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his deity there is a great gulf fixed, which Dr. Gordon spans by a gossamer bridge, to which we are invited to intrust ourselves. But we decline with thanks.

But the whole argument is of the flimsiest. In the first place, upon the rich diversity of human nature is based the possible supremacy of Jesus. In the second place, this supremacy is made the basis of his separateness from humanity and his unique relation to God. Could any two premises be more absolutely exclusive and destructive of each other? Finally, for the unique perfection of Jesus we have no appeal to history, but an argument whose silent major premise is the Augustinian, Calvinistic, Edwardsean distrust of human nature, which Dr. Gordon formally rejects, but unconsciously reproduces upon every page.


No backward step! If the alternative to such a method and conception as Dr. Gordon offers us is, as he says, a serious meditation with death," then be it this. It will then be at least "serious"; and that his method is not, and his conception is not. But I, for one, do not believe that " a serious meditation with death" is the only alternative to our acceptance of an unserious scheme of thought, or to any sort of a return to the traditional theology. The Unitarian opportunity is not here, but in a conception of humanity so generous and so expectant that the lofty and inspiring excellence of Jesus shall be to us more natural and human than the baseness of the wicked and the vileness of the vile, and in a conception of the Incarnation that must have ampler evidence of the Human Heart of God than is supplied by one supreme attainment,—even so much as glows and shines and burns for us in the unnumbered lives of those who have lifted up their hearts to great ideals, and have embodied them in the joy and sorrow, in the struggle and the anguish, in the yearning and devotion, of their daily walk with God.


WHEN we read in the New Testament, "To him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath," we may think that we have here a hard saying; but we are constrained to recognize that it has in it a great deal of truth. It is the conclusion of a parable based upon the aggregating quality of money; and no one, I imagine, will deny that the parable was well conceived. The destruction of the poor is their poverty. Everything costs them more because they have to purchase it in the smallest quantities. The shabby clothes stand in the way of the employment which would make better possible. The lack of capital handicaps the smaller manufacturers and tradesmen in the race. The big fish eat up the little ones: we have many kinds of business in one, and the great trusts annihilating individuals to left and right. The more gigantic these, the greater their capacity for absorbing enterprises of more modest character into their portentous bulk. So with the private fortune.* Once a certain point is reached, and under normal conditions the great financier has little more to do than sit beside his nectar, and see his wealth making itself greater by spontaneous aggregation. While he is musing, the fire burns. And what is true in these particulars is true of every kind of individual and social aggregation. Let the preacher attract a thousand hearers, and another thousand will come easily enough. Let the magazine or newspaper get one hundred thousand subscribers, and another hundred thousand comes inevitably.

*I have read in the Life of Samuel Tilden that what he left increased from five to seven millions in the short time between his death and the final judgment of the courts which robbed his benevolent intentions of one-half their moral force.

"Trilby" or some other novel of the day runs up a sale of fifty thousand copies. Whereupon another fifty thousand is secure, and another hundred on the hundred thus attained. The Bible asks, "Is not a man much better than a sheep?" In one particular they are very much alike. If anything, man is the more imitative of the two.

It is very interesting to see how soon men's dominant tastes and admirations become principles of aggregation in their lives. No one liked a pleasant story better than Dr. Furness, and consequently his many were continually gathering more. When his friends heard of a new one, they were unhappy until they had imparted it to him. When I went to see him on his ninety-third birthday, he had two or three which he had just added to his collection,— one of the lofty carriage of a darling little fellow, three or four years old, and very near to death, whose trained nurse, a stranger in the house, had called him a baby. "Show her my trousers," he said to his mother, reporting the indignity. The same principles operated with Dr. Furness in the matter of his New Testament criticism. His friends were always bringing to him reports and incidents that fitted into his theory, like a hand into a glove. And, if ever it received a wound, he had only to stretch out his hand, as Thoreau did when he got a fall in Tuckerman's Ravine, and there was the Arnica mollis, the very thing he needed for his hurt.

It is with reputations as it is with personal experience. They grow by the attraction of their quality. How many cynical observations have been attributed to Rochefoucauld that are not his ! How many witticisims to Sydney Smith! How many homely parables to Abraham Lincoln ! One might say without exaggeration that here is a key that unlocks more mysteries of literary aggregation in the Bible than any other. Moses-rightly enough, perhaps — acquired the reputation of being a law-giver. Hence century after century laws were credited to his genius and received the stamp of his authority with which he had nothing to do. In 620 B.C. the whole book of Deuteronomy was attributed

to him, and that made it the most easy and natural thing in the world to attribute to him en bloc the whole Levitic legislation which we have in Numbers and Leviticus. In the same way David got the reputation of being a hymn-maker, a psalmist; and, of our one hundred and fifty Psalms, seventy-three are attributed to him, while the tendency of our most learned criticism is to put the entire Psalter on this side of the exile,- that is to say, five centuries later than his time; if averaged, six or seven. The case of Solomon is precisely similar. His was a reputation for proverbial wisdom; and so a Book of Proverbs, which is made up of several other books, and which was the growth of centuries, was attributed to him, and not only that, but Ecclesiastes, because of its proverbial character, and the Wisdom of Solomon, for the same reason, and the Song of Songs, because it seemed to be a good deal in his line. There are many other illustrations of this principle of qualitative aggregation in the Bible. Two-thirds of the Book of Isaiah have got there in this way, much of Job, Zechariah, Micah, some of Jeremiah, and so on.

This kind of thing has both absurd and painful illustrations in our every-day affairs. Reputations are built up by it, and others are destroyed. A rolling stone gathers no moss, but a revolving rumor gathers abundant incident and confirmation. Given the disposition to believe well or ill of any one, and the pound gathers ten pounds very soon. The testimony to which we should not give the slightest heed, as against our own political chief, would be utterly damning for us, as against a political opponent. Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. I remember so much of Cæsar's Gallic Commentaries the more easily because it has been rubbed into me by the experience of forty years. "Men very readily believe that which they want to."

In short, to him that hath shall be given. It is a principle of spiritual gravitation which finds its illustrations in a hundred different aspects of the intellectual and moral life of individuals. It is the principle of inertia and the law of the

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