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resent the undivided result of mediæval thinking on the subject, though we find much in contemporary writings which suggests that conclusion. The real task of the statesmen of the Middle Ages was to devise an efficient machinery for individual safety and social protection. This task was ever before them and conditioned their intellectual habits. It should be noted that they had a more distinct apprehension of the supreme obstacle to all betterment than have men of our day-viz., the depravity of human nature, and the resultant strength of disorder, truculence, and treachery. To some who are impatient of the present and careless of the past, those people who carry little baggage with them, the laborious studies, beliefs and aspirations of long vanished priests and publicists will appear as nothing more than the annals of incoherent error. But those who closely scrutinize the outstanding figures of mediæval life will not treat lightly or ignorantly religious leaders who established a world-society which bowed to spiritual as well as to temporal rule. This achievement marks the standing difference between the mediæval and the modern ages, and not a few enlightened souls devoutly wish it could be repeated in the twentieth century. Its forces are but dimly realized in a materialized and secular period. Nevertheless they once enshrined themselves in cathedrals and universities, in abbeys and schools, as the monuments of that 'golden age of faith.” They were expressed in the royalty of St. Louis, the unrivaled intellect of St. Thomas, the beatific sanctity of St. Francis, the scholarly devotion of Roger Bacon, the epic of Dante, the eloquence of St. Bernard, and the statesmanship of Hildebrand. To unfriendly critics who look upon the centuries between the Apostolic age and that of Luther as a night of unclean things, it is apposite to say, Go and do likewise: tame the savage instincts of militarism and nationalism as those former Churchmen tamed turbulent aristocracies and rude peasantries; regenerate and confirm afresh, as they did, the unalterable belief in a Divine Order to be realized here and now.
Their treasures were contained in frail and earthen vessels, but they mediated between their coarse surroundings and the ethereal ideals and emotions which seemed so distant from the grosser iniquities and grotesque customs of the time. Their strength came, as all
strength comes, from an exuberant vitality; an original passion which regarded every evil vulnerable, and every pursuit of holiness feasible.
Had that strength been exhausted, the saving succession of lawgivers and magistrates running through the center of Western life and morals would have been broken. Because it remained steadfast, Protestantism is here, as its joint heir with Catholicism; and it should pause to recall that its mighty ancestor, mediævalism, collapsed. The pressure of nominally Christian States was too heavy for the federalism of Church and Empire. They could beget but they could not govern them. While northern nations broadened in their ethical susceptibilities and political claims, the Papacy yielded to the fascinations of the Italian Renaissance. Its international sympathies narrowed, its traits and tendencies were provincialized. The glamor of rank and ritual, the remonstrance of a venerable hierarchy, the stilted formulas of Aristotelian theology, alike disappeared in countries beyond the Alps. A resistless tide of combined popular sentiment and intellectual rebellion submerged Catholicity, but at the same time it irrigated a germinal freedom the full fruition of which has still to be seen. The memories of that momentous rupture, charged as it was with good and evil, should sober every lover of religion as the keystone of social architecture.
I hold no brief for the traditional churches, yet what follows may perhaps be set down with propriety. The Eastern Church is at present torn asunder by wars and sorely afflicted by ruthless persecution. The Roman Catholic Church appears serene upon the surface, and wears the mantle of a comforting tranquillity. Yet its Bishops are conscious that no ecclesiastical organization is proof against the demands of democracy that it shall have limitless sway. They no longer negotiate with princes and premiers, but with the peoples, to whom the Popes address their appeals for social justice and international concord. Should the Holy See bring about a reconciliation with the Eastern Church, and the Eastern Church, purged by her martyrdom, transform her ministry to the Slavonic and Greek races, then the Reformed Churches must meet a counter stroke far more formidable than that dealt by Ignatius Loyola. Nor do I question
the motives behind this sagacious policy. It is inclusive, consolidating and preservative of things that should not be permitted to die. For there is no essential divinity in majority votes, and even democracy is liable to nod. Who, then, shall shepherd the shepherds themselves, even though they be the redoubtable champions of popular sovereignty? And where shall such a sovereignty obtain higher sanctions than numbers can confer?
