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....52— One who does not know how to read would look in vain for meaning in a printed page, and in vain would he seek to help his failure by using strong spectacles." Yet even if the idea of God were a product of experience, we should not be warranted in rejecting it as irrational. See Brooks, Foundations of Zoology, 132—"There is no antagonism between those who attribute knowledge to experience and those who attribute it to our innate reason; between those who attribute the development of the gerın to mechanical conditions and those who attribute it to the inherent potency of the germ itself; between those who hold that all nature was latent in the cosmic vapor and those who believe that everything in nature is immediately intended rather than predetermined.” All these may be methods of the immanent God. The second form of the theory is open to the objection that the very

first experience of the first man, equally with man's latest experience, presupposes this intuition, as well as the other intuitions, and therefore cannot be the cause of it. Moreover, even though this theory of its origin were correct, it would still be impossible to think of the object of the intuition as not existing, and the intuition wonld still represent to us the highest measure of certitude at present attainable by man. If the evolution of ideas is toward truth instead of falsehood, it is the part of wisdom to act upon the hypothesis that our primitive belief is veracious.

Martineau, Study, 2:26 — “ Nature is as worthy of trust in her processes, as in her gifts.” Bowne, Examination of Spencer, 163, 164 – “ Are we to seek truth in the minds of pre-human apes, or in the blind stirrings of some primitive pulp? In that case we can indeed put away all our science, but we must put away the great doctrine of evolution along with it. The experience-philosophy cannot escape this alternative: either the positive deliverances of our mature consciousness must be accepted as they stand, or all truth must be declared impossible.” See also Harris, Philos. Basis Theisin, 137-142.

Charles Darwin, in a letter written a year before his death, referring to his doubts as to the existence of God, asks: "Can we trust to the convictions of a monkey's mind ? " We may reply: "Can we trust the conclusions of one who was once a baby?" Bowne, Ethics, 3 — " The genesis and emergence of an idea are one thing; its validity is quite another. The logical value of chemistry cannot be decided by reciting its beginnings in alchemy; and the logical value of astronomy is independent of the fact that it began in astrology. ...11 – Even if man came from the ape, we need not tremble for the validity of the multiplication-table or of the Golden Rule. If we have moral insight, it is no matter how we got it; and if we have no such insight, there is no help in any psychological theory. . . . 159 – We must not appeal to savages and babies to find what is natural to the human mind. ... In the case of anything that is under the law of development we can find its true nature, not by going back to its crude beginnings, but by studying the finished outcome." Dawson, Mod. Ideas of Evolution, 13 “If the idea of God be the phantom of an apelike brain, can we trust to reason or conscience in any other matter? May not science and philosophy themselves be similar phantasies, evolved by mere chance and unreason?". Even though man came from the ape, there is no explaining his ideas by the ideas of the ape: “A man 's a man for a' that."

We must judge beginnings by endings, not endings by beginnings. It matters not how the development of the eye took place nor how imperfect was the first sense of sight, if the eye now gives us correct information of external objects. So it matters not how the intuitions of right and of God originated, if they now give us knowlcelge of objective truth. We must take for granted that evolution of ideas is not from sense to nonsense. G. H. Lewes, Study of Psychology, 122-"We can understand the amoba and the polyp only by a light reflected from the study of man." Seth, Ethical Principles, 4:29 --" The oak explains the acorn even more truly than the acorn explains the oak." Sidgwick: “No one appeals from the artist's sense of beauty to the child's. IIigher mathematics are no less true, because they can be apprehended only by trained intellect. No strange importance attaches to what was first felt or thought." Robert Browning, Paracelsus: “Man, once descried, imprints forever His presence on all lifeless things. . . . A supplementary retlux of light Ilustrates all the inferior grades, explains Each back step in the circle." Man, with his higher ideas, shows the meaning and cortent of all that led up to him. He is the last round of the ascending ladder, and fr m this highest product and from his ideas we may infer what his Maker is.

Bixby, Crisis in Morals, 162, 245 — "Evolution simply gave man such height that b) could at last disccru the stars of moral truth which had previously been below tio horizon. This is very different from saying that moral truths are merely transmitted products of the experiences of utility. ... The germ of the idea of God, as of the idea of right, must have been in man just so soon as he became man, – the brute's gaining it turned him into man. Reason is not simply a register of physical phenomena and of experiences of pleasure and pain: it is creative also. It discerns the oneness of things and the supremacy of God.” Sir Charles Lyell: "The presumption is enormous that all our faculties, though liable to err, are true in the main and point to real objects. The religious faculty in man is one of the strongest of all. It existed in the earliest ages, and instead of wearing out before advancing civilization, it grows stronger and stronger, and is to-day more developed among the highest races than it ever was before. I think we may safely trust that it points to a great truth.” Fisher, Nat. and Meth. of Rev., 137, quotes Augustine: “Securus judicat orbis terrarum," and tells us that the intellect is assumed to be an organ of knowledge, however the intellect may have been evolved. But if the intellect is worthy of trust, so is the moral nature. George A. Gordon, The Christ of To-day, 103 — "To Herbert Spencer, human history is but an incident of natural history, and force is supreme. To Christianity nature is only the beginning, and man the consummation. Which gives the higher revelation of the life of the tree -- the seed, or the fruit ?"

