misery of man cannot be fathomed. For metaphysical need is born in all of us, and the thirst after the knowledge of the absolute cannot be uprooted from the heart. Our condition would be more tolerable if religion did not consist in fellowship with God, or if that fellowship could be realized and enjoyed without consciousness. But what we do not know, we have not, and we love not. The special needs of our time are therefore caused by agnosticism. Trust is undermined not only in science, but also and principally in ourselves, in the witness of our self-consciousness, in the value of our religious and ethical perceptions, in the power of our intelligence and reason. Doubt is awakened in all hearts, and the uncertainty causes our convictions to sway hither and thither; we are moved by every wind of doctrine, and weakened in our will by the yeas and nays which resound on all sides.
Nobody can predict how the human race will overcome this disease. Philosophy, which has revived in late years, assuredly is not fitted for the task. For it is itself infected in a great measure by the disease; it is uncertain in its starting point, is in doubt concerning its own task and aim, and is divided into all kinds of schools and systems. There is no question of a steady progress in its history; it has, especially in the period of Kant, broken more down than it has built up, and its defenders not infrequently give utterance to the opinion that the advantage which it has produced consists solely in the enlightening of insight into the essence of human knowledge, and that aside from this it is mostly a history of instructive and important human errors.439
The ethical autonomy also, which formed for Kant the basis of his metaphysics, offers in its isolation no sufficient security. For if the whole world is ascribed to the operation of a blind process, it cannot be understood how consciousness of duty could obtain a firm foothold in this stream of becoming. Evolution, which is everywhere else recognized, does not respect this apparent immutability, but penetrates into the essence of the moral man, analyzes his views, shows the sources from which his opinions are drawn, and shrugs its shoulders over the eternity of moral duty and moral laws.440 But apart from this serious objection, moral autonomy may uplift and animate man for a short time; it may fill him with admiration, as does also the starry sky above his head; and in days of self-confidence it may stimulate him to restless eflort, but it can give him no comfort in hours of repentance and bitter agony. It is good for the Pharisee, who knows no other law than reward for service, but it is pitilessly hard for the publican and sinner, who need God’s grace. And such poor sinners are we all, each in his turn. The strongest among men have times in which they feel miserable, and as desolate as the prodigal son. The “healthy-minded men” are not separated from “the morbid-minded” as a special aristocratic class, but often themselves pass over into their opposites; optimism and pessimism alternate in every man’s life.441 Fichte, the philosopher, affords us a striking illustration of this. In the first period of his philosophic thought he felt no need of God, and was content with the moral world-order: in the beginning of things there was not being, but doing; not the word, but the deed; the non-ego was nothing but the material of duty, and the fulfilment of this duty the highest blessedness. But later, when serious experiences had enriched his life and thought, he returned from doing to being, from duty to love, from striving to rest, from morality to religion. The more deeply we live, the more we feel in sympathy with Augustine, and the less with Pelagius.442 Knowledge of law awakens the need for grace.
Present-day culture ofiers still less security for a glad hope. There are still many who are enthusiastic about science, and anticipate from its technical applications the salvation of humanity. The cries of science, progress, and liberty are continually heard on the lips of free-thinkers.443 But the hollowness of the sound reveals itself to any keenly listening ear. Culture brings with;it its blessings, but also its dark shadows and serious dangers; it develops attributes and powers in men which are highly valuable, but it does this almost always at the cost of other virtues which are not of less value; while it promotes reflection, sagacity, activity, and strenuous striving, it suppresses the unbiassed opinion, the childlike naivetè, the simplicity and the guilelessness, which often belong to the natural life.444 Intellectual development is in itself no moral good, as rationalism has dreamed ever since Socrates’ day, but may be used equally well for evil as for good; it can be serviceable to love, but it may also become a dangerous instrument in the hands of hate; not only the virtuous, but also the criminal, profit by it. What da Costa said of the invention of printing, that it was a gigantic step to heaven and to hell, may be applied to all scientific and technical elements of culture.