Sons and daughters of the Reformation are under heavy bonds for the good behavior of Democracy, and of its concomitants in Nationalism, Socialism, Industrialism and Capitalism. Having helped to draw the wine, they have to regulate its drinking. Should it prove too heady a tipple for under-nourished brains and moralities, the world has a right to call upon Protestantism for an explanation and a remedy. It is easy to talk about the progress linked with our paternal faith; but there is no progress, as the term is usually understood, apart from ethical progress. Far more important than the sale of indulgences in the sixteenth century was the rise of Capitalism, the abolition of the old economics, the release of individual energies in other than spiritual avenues. The founders of modern trade and manufactures were sheltered by the spirit of revolt against hierarchies and feudalisms. Socialism and even Bolshevism now aim to supplant Capitalism as it once supplanted Feudalism. We witness the creation of a monstrous governmental engine in Russia, more complicated than those of medieval monarchy and the Renaissance Papacy, and far more destructive of individual liberties, rights, and moral obligations. Protestants are dealing, not with Tetzel or a Medician Pontiff, but with Lenine, Trotzky, and other less notorious but scarcely less influential malcontents and despots. If the Reformers asserted anything, it was religious independence; freedom of conscience, of thought, of utterance, as against monopolized authority and uniformity of belief. Their protest created forces which travelled beyond their desires, and were reduced first to a spiritual, then, later, to a political philosophy. This philosophy culminated in the Revolutions of the eighteenth
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century. The search for an economic philosophy ensued, and is now in process, embarrassed by selfishness and greed, and by the errors and crimes of preceding eras. We, as Protestants, cannot dodge the historical consequences of our ancestral policy. The prime service we can render the world is to set our own house in order, that we may wisely apply the teachings of the New Testament Evangel and of Old Testament ethics to the phenomena I have named. The useless quarrel with modern learning should
The wastes and confusions of denominationalism should be done away with. The foundations of a true social science should be laid, with allowances for the human equation. And not only Protestantism, but the whole Church of God, and all rightly disposed people, will have to find or make room in the divisive institutions of mankind for the universalism of which genuine Christianity is the living soul. In brief, reintegration by means of pacific interpenetration, and without concessions to the baser elements, is the capital business of the Church, as it is the crying necessity of the world, Probably it will be a slow process, moving with Time's ameliorating drift, and exterminating many cherished prejudices. But the course it takes is the important matter.
I do not plead for the pleasing of hypercritical ones who ask for better bread than can be made with wheat, nor for the satisfaction of anæmic starvelings who crave a fool-proof world. Still less, if possible, should apostles of the mundane be coddled. They would explain away every religious mystery, and sterilize the finest spiritual instincts. The jaded moods of the secularist are no more helpful than the fanatical harangues of the zealot. Too many suppose that men and women who have an intelligent faith should always retreat before those who either have it not or make it repellent to their fellows. The ostentatious triviality of much current opposition and fault finding is unable to conceive the realities of Protestant conviction. A great deal which is paraded as modern thought is not thinking at all, but simply a deplorable conglomerate of erroneous ideas which will not subside, despite repeated exposures. Illogical, capricious, irrelevant, this type of mind takes short cuts, in cross country fashion, to coveted conclusions. But there is an intellectual realm of true
scholarship, occupied by men of profound and scientific learning, which Protestants should regard with reverent affiliation. Our fellow Protestants have a large representation there, and they share in its illustrious achievements. Those mistaken clergymen and laymen who attempt to placate an effete orthodoxy by strangling the thinking and inquiry of that realm will fail, and they ought to fail. Believing souls cannot long escape the invasions of organized knowledge, nor is there any need to evade them. It is the sole function of science to deal with visible realties. It is the sole function of religion to deal with the boundless realities of the invisible universe. It is the function of a well equipped Church to heal the breaches of faith and intellectualism by its vital correspondence with the love of truth. The center of its trust is neither a creed, nor a book, nor a cosmogony, but a Person and a Life. It assimilates whatever is assimilable, because it administers the ultimate life and law of human being. It supplements science and learning without defaming them. Warned by its past annals and by the futility and hollowness of ecclesiastical conflicts with knowledge, it welcomes every verified conclusion as an addition to the truth which sanitates society. The research that matures and disciplines the reasoning faculties is grateful to such a Church, because its own vehicles for communicating spiritual verities are thereby enlarged. The casual and purposive interpretations which all learning presupposes and religion supplies are among the world's chief needs. It implores us for a spiritual ideal in more complete accord with the meditated experiences of life. And Protestantism should fulfil its request without forfeiting intellectual integrity at the behest of blind obscurantism.
The second measure of internal reform is the revival of Church consciousness and loyalty as differentiated from sectarian allegiance. The vine is more important than any single cluster of
grows upon it. Unification, the opposite of separatism, is being carried onward by the swing of the pendulum. The rhythmic movements which govern everything, making day follow night, the tides ebb and flow, and even civilizations to