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fore just as much also an object of missionary interest and zeal. The two interests indeed can never be entirely separated ; since it belongs to the very nature of christianity to take possession in some way of the interior life of men, and the idea of salvation by its means unavoidably involves something more than a simply outward relation to it under any form. Hence a mere outward profession of it is felt on all hands to be not enough ; although even this as far as-it goes-forms a part also of that universal homage which is its due ; but along with this is required to go also some transformation of character, as a necessary passport to the heavenly world towards which it looks. So in nominally christian lands, and within the bounds of the outward visible church itself, there is recognized generally the presence of a more inward living evangelization, a narrower missionary work, which consists in the form of what is sometimes called experimental religion, and has for its object the interior form of the life it pretends to take possession of, its notual substance, rather than the mere matter of it outwardly taken. In this country particularly no distinction is more familiar, than that between the mere outward acknowledgment of christianity and the power of religion in the souls of its true subjects ; although the line of this distinction is more or less vaguely and variously drawn, to suit the fancy of different sects. But still it is for the most part a very inadequate apprehension after all, that seems to be taken in this way of the inner mission of christianity. Even under its experimental and spiritual aspect, the work of the gospel is too generally thought of as something comparatively oulward to the proper life of man, and so a power exerted on it mechanically from abroad for its salvation, rather than a real redemption brought to pass in it from the inmost depths of its own nature. According to this view, the great purpose of the gospel is to save men from hell, and bring them to heaven; this is accomplished by the machinery of the atonement and justification by faith, carrying along with it a sort of magical supernatural change of state and character by the power of the Holy Ghost, in conformity with the use of certain means for the purpose on the part of men; and so now it is taken to be the great work of the Church to carry forward the process of deliverance, almost exclusively under such mechanical aspect, by urging and helping as many souls as possible in their separate individual character to flee from the wrath to come and ito secure for them. selves through the grace of conversion a good hope against the day of judgment. With many of our sects at least, the idea of religion, (evangelical or experimental religion as they are pleas
ed to call it,) would seem to run out almost entirely into a sort of purely outward spiritualism in the form now noticed, with almost no regard whatever to the actual contents of our life as a concrete whole. Their zeal looks to the conversion of men in detail, after their own pattern and scheme of experience, as a life boat looks to the preservation of as many as possible from a drowning wreck ; but beyond this seems to be in a great measure without purpose or aim. Once converted and made safe in this magical way, the mission of the Church in regard to them, (unless it should be found necessary to convert them over again,) is felt to be virtually at an end ; and if only the whole world could be thus saved, there would be an end of the same mission for mankind altogether; we should have the millenium, and to preserve it for a thousand years would only need afterwards to look well to the whole conversion of each new generation subsequently, as it might come of age for such purpose.
But, alas, how far short every such view falls of the true glorious idea of the kingdom of God among men, as it meets us in the Bible and in the necessary sense of the grand mystery of the Incarnation, on which the whole truth of the Bible rests.
Even in case of the individual man, singly and separately considered, the idea of redemption can never be answered by the imagination of a merely extensive salvation, a deliverance in the form of outward power, under any view. All admit, that his translation bodily as he now is in his natural state into heaven, would be for him: no entrance really into a heavenly life. It is not in the power of locality or place of itself to set liim in glory. Precisely the like contradiction is involved, (although it may not be at once so generally plain,) in the supposition of a wholly ab extra transformation of the redeemed subject into the heavenly form of existence. This at best would be the creation of a new subject altogether, as much as if a stone were raised by Divine fiat to the dignity of a living angel, and in no real sense whatever the redemption of the same subject into a higher order of life. No redemption in the case of man can be real, that is not from within as well as from without; that is not brought to penetrate the inmost ground of his being, and that has not power to work itself forth from this, outwards and upwards, till it shall take possession finally of the whole periphery of his nature, body as well as soul. This in the very nature of the case is a process, answerable to the universal character of our present life. "To conceive of it as something which is brought to pass suddenly and at once, without mediation and growth, is to sunder it from the actual constitution of humanity, to place it on the outside of this, and so to reduce it, in spite of all spiritualistic pretensions the other way, to the character of a simply mechanical salvation that is at last no better than a dream. And it is of course much the same thing, to make the beginning here stand for the whole; and so to swell the starting point of the new life out of all..right proportion, that instead of being, like the beginning of the natural life itself;-in a great measure out of sight and knowledge, (or at most as a grain of mustard the least of all seeds,) it is made to stand forth to view empirically as the proper whole of salvation in this world, throwing ihe idea of the process which should follow completely into the shade, or turning it into dull unmeaning monotony and cant. Every such restriction of the idea of christianity *to a single point of the christian life, even though it be the point where all individual salvation begins, is chargeable with deep and sore wrong to the idea as a whole, and cannot fail to be followed with disastrous consequences, wherever it may prevail, in some form of practical onesided divergency, more or less morbidly fanatical, from the true and proper course of the new creation in Christ. The full salvation of the man turns ultimately on his full sanctification; the kingdom of heaven must be in him as a reign of righteousness, in order that it may be revealed around him as a reign of glory. It must take up his nature into itself intensively, as leaven works itself into the whole measure of meal in which it is bid, in order that it may be truly commensurate with the full volume of his being outwardly considered. The new birth is the beginning of a progressive maturation, which has its full end only in the resurrection; and this last, bringing with it the glorification of the entire man, can be rationally anticipated, only as it is felo to have its real possibility in the power of such a whole renovation ripening before to this blessed result.