We are indeed witnesses in our own developed society that sin and crime increase frightfully, not only in the lowest ranks of population, but quite as much in high aristocratic circles. Unbelief and superstition in all forms; adultery, unchastity, and unnatural sins, voluptuousness and excess, avarice, theft, and murder, jealousy, envy, and hatred, play no less a part in the life of cultured humanity than among the lower races. Art and literature are not infrequently handmaids to all these sins, and the plays, which in such centres of civilization as Paris and Berlin are given before the èlite, seriously raise inquiries whither we are bound with all our civilization.445 And at the same time with these iniquities the cleft becomes wider between religion and culture, between morality and civilization, between science and life, between the various classes and ranks of society. Legislation is almost powerlesshere; internal corruption, moral degeneration, and religious decay cannot be removed by a law of the state; on the contrary, every law has to reckon with the egoism and the passion of men, if it does not wish to be doomed to complete impotence; if law does not find support in conscience, it does not touch life. Besides this, legislation is put more and more into the hands of the people, so that it is not seldom made the servant of party interests. Complaints about the shady side of parliamentary government increase in all lands;446 the state, which is above all, and has to further the interests of all, tends to become a ball in the strife of parties, and a powerful means by which the majority tries to suppress the minority. The benefit of liberty itself, in religious, social, and political domains, comes very seriously into question in many countries, such as France.
There is even reason for the question, whether the theory of evolution does not promote in a high degree this continual triumph of the power of the strongest. For though it believes in progress in this sense, that the material gives birth to the spiritual in the way of gradual development, it also teaches that in the struggle for life the unfit perish, and only the fittest survive. Therefore opinions greatly differ on the relation between Darwinism and socialism; according to Virchow, Loria, Ferri, and others, Darwinism is serviceable to socialism, but Haeckel, O. Schmidt, Ammon, H. E. Ziegler, and H. Spencer maintain, on the contrary, that the principle of selection bears an aristocratic character.447 In any case, we are witnesses to this remarkable fact, that a social aristocracy is raised against a social democracy; the Herrenmoral of Nietzsche is also defended on economical grounds; capitalism is deeply despised and fanatically opposed, but it gains also strong support and passionate defence;448 and art in late years very seriously protests against social levelling, and makes a strong plea for riches and luxury, for the genius and aristocracy of the mind; it is highly normal, it is said, that the many should live for the few and the few live at the cost of the many.449
The same fact also presents itself internationally in the mutual relations of the nations. The cosmopolitanism of the “Enlightenment” was not only exchanged in the nineteenth century for patriotism, but this patriotism was not infrequently developed into an exaggerated, dangerous, and belligerent chauvinism, which exalts its own people at the cost of other nations. In its turn this chauvinism was fed and strengthened by the revival of the race-consciousness which in Gobineau and H. St. Chamberlain found its scientific defenders. Not only in the different parts of the earth, but also often among the same people, and in the same land, races are sharply opposed to each other, striving after the chief power in the state, and supremacy in the kingdom of the mind. This race-glorification acquires such a serious character, and so far exceeds all bounds, that the virtues of the race are identified with the highest ideal. Deutschtum, for example, is placed on a level with Christendom, and Jesus is considered as an Aryan in race.450
Economical interests besides sharpen the competition between the nations. Though this competition still bears outwardly a peaceful character, it widens the gulf between the nations, feeds egoism, stimulates the passions, and may on the smallest occasion break out into a war which would surpass all previous wars in devastation. From a kingdom of peace, which shall embrace all nations, we are farther away than ever. Many men have, indeed, dreamed sweet dreams of such a peace, or at least of a palace of peace and international arbitration;451 but they have been sadly undeceived, and forced into fresh reflection by the sudden apparition of Japan. Just as many in the state are returning to monarchy and despotism, and wish again to accord the first place in society to aristocracy and capitalism, so others in international relations defend the arming of nations, the conflict of races, and sanguinary war. The effacement of all differences between the nations is not, according to their opinion, the highest aim to be striven after. An amalgamated humanity would cause, without doubt, an impoverisheel civilization and a weakening of human life. Of course race-hatred and contempt for foreigners are not approved on this account; but it is said that strong nations, just like strong individuals, will respect most the rights of others and will be most merciful to their defects. And though this diversity between nations and races may now and then cause a war, history proves that such a war has been a source of strength and welfare for many peoples, and for humanity as a whole.452 War is, according to Moltke, an element of the world-order, as it is established by God, in which the noblest virtues of men are developed, such as courage and self-denial, faithfulness to duty, and self-sacrifice; without war the world would become a morass, and would sink into materialism.453
