Chapter I

§ 56. The Name

In the answer to what we are to understand by Theology, even the name is in our time too superficially explained. The reason is that men are in some perplexity about the name. Having broken away from old-time Theology, and having displaced it by something else, the old name is merely kept to maintain in a moral and formal sense an hereditary right to the heritage of Sacrosanct Theology. This is only arbitrary, unless one can prove, genetically at least, his relation to old-time Theology. If this cannot be done, it does not infringe the right to abandon what has become unfit for use, and to replace it by a new complex of studies entirely differently understood, but in that case the old name should be discarded. For then the name becomes a false label, and its retention would be dishonest. Our going back to the name of Theology is therefore no antiquarian predilection, but is demanded by the method that must guide us in defining the conception of Theology. The effort more and more put forth in the second half of this century, either in the psychologic-empiric line of Schleiermacher, or in the speculative track of Hegel, or in both, to form a certain idea of the departments taught in the Theological faculty, to translate this idea into a conception, ,^nd to take this conception as the definition of Theology, is a method which can stand no testing, because in this way the certainty that the object of this science remains the same is altogether wanting. In his Cratylus Plato does not say in vain: "To teach a thing rightly it is necessary first to define its name." Even in itself, therefore, a study of the name of Theology is demanded; but this is much more necessary now since a genealogical proof must be furnished by those who claim hereditary right, and this hereditary right to the Theological inheritance must be disputed with more than one contestant.

For the right understanding of the name Theology the etymology and the usage of the word claim our attention. With respect to the etymology three questions arise: In what sense is -logia to be interpreted? In what sense 0eo?? And in this connection is Oe<k to be taken actively or passively? The addition -logia occurs, just as the allied terms, in the sense of speaking about something, as well as in the sense of thinking about something. Aoyelov was in Athens what we call the platform, and OeoXoyelov was the place on the stage from which they spoke who represented the gods as speaking. The conception of speaking, therefore, and not of thinking, stands here clearly in the foreground. In oareoXoyia, <f>vaioXoyia, and other combinations, on the other hand, -logia has the sense of tracing, investigating. In itself, therefore, OeoXoyia could indicate etymologically the action of a OeoX6yo<;, i.e. of one who speaks about God, as well as the thinking about God. The only thing that serves as a more precise indication here is the age of the word and the object to which -Xoyia is coupled. The root of Xeyeiv (to speak) with Homer almost always means "to gather." with or without choice. Only later on it obtains the sense of speaking. And only later still, in its last development, the utterance of the thought is put in the background, in order to cause the thought itself to appear in the front. Since now the word OeoXoyia occurs already in Plato, the first understanding of -Xoyia has the choice; a choice which is confirmed by Plato's own words. In his de Re Publ. Lib. II., p. 379°, he writes: "We, O Adimantos, are at this moment no poets (iroivrai^), but speak as founders of a city (oikuttcu iroXeaxs), and as such we should understand the forms Qrinroi) in which the poets must tell their legend." The question is then asked, " What should be the forms (types) of Theology?" upon which the answer follows that the gods must be proclaimed as they are, whether they are spoken of in "epics, in lyrics, or in tragedy" (iv threat, iv fieXeaiv or iv rpaycp&iq). This statement admits of no doubt. In this place at least -Xoyia is used in the sense of speaking. And with reference to its composition with 8eo-, it is evident that the idea of investigating the being of God must have originated much later than the necessity of speaking about the gods. Hence our first conclusion is that -Xoyia in this combination was originally used in the sense of speaking. The second question, what Oeo- in this combination means, the gods in general or the only true God, can likewise be answered by the above citation from Plato. Plato himself interchanges 'theology' with a speaking of the gods in epics, in lyrics, or in tragedy. Concerning the third question, however, whether in this combination Oeo- is object or subject, we must grant the possibility of both. In OeoBoaios, Oeofinvia, OeoKparia, OeoKpicria, Oeoyafiia, Oeoirpa%ia, Oeoirpoiria, etc., a god is meant who gives, who is angry, who rules, judges, marries, acts, speaks, and thus Geo- is the subject. On the other hand, in Oeoaifteia, Oeofiifirjaia, OeoKXvrr)ai<;, OeoXarpeia, etc., it is a god who is feared, imitated, invoked, and honored, hence Oeo- is the object. QeoXoyia, therefore, can mean etymologically the speaking of God, as well as the speaking about God. Or if you take OeoXoyia in the later sense of knowledge, then it indicates a knowledge which God Himself has, as well as a knowledge which we have of God. Finally, in the last-mentioned sense OeoX6yo<; seems to be older than OeoXoyelv, and it appears that OeoXoyelv as well as OeoXoyia are derived from it. The result therefore is that Theology etymologically is no combination of Oe&i and X0y05, but means originally a speaking of or about a god or gods; and that only with the further development of the word logos, which at first indicated a collected mass, then a word, and only later reason or thought, OeoXoyos, 8eoXoyelv, and OeoXoyia also were conceived as a knowledge of or concerning a god or the gods.