The third form of the theory seems to make God a sensuous object, to reverse the

proper order of knowing and feeling, to ignore the fact that in all feeling there is at least some knowledge of an object, and to forget that the validity of this very feeling can be maintained only by previously assuming the existence of a rational Deity.

Newman Smyth tells us that feeling comes first; the idea is secondary. Intuitive ideas are not denied, but they are declared to be direct reflections, in thought, of the feelings. They are the mind's immediate perception of what it feels to exist. Direct knowledge of God by intuition is considered to be idealistic, reaching God by inference is regarded as rationalistic, in its tendency. See Smyth, The Religious Feeling; reviewed by Harris, in New Englander, Jan., 1878: reply hy Smyth, in New Englander, May, 1878.

We grant that, even in the case of unregenerate men, great peril, great joy, great sin often turn the rational intuition of God into a presentative intuition. The presentatire intuition, however, cannot be affirmed to be common to all men. It does not furnish the foundation or explanation of a universal capacity for religion. Without the rational intuition, the presentative would not be possible, since it is only the rational that enables man to receive and to interpret the presentative. The very trust that we put in feeling presupposes an intuitive belief in a true and good God. Tennyson said in 1869: “Yes, it is true that there are moments when the flesh is nothing to me; when I know and feel the flesh to be the vision: God and the spiritual is the real; it belongs to me more than the band and the foot. You may tell me that my hand and my foot are only imaginary symbols of my existence, - I could believe you; but you never, never can convince me that the I is not an eternal Reality, and that the spiritual is not the real and true part of me."

3. Not from reasoning, - because

(a) The actual rise of this knowledge in the great majority of minds is not the result of any conscious process of reasoning. On the other hand, upon occurrence of the proper conditions, it flashes upon the soul with the quickness and force of an immediate revelation.

(6) The strength of men's faith in God's existence is not proportioned to the strength of the reasoning faculty. On the other hand, men of greatest logical power are often inveterate sceptics, while men of unwavering faith are found among those who cannot even understand the arguments for God's existence. (c) There is more in this knowledge than reasoning could ever have furnished. Men do not limit their belief in God to the just conclusions of argument. The arguments for the divine existence, valuable as they are for purposes to be shown hereafter, are not sufficient by themselves to warrant our conviction that there exists an infinite and absolute Being. It will appear upon examination that the a priori argument is capable of proving only an abstract and ideal proposition, but can never conduct us to the existence of a real Being. It will appear that the a posteriori arguments, from merely finite existence, can never demonstrate the existence of the infinite. In the words of Sir Wm. Hamilton (Discussions, 23) — “A demonstration of the absolute from the relative is logically absurd, as in such a syllogism ve must collect in the conclusion what is not distributed in the premises ” — in short, from finite premises we cannot draw an infinite conclusion.

Whately, Logic, 290—292; Jevons, Lessons in Logic, 81; Thompson, Outline Laws of Thought, sections 82-92 ; Calderwood, Philos. of Infinite, 60–69, and Moral Philosophy, 238; Turnbull, in Bap. Quarterly, July, 1872:971; Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, 239; Dove, Logic of Christian Faith, 21. Sir Wm. Hamilton: “ Departing from the particular, we admit that we cannot, in our highest generalizations, rise above the finite." Dr. E. G. Robinson: "The human mind turns out larger grists than are ever put in at the hopper.” There is more in the idea of God than could have come out so small a knot-hole as human reasoning. A single word, a chance remark, or an attitude of prayer, suggests the idea to a child. Helen Keller told Phillips Brooks that she had always known that there was a God, but that she had not known his name. Ladd, Philosophy of Mind, 119 — “It is a foolish assumption that nothing can be certainly known unless it be reached as the result of a conscious syllogistic process, or that the more complicated and subtle this process is, the more sure is the conclusion. Inferential knowl. edge is always dependent upon the superior certainty of immediate knowledge." George M. Duncan, in Memorial of Noah Porter, 246 — "All deduction rests either on the previous process of induction, or on the intuitions of time and space which involve the Infinite and Absolute."