If we take into account all these facts, it is not to be wondered at that culture is often treated with deep disdain, not only by Christians, but by the children whom it has fed and nourished. There are those—and their number increases—who, with Buckle, notwithstanding the intellectual development which has taken place, do not believe in any moral progress and speak only of a circle of development.454 Others go still farther, and are of opinion that the human race, just in consequence of culture, is retrograding physically, psychically, intellectually, morally, and socially, and that safety can be obtained only by a radical change, namely, by a return to nature, or even to the animal state in which men originally lived. The great number of reformers who appear to-day in every domain of thought and action, indeed, sufficiently shows that culture, with all its blessings, does not content the heart, and does not meet all the needs of the soul. Evolutionists and socialists, though glorying in the conquests which the man of culture has made, vie with each other in condemning present-day society, and build all their hopes on the future. But that future is distant and uncertain ; for he who considers the moral corruption which has attacked our culture at the core, and takes into consideration the perils which press upon us from without,— the red, the black, and the yellow peril,—feels the anxious question rising within him, whether our whole modern culture is not destined sometime to devastation and annihilation like that of Babylon and Egypt, Greece and Rome.455
Thus it appears that neither science nor philosophy, neither ethics nor culture, can give that security with regard to the future which we have need of, not only for our thought, but also for our whole life and action. This need of security cannot be voided by saying that every one must do his duty and leave the future to itself. For though there is great truth in the Christian motto, “Blind for the future, and seeing in the commandment,” such true resignation is not born of doubt,but of faith, and does not leave the future to itself, but to God’s fatherly guidance. The need of security concerning the future and the ultimate end of the world, therefore, always remains with us, because everything we value in this life is inseparably connected with the future. If the world at the end of its development is dissolved in a chaos, or sinks back into everlasting sleep, the value of personality, of religious and ethical life, and also of culture, cannot be maintained. The weal and woe of man, and the safety of our souls, are closely interwoven with the final destiny of the world. Therefore, in order to live and to die happily we need a consolation which is firm and durable, and gives security to our thought and labor. All world-views, therefore, end in an eschatology, and all eflorts at reformation are animated by faith in the future.
If neither science nor culture, nor the combination of both,456 can give us such security, the question remains whether there is anything else in the whole world in which we can trust at all times, in adversity and death, with our whole heart? Now history teaches, with a distinctness which precludes all doubt, that there is only one power which can give such a security, and can awaken such an absolute confidence in the heart always and everywhere, and that is religion. While science can boast of only a few martyrs, religion counts its witnesses by thousands and tens of thousands. Who would be ready to sacrifice his life for a purely mathematical or scientific truth? If we wish to find the security which gives us rest in life and death and keeps us firm in the midst of the storms of doubt, we must seek it in religion, or we can find it nowhere. All certainty concerning the origin, the essence, and the end of things, is based on religion. As soon as a world-view attacks these problems, it is met by the alternative, either to content itself with guesses and doubts, or to take refuge in a religious interpretion of the world. Comte thought, indeed, that religion and metaphysics belonged to the past, but none the less made his positivism serviceable for the preaching of a new religion; and Herbert Spencer did not explain how he, in his philosophy, could accept an unknowable power behind phenomena, and could give expression to the suggestion that this power is the same as that “which in ourselves wells up in the form of consciousness.”457
The reason why religion alone can create such a security lies at hand. First, it always includes faith in a divine power, which is distinct from the world, far above it, and can govern and guide it according to its own will; and, secondly, it puts man himself personally into connection with the divine power, so that he sees in the affairs of God his own affairs, and allied with God can defy the power of the whole world, even unto death. But this idea of religion has only come to its true and full embodiment in Christianity. For all religions which exist without the special revelation in Christ, and equally all confessions and world-views which differ from it, are characterized by this common peculiarity, that they identify God and the world, the natural and the ethical, being and evil, creation and fall, and therefore mix up religion with superstition and magic. There is only one religion which moves on pure lines and is conceived altogether as religion, and that is Christianity.
In this religion God is the creator of all things. The whole world is the work of his hands; matter itself is made by him, and before its making was the object of his thought. All being and becoming thus embody a revelation of God. This revelation is the starting point of the unity of nature, the unity of the human race, the unity of history, and is also the source of all laws,—the laws of nature, of history, and of all development. The ideas and norms which govern religious, ethical, and social life, and appear in the self-consciousness and the thought of humanity, are the product of this revelation of God. In a word, that the world is no chaos, but a cosmos, a universe, is the silent postulate of all science and art for which they are indebted to the revelation which Christianity makes known to us. Nature and grace, culture and cultus, are built upon the same foundations.