But to understand fully the inner mission of christianity now under consideration, we must look beyond the merely individual life as such to the moral organization of society, in which alone it can ever be found real and complete. Pure naked individuality in the case of man is an abstraction, for which there is no place whatever in the concrete human world. The single man is what he is always, only in virtue of the social life in which he is comprehended and of which he is a part. His separate existence is conditioned universally by a general human substance beyond it, from which it takes root, and derives both quality and strength. The idea of redemption then in bis case, implies of necessity far more than any deliverance that can have place for his life separately regarded. As it must lay hold of this as such in an inward way, in order to become outwardly actual, so also to do this effectually it must have power to reach and change the general substance of humanity out of which the individual life is found to spring. In other words, no redemption can be real for man singly taken, or for any particular man, which is not at the same time real for humanity in its collective view, for the fallen race as a whole. Hence it is that christiani. ty, which challenges the homage of the world as such a system of real redemption, can never possibly be satisfied with the object of a simply numerical salvation, to be accomplished in favor of a certain number of individual men, an abstract election of single souls, whether, this be taken as large or small,
a few only or very many or even all of the human family. The idea of the true necessary wholeness of humanity is not helped at all, by the numerical extent of any such abstraction. It stands in the general nature of man, the human life collectively considered, as this underlies all such distribution, and goes before it in the order of existence, filling it with its proper organic force and sense in the constitution of society. Here especially comes into view the full form and scope of the work, which must take place intensively in the life of the world before the victory of the gospel can be regarded as complete. Humanity includes in its general organization certain orders and spheres of moral existence, that can never be sundered from its idea without overthrowing it altogether; they enter with essential necessity into its constitution, and are full as much part and parcel of it all the world over as the bones and sinews that go to make up the body of the outward man. The family for instance and the state, with the various domestic and civil relations that
out of them, are not to be considered factitious or accidental institutions in any way, continued for the use of man's life from abroad and brought near to it only in an outward manner. They belong inherently to it; it can have no right or normal character without them; and any want of perfection in them, must even be to the same extent a want of perfection in the life itself as human, in which they are comprehended. So again the moral nature of man includes in its very conception the idea of art, the idea of science, the idea of business and trade. It carries in itself certain powers and demands that lead to these forms of existence, as the necessary evolution of its own inward sense. Humanity stands in the activity of reason and will, under their proper general character. Take away from it any interest or sphere which legitimately belongs to such activity, and in the same measure it must cease to be a true and sound humanity altogether. No interest or sphere of this sort then can be allow. ed to remain on the outside of a system of redemption, which has for its object man as such in his fallen state. If christianity be indeed such a system, it must be commensurate in full with the constitution of humanity naturally considered ; it must have power to take up into itself not a part of this only but the whole of it, and by no possibility can it ever be satisfied with any less universal result.
All this we say falls to the inner mission of christianity, its destination to raise humanity inwardly considered to a higher power, a new quality and tone, as well as to take possession of it by territorial conquest from sea to sea and from pole to pole. And it needs to be well understood and kept in mind, that the first object here is full as needful as the second, and belongs quite as really to the cause of the world's evangelization. "The field is the world,” we may say with quite as much solemnity and emphasis in this view, as when we speak of it under the other. As the kingdom of God is not restricted in its conception to any geographical limits or national distinctions, but has regard to mankind universally; so neither is it to be thought of as penetrating the organization of man's nature only to a certain extent, taking up one part of it into its constitution and leaving another hopelessly on ihe outside ; on the contrary it must show itself sufficient to engross the whole. Nothing really human can be counted legitimately beyond its scope ; for the grand test of its truth is its absolute adequacy to cover the field of human existence at all points, its catholicity in the sense of measuring the entire length and breadth of man's nature. Either it is no redemption for humanity at all, or no constituent interest of humanity may be taken as extrinsical ever to its rightful domain. It will not do to talk of any such interest as profane, in the sense of an inward and abiding contrariety between it and the sacredness of religion ; as thouglı religion might be regarded as one simply among other co-ordinate forms of life, with a certain territory assigned to it and all beyond foreign from its control. What is really human, a constitutive part of the original nature of man, may be indeed profaned, by being turned aside from its right use and end, but can never be in itself profane. On the contrary if religion be the perfection of this nature, all that belongs to it must not only admit but require an inward union with religion, in order to its own completion; and as christianity is the end and consummation of all religion besides, it follows that such completion, in the case of every human interest, can be fully gained at last only in the bosom of its all comprehen