(d) Neither do men arrive at the knowledge of God's existence by inference; for inference is condensed syllogism, and, as a form of reasoning, is equally open to the objection just mentioned. We have seen, moreover, that all logical processes are based upon the assumption of God's existence. Evidently that which is presupposed in all reasoning cannot itself be proved by reasoning.

By inference, we of course mean mediate inference, for in immediate inference (e.g., "All good rulers are just; therefore no unjust rulers are good ") there is no reasoning, and no progress in thought. Mediate inference is reasoning - is condensed syllogism; and what is so condensed may be expanded into regular logical form. Deductive infer

** A negro is a fellow-creature; therefore he who strikes a negro strikes a fellow. creature." Inductive inference: "The first finger is before the second; therefore it is before the third." On inference, see Martineau, Essays, 1:105-108; Porter, Human Intellect, 414-448; Jevons, Principles of Science, 1:14, 136-139, 168, 262.

Flint, in his Theism, 77, and Herbert, in his Mod. Realism Examined, would reach the knowledge of God's existence by inference. The latter says God is not demonstrable, but his existence is inferred, like the existence of our fellow men. But we reply that in this last case we infer only the finite from the finite, while the difficulty in the case of God is in inferring the infinite from the finite. This very process of reasoning, moreover, presupposes the existence of God as the absolute Reason, in the way already indicated.

Substantially the same error is committed by H. B. Smith, Introd. to Chr. Theol., 84-133, and by Diman, Theistic Argument, 316, 364, both of whom grant an intuitive element, hut rise it only to eke out the insufficiency of reasoning. They consider that the intuition gives us only an abstract idea, which contains in itself no voucher for the existence

of an actual being corresponding to the idea, and that we reach real being only by inference from the facts of our own spiritual natures and of the outward world. But we reply, in the words of McCosh, that "the intuitions are primarily directed to individual objects." We know, not the infinite in the abstract, but infinite space and time, and the infinite God. See McCosh, Intuitions, 26, 199, who, however, holds the view here combated.

Schurman, Belief in God, 43—"I am unable to assign to our belief in God a higher certainty than that possessed by the working hypotheses of science ...57 – The nearest approach made by science to our hypothesis of the existence of God lies in the assertion of the universality of law ... based on the conviction of the unity and systematic connection of all reality ... 64 – This unity can be found only in selfconscious spirit.” The fault of this reasoning is that it gives us nothing necessary or absolute. Instances of working hypotheses are the nebular hypothesis in astronomy, the law of gravitation, the atomic theory in chemistry, the principle of evolution. No one of these is logically independent or prior. Each of them is provisional, and each may be superseded by new discovery. Not so with the idea of God. This idea is presupposed by all the others, as the condition of every mental process and the guarantee of its validity.


1. In this fundamental knowledge that God is, it is necessarily implied that to some extent men know intuitively what God is, namely, (a) a Reason in which their mental processes are grounded; (b) a Power above them upon which they are dependent; (c) a Perfection which imposes law upon their moral natures ; (d) a Personality which they may recognize in prayer and worship.

In maintaining that we have a rational intuition of God, we by no means imply that a presentative intuition of God is impossible. Such a presentative intuition was perhaps characteristic of unfallen man; it does belong at times to the Christian ; it will be the blessing of heaven ( Mat. 5:8 “the pure in heart... shall see God”; Rev. 22:4—“they shall see his face"). Men's experiences of face-to-face apprehension of God, in danger and guilt, give some reason to believe that a presentative knowledge of God is the normal condition of humanity. But, as this presentative intuition of God is not in our present state universal, we here claim only that all men have a rational intuition of God.

It is to be remembered, however, that the loss of love to God has greatly obscured even this rational intuition, so that the revelation of nature and the Scriptures is needed to awaken, confirm and enlarge it, and the special work of the Spirit of Christ to make it the knowledge of friendship and communion. Thus from knowing about God, we come to know God (John 17:3—"This is life eternal, that they should know thee"; 2 Tim. 1 : 12 -“I know him whom I have believed ”).