But this revelation is not sufficient. God is creator: he is further the reconciler of all things. There is much evil in the world,—natural and moral evil, sin and misery. Christianity is the one religion which connects these two kinds of evil and yet distinguishes them. Sin does not lie in matter, nor in nature, nor in the substance of things, but it belongs to the will of the creature; it is of ethical nature, and thus capable of being expiated, effaced, extinguished. It can be separated from the creature, so that it disappears and the creature remains intact, yea, much more, is restored and glorified. For God is above the world, and is also above sin and all evil. He allowed it because he could expiate it. So he maintained through all centuries and among all men the longing and the capacity for redemption, and wrought that redemption himself in the fulness of time, in the midst of history, in the crucified Christ. “God was, in Christ, reconciling the world with himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” The cross of Golgotha is the divine settlement with, the divine condemnation of sin. There it is revealed that sin exists; it is no fiction which can be conquered by thought, no external defect which can be obliterated by culture; but it is an awful reality, and has a world-historical significance. But although it exists, it has no right of existence; it should not exist, and therefore it shall not exist.
For God is the creator and redeemer, but also finally the restorer and renewer of all things. The history of mankind after the resurrection of Christ is the execution of the judicial sentence which was passed on the cross, of the sentence which in Christ condemns sin and absolves the sinner, and therefore gives to him a right and claim to forgiveness and renewal. The cross of Christ divides history into two parts, - the preparation for and the accomplishment of reconciliation; but in both parts, from the creation to the cross and from the cross to the advent, it is one whole, one uninterrupted work of God. Christianity is as religion much more than a matter of feeling or temperament; it embraces the whole man, all humanity, and the totality of the world. It is a work of God, a revelation from the beginning to the end of the ages, in word and in deed, for mind and heart, for the individual and the community. And it has its heart and centre in the person and the work of Christ.
Christ occupies in Christianity quite a different position from that which Zarathustra or Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed, hold in the religion which was founded by each of them. Christ is not the founder of Christianity, nor the first confessor of it, nor the first Christian. But he is Christianity itself, in its preparation, fulfilment, and consummation. He created all things, reconciled all things, and renews all things. Because all things have in him their source, their being, and their unity, he also gathers in one all things under himself as Head, both those which are in heaven and those on earth. He is Prophet and Priest, but also King, who does not cease his work until he has delivered the kingdom perfect and complete to God the Father. This one equally sovereign and almighty, holy, and gracious will of God, which meets us and speaks to our conscience in the person and the, work of Christ, is the firm basis of our certainty, of our certainty concerning the past, the present, and the future. For nobody can deny that if there is and works such a will, then the origin, development, and destiny of the world are certain; then the life and fate of every man who identifies himself with this will of God and makes God’s cause his own is assured now and for eternity. But the world of science and art, culture and technique, knows nothing of such a merciful will of God. It can advance no further, with all its thoroughness and sagacity, than the postulate that there must be such a will of God.
But even this result of human knowledge and effort is a significant fact; for it contains the confession that the whole world, with all its development, is lost and must perish if it is not sustained and guided by an almighty will, which can cause light to appear out of darkness, life out of death, and glory out of suffering. What eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man to conceive otherwise than as a wish or a sigh, is revealed to us in the gospel. Jesus Christ came into the world to preserve it and to save it. This is the content of the gospel and the testimony of Scripture in spite of all criticism and opposition. By this testimony the prophets have lived, and the apostles and the whole Christian Church, and by it men will live till the end of time. For the truth of this testimony lies outside and beyond the bounds of all criticism in the system of the whole world, in the existence of the Christian church, and in the need of the human heart. The world cries: Such a will of God ought to be, if I am ever to be saved; and the gospel says: There is such a will of God; lift your eyes to the cross. Between the world as it exists around us, with all its laws and all its calamities; between culture, with all its glory and all its miseries; between the human heart, with all its aspirations and all its pains; between this whole universe and the will of God as it is made known to us in the gospel, there exists a spiritually and historically indissoluble unity. Take away that will, and the world is lost; acknowledge that will, and the world is saved. Revelation in nature and revelation in Scripture form, in alliance with each other, an harmonious unity which satisfies the requirements of the intellect and the needs of the heart alike.
