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tinue. The real elements of human life are those accordant with God's will and nature; his will and nature cannot be thought except as primarily creative and sustaining, then ordering and adjusting, bringing out the higher elements in his creatures, hence beneficent, finally loving. Men, on the other hand, cannot be viewed as isolated creatures, but as creature-kind, creatures of one God, and so related; finally, sons of one Father and so brethren. Those elements in human life may not be regarded as real, as permanent, which cannot increase alike with all men, cannot be added to with some without taking from others. Along these directly selfish, grasping, cruel ways of men, a betterment for all, increase of life and joy, completion and perfection, cannot be conceived even with reference to mortal life; whatever is unloving, seeking its own at others' cost, raising itself by pulling others down, is against the very thought of universal betterment and good. Far less can such elements be conceived as faring on, continuing in a life made perfecter after the grave is passed. They must meet death, so plainly are they opposed to the eternal life-giving plan of God's creative and perfecting love, so palpably are they unfit for the kingdom of heaven. Then, is not reality greater than vanity? The eternal more than that which passes away? Thus may the contrast between Christ and the world be stated in terms of proportion; for it is the contrast of more and less, the eternal and the transient, reality and show. It is thus a matter of seeing things in their true values.'
It is plain how the contents of human life are to be grouped and judged with reference to this opposition
And perhaps the idea of the conflict between Christ and the world completes itself in the consideration that this earthly life not only does not represent all, but, inasmuch as it is transient, is different; and thus neither Christ nor his followers are of it, inasmuch as their life is not transient, but eternal; and Christ's call to them is a call out of essential transience into an eternal state, as in John xv, 19; xvii, 16.
between the world and Christ. It is all a matter of subordination, of bringing every element into harmony with the source of its first being and continuing power, ordering the whole of life with reference to the all-proportioning will of God; and so employing and developing all sides of the man's nature in his service. Within the compass of this motive, men may bring their attainments and the full expansion of their natures to the side of Christ. This it is not to try to serve two masters, God and Mammon; this it is to be not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world.'
Sharply, more ascetically perhaps than his master, the evangelist himself, in his epistle, states the conflict:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." Set not your heart on things of the world to desire them as ends; that draws the heart's eyes from God. The lust of the flesh is blind, the lust of the eyes does not perceive the true beauty; and likewise all the rest of the apparent and the luring, which is not the real, all the vainglory of living,' which is but veiled death, is not of the Father.
One thing more. As long as last the conditions of conflict between Christ and the world, there must be shown the developing, discriminating, proportioning working of God's love, crushing the lower forms of life. for the benefit of the higher, and enabling the higher, in ways of self-sacrifice, to find and to attain, reach onward towards the highest."
1 John xvii, 16.
2 1 Ib., ii, 15-17.
The aλa ovia to ßiov is the very opposite of the way, the truth,
and the life.
Cf. John xii, 23, etc.
The Word became flesh; the world knew him not; to as many as received him, he gave power to become sons of God. The incarnation had a twofold result,
The Offer of Life.
-as to the world which would not receive the revelation of God in man; as to those who accepted Christ and believed on his name. The divine purpose of the incarnation may be partly thought under conceptions of reconcilement of man to God, of redemption from sin, of salvation, of the bestowal of life and promulgation of the truth: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.''' "I am come that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. "To this end I was born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.'
God's purpose in sending his Son was one of beneficent restorative love; it was not punitive. Yet, setting before men the life and truth of God became necessary self-condemnation in those who preferred darkness. For God sent not his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on him is not judged; he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only Son of God;" he has deliberately or waywardly, through desire of what is not life, failed to accept life, the only true life which is from God; he has chosen judgment. "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil." Elsewhere Jesus says: I came not to judge but save the world; he that rejecteth me is judged in the word I speak, which he rejecteth; for this word is the commandment of the Father, and that is eternal life,— which, in rejecting Christ, a man rejects. So the offer
' John iii, 16.
• Ib., iii, 17-19.
3 Ib., xviii, 37.
2 Ib., x, 10.
Ib., xii, 48-50.
of life carries the choice of death. Christ's coming sets before men the blessing or the curse, results in judgment. For this he also came.' And this judgment of wayward sin upon itself, this choice of death, must still go on when Christ no longer walks on earth, when the Paraclete is come, the spirit of truth,-in failure to know whom, the same world which rejected Christ shall judge itself.' It is the old burden of Isaiah,' the heart of the people made fat, falsehood repelled at truth, and the world set in its way at sight of the way to God.
How comes man to Christ? In the beginning God created man in his own likeness, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Like knows like. Only the likeness to God which is in man can recognize God and his truth.' But when man has chosen all that is not God, and made himself unlike him, his nature cannot know the truth, nor respond to the grace of God, which must be met. All things come of God. A man can receive nothing except it have been given him from heaven." "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him," "-draw him by the grace of God which within man speaks only to God's likeness; draw him by the wonder of God's ways, which only the likeness of God in man can behold; and draw him finally by God's Son lifted up upon the cross,' a spectacle of divine love which speaks in tones audible only to those who have still some likeness and love of God in them. "It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Everyone that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me." The prophets had shown also what sort of people could not learn of God, and even more directly Christ himself speaks to Jews who were turning from him. "If God
1 See John ix, 39–41.
? Ib., xiv, 17.
3 See Ib., xii, 37-40.
4 Cf. I Cor. ii, 15, 16.
" John iii, 27, words of the Baptist.
• Ib., vi, 44.
↑ Ib., xii, 32.
8 Ib., vi, 45.
were your Father, ye would love me; for I came forth and am come from God. . . . Why do ye not know my speech? Because ye cannot hear my word. If I say truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth the words of God; for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God." He who no longer has God's nature in him cannot know God or understand the speech of him whom God hath sent."
In conversation with Nicodemus,' Christ puts most exclusive emphasis on the part which God takes in man's reaching eternal life. It is regeneration, re-birth, birth anew or from above, as much beyond the unaided power of man as his first entry on the world of flesh. And yet, although eternal life is the gift of God, there is needed free action on the part of those who would be Christ's disciples. They must desire to do the will of God, thereupon shall they know. "Jesus therefore answered them and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God." men become Christ's disciples unto eternal life. gracious love, which draws them, is met by the responsive action of that likeness to God which is in each man who has not destroyed himself.
ship through Love.
As in order to become a disciple one must will to do the word of God, which Christ spoke, so to be truly a disciple, one must abide in that word.' He Disciple- is Christ's friend and disciple who keepeth his commandments; he who keepeth Christ's commandments loveth him; and Christ's repeated command to his disciples is that they love one another, even as he had loved them." How he had loved them the years of ministry had shown. Yet, at the last supper, as an example of the sweetness and
1 John viii, 42-47. 2 Cf. Ib., x, 14.
3 Ib., iii, 1-15.
4 Ib., vii, 16, 17.
7 lb., xv, 12.
5 Ib., viii, 31.
6 Ib., xiv, 21; xv, 14.