Plato said, for substance, that there can be no öri oisev without something of the á oidev, Harris, Philosophical Basis of Theism, 208 —" By rational intuition man knows that absolute Being exists; his knowledge of what it is, is progressive with his progressive knowledge of man and of nature." Hutton, Essays: “A haunting presence besets man behind and before. He cannot evade it. gives new meanings to his thoughts, new terror to his sins. It becomes intolerable. He is moved to set up some idol, carved out of his own nature, that will take its place -- a non-moral God who will not disturb his dream of rest. It is a righteous Life and Will, and not the mere idea of righteousness that stirs men so." Porter, Hum. Int., 661 — "The Absolute is a thinking Agent.” The intuition does not grow in certainty; what grows is the mind's quickness in applying it and power of expressing it. The intuition is not complex; what is complex is the Being intuitively cognized. See Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, 232; Lowndes, Philos. of Primary Beliefs, 108-112: Luthardt, Fund. Truths, 157 – Latent faculty of speech is called forth by speech of others; the choked-up well flows again when debris is cleared away. Bowen, in Bib. Sac., 33 : T40-754; Bowne, Theism, 79.

Knowledge of a person is turned into personal knowledge by actual communication or revelation. First, coines the intuitive knowledge of God possessed by all men -- the assumption that there exists a Reason, Power, Perfection, Personality, that makes correct thinking and acting possible. Secondly, comes the knowledge of God's being and attributes which nature and Scripture furnish. Thirdly, comes the personal and presentative knowledge derived from actual reconciliation and intercourse with God, through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Stearns, Evidence of Christian Experience, :08 – * Christian experience verifies the claims of doctrine by experiment, - so transforming probable knowledge into real knowledge." Biedermann, quoted by PHeiderer, Grundriss, 18—"God reveals himself to the human spirit, 1. as its infinite Grounul, in the reason; 2. as its infinite Norm, in the conscience; 3. as its infinite Strength, in elevation to religious truth, blessedness, and freedom."

Shall I object to this Christian experience, because only comparatively few have it, and I am not among the number? Because I have not seen the moons of Jupiter, shall I doubt the testimony of the astronomer to their existence ? Christian experience, like the sight of the moons of Jupiter, is attainable by all. Clarke, Christian Theology, 113 -"One who will have full proof of the good God's reality must put it to the experimental test. He must take the good God for real, and receive the confirmation that will follow. When faith reaches out after God, it finds him. ... They who have found himn will be the sanest and truest of their kind, and their convictions will be among the safest convictions of man. ... Those who live in fellowship with the good God will grow in goodness, and will give practical evidence of his existence aside from their oral testimony."

2. The Scriptures, therefore, do not attempt to prove the existence of God, but, on the other hand, both assume and declare that the knowledge that God is, is universal (Rom. 1:19-21, 28, 32 ; 2 : 15). God has inlaid the evidence of this fundamental truth in the very nature of man, so that nowhere is he without a witness. The preacher may confidently follow the example of Scripture by assuming it. But he must also explicitly declare it, as the Scripture does. “For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen" (kadopăral — spiritually viewed); the organ given for this purpose is the vois ( voorjiera); but then - and this forms the transition to our next division of the subject — they are “perceived through the things that are made" ( Tois topaoiv, Rom. 1 : 20).

On Rom. 1 : 19-21, see Weiss, Bib. Theol. des N. T., 251, note; also commentaries of Meyer, Alford, Tholuck, and Wordsworth; tò yvwo TÒV TOÙ Deoù = not“ that whieh may be known" (Rev. Vers.) but “that which is known" of God; vooúpeva kadoparai = are clearly seen in that they are perceived by the reason - νοούμενα expresses the manner of the καθοράται (Meyer); compare John 1:9; Acts 17 : 27; Rom. 1 : 28; 2: 15, On 1 Cor. 15 : 34, see Calderwood, Philos. of Inf., 466 – dyrugiav Deoù Tivès é xovai = do not possess the specially exalted knowledge of God which belongs to believers in Christ (cf. 1 Jo. 4:7 — "every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God"). On Eph. 2 : 12, see Pope, Theology, 1:240 άθεοι εν τω κόσμω is opposed to being in Christ, and signifies rather forsaken of God, than denying him or entirely ignorant of him. On Seripture passages, sec Schmid, Bib. Theol. des N. T., 486 ; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, 1:62.

E. G. Robinson: "The first statement of the Bible is, not that there is a God, but that 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ' (Gon. 1:1). The belief in God never was and never can be the result of logical argument, else the Bible would give us proofs." Many texts relied upon as proofs of God's existence are simply explications of the idea " God, as for example: Ps. 94 : 9, 10 — " Ho that planted the ear, shall be not hear? He that formed the Je, sball be not see? He that chastiseth the nations, shall not he correct, even he that teacheth man knowledge ?" Plato says that God holds the soul by its roots, - he therefore does not need to demonstrate to the soul the fact of his existence. Martineau, Seat of Authority, 308, says well that Scripture and preaching only interpret what is already in the heart which it addresses: “Flinging a warm breath on the inward oracles hid in invisible ink, it renders

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