This result of a philosophy of revelation is finally confirmed by this, that the will of God, which, according to the gospel, aims at the salvation of the world, yet acknowledges fully here and hereafter the diversity which exists in the world of creatures. Monism in all its forms sacrifices the richness of reality to the abstract unity of its system. It asserts that all that exists is but the development of one matter and one power; it sees in the diversity only modifications of the same being; it dissolves even the contrasts of true and false, of good and evil, of right and wrong, into historical moments of the same, movement, and it concludes with the declaration that the world at the end of the process returns to chaos, to darkness and death, perhaps after a while to begin anew its monotonous round. The eschatological expectations which present themselves under the name of the restitution of all things, hypothetical or absolute universalism, and conditional immortality, also have received so much sympathy only because man closes his eyes consciously or unconsciously to reality and transforms the wishes of his heart into prophecies of the future. By the magic formulas of monism and evolution men make the world to be and to become in the past, present, and even in the future, everything they please. But reality scoffs at these phantasies; it places before us the sorrowful facts that the power of evil raises itself against good, that sin does not annihilate man, but hardens him spiritually, and that virtue and happiness, sin and punishment, are not in proportion to each other here upon earth as all hearts and consciences require. And yet since this is what really exists, it must in some way be in accordance with the holiness and goodness of God.458
The gospel is suited to this reality, and is quite in agreement with it; it takes and acknowledges the world exactly as it is shown to our unbiassed view; it does not fashion it after a prescribed pattern, but accepts it unprejudicedly, with all its diversities and contrasts, with all its problems and enigmas. Man is indeed what Scripture describes him, and the world appears as Scripture shows it to us. A superficial view may indeed deny it; deeper experience and more serious inquiry always lead back again to the acknowledgment of its truth; the greatest minds, the noblest souls, the most pious hearts have repeated and confirmed the witness of Scripture from age to age. Scripture therefore does not stand isolated in its contemplation of the world and life, but is surrounded, upheld, and supported on all sides by the sensus communis of the whole of humanity; there is neither speech nor language where its voice is not heard. The world certainly was not originated in a monistic way, and it does not exist in this way. From the beginning it has shown a great variety, which has had its origin in divine appointment. This variety has been destroyed by sin and changed into all kinds of opposition. The unity of humanity was dissolved into a multiplicity of peoples and nations. Truth, religion, and the moral law have not kept their unity and sovereignty, but are confronted by lies, false religion, and unrighteousness. So the world was, and so it still remains. In spite of all striving after unity by means of world conquest, political alliance, and international arbitration, trade unions and economical interests ; in spite of the advocacy of an independent, positive, and common world-language, world-science, world-morality, and world-culture—unity has not and cannot be realized. For these forces can at the most accomplish an external and temporal unity, but they do not change the heart and do not make the people of one soul and one speech. The one true unity can only be brought about by religion, by means of missions. If there is ever to be a humanity one in heart and one in soul, then it must be born out of return to the one living and true God.
Although the gospel lays this missionary work on the consciences of all its confessors with the greatest earnestness, yet it never flatters us with the hope that thereby the inner spiritual unity of mankind will be accomplished in the present dispensation. The idea of a millennium stands in direct opposition to the description of the future which runs through the whole of the New Testament. Jesus portrays to his disciples much rather a life of strife, oppression, and persecution. He promises them on earth not a crown, but a cross. The highest ideal for the Christian is not to make peace with the world, with science, with culture at any price, but in the world to keep himself from the evil one. We have no guarantee that the church and the world will not as fiercely strive with one another in the future as in the first centuries of Christianity. We have not the least assurance that, in spite, of all preaching of tolerance, a persecution which will exceed all previous oppressions will not break out against the church of Christ before the end of time. On the contrary, there is great danger that modern culture, progressing in its anti-supernaturalistic course, will be stirred up to anger against the steadfastness of believers and attempt to accomplish by oppression what it cannot obtain by reasoning and argument. At any rate, this is what the teaching of Christ and the apostles predicts of the last days.
Because it recognizes this reality the gospel cannot end in a monistic formula; there remains difference, there remains an opposition, until and, indeed, even after the advent. Heaven and hell in what concerns their essence are no products of imagination, but elements of all religious faith, and even postulates of all thought which seriously takes into account the majesty of the moral world-order, the ineradicable consciousness of justice in the heart of man, and the indisputable witness of his conscience.459 But in contradistinction to all other religions Christianity teaches that the position which man will hold in the future world is, in principle, determined by the relation in which he stands to God and his revelation, and that the allotment of that position will be made by no one else than Chdst, who created the world, who continually supports it in its being and unity, who is the life and light of man always and everywhere, who appeared in the fulness of time as the saviour of the world, and who therefore knows the world through and through, and can judge it in perfect justice. Nobody will be able to make objection to the righteousness and equity of his sentence. Whatever may be the result of the world-history, it will be acknowledged by all willingly or unwillingly, be raised above all criticism, and be consonant with God’s virtues. Right and left from the great dividing line there remains room for such endless diversity that no single idle word will be forgotten, nor will a single good thought or noble action fall unnoted. Nothing of any value will be lost in the future; all our works do follow us, and the kings and nations of the earth will bring together into the city of God all their glory and honor. Above all differences, and over every variety, there will extend into the future the one holy and gracious will of God, which is the bond of the whole universe, and to which all will be subject and ancillary. The absolute, immutable, and inviolable supremacy of that will of God is the light which special revelation holds before our soul’s eye at the end of time. For monism the present economy is as a short span of life between two eternities of death, and consciousness a lightning flash in the dark night.460 But for the Christian this dark world is always irradiated from above by the splendor of divine revelation, and under its guidance it moves onward towards the kingdom of light and life. Round about revelation are clouds and darkness; nevertheless righteousness and judgment are the foundation of God’s throne.
388Carneri, Der moderne Mensch., Volksausgabe, Stüttgart, p. xi.
389H. D. Lloyd, Man the Social Creator, London, 1908, p. 3.
390Ellen Key, Das Jahrhundert des Kindes, Berlin, 1902, p. 358.
391Lloyd, op. cit., pp. 12, 13.
392Jeruzalem, Gedanken und Denker, 1905, pp. 133-148.
393L. Stein, Der Sinn des Daseins, 1904, p. 1, 5.
394Proudhon, Philosophie du Progrès, Bruxelles, 1853, pp. 20, 24, 25.
395Stanley Hall, Adol., I, pp. 131.
396Proudhon, op. cit., pp. 25, 19, 156.
397G. Portig, Das Weltgesetz des kleinsten Kraftanwandes in den Reichen der Natur, 1903-1904.
398E. Key, Das Jahrh. des Kindes., pp. 322, 3-5.
399In Fr. Galton, Probability, the Foundation of Eugenics, The Herbert Spencer Lecture Delivered on June 5, 1907, p. 10.
400E. Key, op. cit., p. 2. Stanley Hall, Adol., II, p. 123.
401Galton, op. cit., Stanley Hall, Adol., II, p. 722. Lankester, Natur und Mensch, pp.44,49. Ludwig Wilser, Rassentheorien, Stuttgart, 1908. Wynaendts Franken, Sociale Vertoogen, Haarlem, 1907, pp. 1-46. H. Treub, Verspreide Opstellen, Haarlem, 1904. Nijhoff, De Noodzakelijkheid van geneeskundig Onderzoek vóór het Huwelijk, Rotterdam, 1908.
402Stanley Hall, Adol., II, pp. 561 ff. Ellen Key, op. cit., pp. 86, 253. Louise Stratenus, Het Kind., pp. 128, 336.
403Stanley Hall, op. cit., I, p. ix; II, p. 55.
404Stanley Hall, op. cit., I, p. viii; II, pp. 62, 69.
405Ellen Key, p. 293. Stanley Hall, I, pp. 168 ff.
406Ellen Key, pp. 110 ff., 181. Louise Stratenus, Het Kind., p. 103. Stanley Hall, II, p. 497. Lodge, Literary World, Aug., 1907, p. 380;
407Stanley Hall, I, pp. 131 ff.,170 ff. II, pp. 40 ff., 58 ff., 204 ff.
408Stanley Hall, II, pp. 153 ff. Lankester, Natur und Mensch, pp. 56, 66, Mach, Popular-wissensch, Vorlesungen. Leipzig, 1896 (last lecture). Lehmann-Hohenberg, Naturwissenschaft und Bibel, Jena, 1904, pp. 5, 45, 55, etc.
409The Socialistic literature is sufficiently well-known. Comp. only H. D. Lloyd, op. cit., H. G. Wells, New Worlds for Old, London,1908. R. J. Campbell, Christianity and the Social Order, London, 1907. A series of articles on The New Socialism, an Impartial Inquiry, in the British Weekly, 1908.
410Woltmann, Der histor. Materialismus, pp. 418-430. Weisengrun, Das Ende des Marxismus, Leipzig, 1899. Ed. Bernstein, Wie ist wissensch. Socialismus M”glich? Berlin, 1901.
411Paul Kleinert, Die Profeten Israels in sozialer Beziehung, Leipzig, 1905, p. 27
412Bebel, Die Frau, 16e Aufl. 1892, pp. 263 ff.
413Gumplovicz, Grundriss der Soziologie, p. 361.
414L. Stein, An der Wende des Jahrh., p. 332. Id., Der Sinn des Daseins, pp. 149 ff.
415Metschnikoff, Beiträge zu einer optimistischen Weltauffassung, Deutsch von Michalsky, München, 1908.
416Stanley Hall, Adol., I, pp. viii, xviii.
417James, Pragmatism, pp. 243 ff.
418Comp. also Proudhon, Philos. du Progrès, p. 65. H. D. Lloyd, op. cit., p. 12.
419Comp. Paul Kalweit, Religion und Philos. Idealismus, Religion und Geisteskultur, II, 1908, pp. 44-60.
420Paulsen, Ethik, in Die Kultur der Gegenwart, System. Philos., p. 309. Haering, Das Christliche Leben, 1907, pp. 104 ff. Kulpe, Einl. in die Philos., 1907, p.332. Kulpe here declares: “No immanent definition of the supreme good can possess more than relative character; the positing of a transcendental goal alone (which as such is inaccessible to scientific ethics) satisfies the idea of an ultimate, supreme, absolute value.” Comp. also C. Fraser, Our Final Venture, Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1907, and G. F. Barbour, Progress and Reality, Hibbert Journal, Oct., 1907.
421Lankester, Natur und Mensch, p. 26.
422Gust. Le Bon, Psychologie du Socialisme, Paris, 1902. Ed. Dolléans, Le Caractère religieux du Socialisme, Paris, 1906. Diepenhorst, Naast het Kruis de roode Vaan., Amst., p. 46.
423Lloyd, op. cit. pp. 6 ff. Stanley Hall, Adol., I, pp. 546 ff. II, p. 123.
424Bruno Wille, Darwins Lebensanschauung, p. 6.
425Stanley Hall, Adol., I, p. viii; II, pp. 63,-64.
426Comp. Jos. Royce, Immortality, Hibbert Journal, July, 1907. Sir Oliver Lodge, The Immortality of the Soul, ib., Jan., April, 1908. Eucken, The Problem of Immortality, ib., July, Jan., 1908.
427For example, William Crookes, Alfred Wallace, Sir Oliver Lodge, Fred. W. H. Myers in England, Fechner, Zöllner, Carl du Prel in Germany, Hartogh Heys van Zouteveen in Holland.
428For example, McTaggart, Some Dogmas of Religion, pp. 112 ff.
429Comp. W. Bruhn, Theosophie und Theologie, Glückstadt, 1907.
430Schelling, Philos. der Offenbarung, p. 365. Liebmann, Analysis der Wirklichkeit, pp. 398 ff.
431Bruno Wille, Darwins Lebensanschauung, p. 6. Ed. von Hartmann, Die Weltanschauung der modernen Physik, p. 33. Otto, Natur und relig. Weltansicht, p. 47. J. Ude, Monist. oder Teleolog. Weltanschauung, Graz, 1907. J. C. Snijders, De Ondergang der Wereld, Tijdspiegel, Oct., 1907. Fridtjof Nansen, Hibbert Journal, July, 1908, pp. 748 ff.
432Höffdign in Paul Kalweit, Religion und Geisteskultur, 1908, pp. 44 ff.; in Lodge, Hibbert Journal, April, 1908, p. 565, and Barbour, ib., Oct., 1907, pp. 59 ff. Münsterberg in Royce, ib., July, 1907, pp. 724 ff.
433About Schopenhauer’s Nirvana comp. J. de Jager, De Beteekenis van Schopenhauers Pessimisme, Gids, Nov. 1907.
434J. Kaftan, Aus der Werkstatte des Uebermenschen, Deutsche Rundschau., Oct. and Nov., 1905. George S. Patton, Beyond Good and Evil, The Princeton Theol. Review, July, 1908, pp. 392-436, especially pp. 430 ff. On the idea of an endless return of things, comp. Zeller, Die Philos. der Griechen, III, pp. 154 ff. Further, Gumplovicz, Soziologie, pp.158, 166ff., 348: E. Arrhenius, Die Vorstellung vom Weltgebaude im Wandel der Zeiten. Das Werden der Welten, 1907.
435Comp. also Ostwald, Biologie en Chemie, Wet. Bladen, Dec. 1904, pp. 420-443.
436Ostwald, Naturphilos., Syst. Philos. in Die Kultur der Gegegenwart, pp. 170-171.
437Thus, in agreement with Huxley, Romanes, James, also Siebeck, Der Fortschritt der Menschheit, in Zur Religionsphilosophie, Tübingen, 1907.
438[Ed: There is no text in the notes for reference 51.]
439Hieron. Lorm, Der grundlose Optimismus, in Jerusalem, Gedanken und Denker, pp. 156-163. L. Stein, An der Wende des Jahrh., p. 54. Der Sinn des Daseins, p. 76. Comp. an address by Dr. D. G. Jelgersma on, Is de Geschiedenis der Philosophie meer dan eene Geschiedenis van menschelijke Dwalingen? Handelsblad, Oct. 33, 1907. Also Topinard in Philip Vivian, The Churches and Modern Thought, London, 1907, pp. 266 ff.
440Prof. H. van Embden expressed himself to this effect in a discussion with Prof. Aengenent, Handelsblad, Nov. 28, 1907.
441James, Varieties, pp. 136 ff.
442Joh. Jüngst, Kultus- und Geschichts-religion (Pelagianismus und Augustinismus). Ein Beitr. zur relig. Psych. und Volkskunde, Giessen, 1901.
443Berthelot, Science et Morale, Paris, 1897. Ladenburg, Der Einfluss der Naturwiss. auf die Weltanschauung, 1903.
444Comp. Lect. VI. note 33.
445E.g. Max Weber, Die Protestantische Ethik und der “Geist” des Kapitalismus, Archiv. f. Sozialwiss. und Sozialpolitik, XX, pp. 1 ff., XXI pp. 1 ff. He concludes his important survey with the question whether culture is to issue in this, that men become “professionals without spirit, pleasure-seekers without heart; non-entities of this sort pride themselves on having mounted to a previously unattained stage of culture.”
446Paulsen, Parteipolitik und Moral, Dresden, 1900. Valckenaer Kips, Tijdspiegel, March, 1908.
447Dr. D. van Embdon, Darwinisme en Democratie. Maatsch. Vooruitgang en de Hulp aan het Zwakke. ‘s Gravenhage,1901.
448J. St. Loe Strachey, Problems and Perils of Socialism, London, 1908. Comp. Handelsblad, April 12, 1901, Avondblad 2, on an essay by R. Ehrenberg, Over het Ontstaan en de Beteekenis van groote Vermogens, and Ammon, Die Gesellschaftsordnung und ihre naturlichen Grundlagen, 1895-1900.
449Van Deyssel, Prozastukken, 1895, pp. 43 ff., 277 ff. Karl Bleibtreu, Die Vertreter des Jahrh. Berlin, 1904, II, pp. 260-303. W. His, Medizin und Ueberkultur, Leipzig, 1908. Gérard, Civilization in Danger, Hibbert Journal, July, 1908.
450Steinmetz, De Rassenquaestie, Gids, Jan. 1907.
451L. Stein, An der Wende des Jahrh., pp. 348 ff.
452Steinmetz, Die Philosophie des Krieges, Leipzig, 1907.
453Thus also Ruskin, who declared that he had always observed that all great nations acquired their power of resistance and mental vigor in war, that war has instructed, peace has deceived them; war has schooled them, peace led them astray, in a word that war has made and peace has unmade them.
454Gumplovicz, Soziologie, pp. 158-166 ff., 348.
455Ibid. pp. 350, 352, 354. A. J. Balfour, Decadence, Cambridge, 1908, p. 42.
456Balfour, op. cit., p. 48.
457C. Frazer, Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1907, p. 242.
458C. Frazer, Philos. of Theism., p. 277. McTaggart, Some Dogmas of Religion, p. 114.
459Kant judged an “Ausgleichung” between virtue and happiness necessary hereafter, and Paulsen is of the same opinion, Ethik, in Die Kultur der Gegenwart, System. Philos., pp. 304 ff. Comp. also a paper, with discussion, on Eschatological Expectations in the meeting of Modern Theologians, April 28, 29, 1908.
460Poincaré, La Valeur de la Science, Paris, 1905, p. 276. Comp. J. Woltjer, De Zekerheid der Wetenschap, Amsterdam, 1907.