Since the etymology admits so many possibilities, the more accurate knowledge of the term "Theologia" should be gleaned from the usage of the word. With Lucian and Plutarch OeoX6yo<; occurs in the general sense of one who treats of the gods, and Augustine declares in de Civ. Dei, XVIII., c. 14: "During the same period of time arose the poets, who were also called theologians, because they made hymns about the gods." With Aristotle OeoXoyelv indicates, to be a theologian, or to act as a theologian. 'E7rto-rT^H? OeoXoyiKrj means with Aristotle (Metaph. X. 6) a knowledge concerning the divine; while with Plato, "theology" occurs as a speaking about the gods, and with Aristotle in the plural number, "Theologies" were investigations into divine things {Metereol. 2. 1). Thus far in all these combinations the general conception was implied of engaging oneself with the matter of the gods or deity, either in consultation with tradition, or in reflection for the sake of a more accurate understanding. With the name "Theology," this general conception has been adopted by Christian writers, modified according to the requirements of their point of view, and carried out upon a large scale. He who reads the exhaustive explanation of Suicer, Thes. graec, under the words OeoX6yo<;, OeoXoyia, and OeoXoyeiv perceives at once how greatly the use of these words was increased and how much more deeply the thinking consciousness entered into the sense of these words, than with the classical writers. That the apostle John was early called the Theologian (6 #€0X0y0?), even in the title of the Apocalypse, cannot properly be explained from his reference to the Logos in the prologue to his Gospel and in his first Epistle; but indicates that John was esteemed to be more versed in the divine mysteries than any other apostle. This readily accounts for the fact that he is indicated as such in the title of the Apocalypse and not in the title of his Gospel. In a like sense all the writers of the Old and New Testaments, but more especially the prophets and apostles, are called theologians. Thus Athanasius says, Oratio de incarnatione Verbi, I., p. 62, ravra Be Kal irapd rcov avrov Tov S«t%w OeoXoycav avBpaiv marrevadai ni Bvvarai, evrvy^dva>v Tok exeivcov ypdfifiaaiv; i.e. one thing and another concerning the Saviour you can also confirm by an appeal to the theologians if you turn to their writings. But shortly after this follows the significance of theological investigations of ecclesiastical questions. Thus Gregory of Nazianzus was called "the Theologian," not to place him on a level with John, as though to him also divine mysteries had been revealed, but because in the treatment of dogma he always ascended to God, and thus, as Gregory the Presbyter writes, reached the height of dogma (v^ro? Boyfidr<ov). (See Suicer, I., p. 1360.)

If thus the word "theologos" itself admitted of a twofold meaning, that of "a speaker in the name of God," and that of "a thinker who in his thinking ascends to God," the word "theologein" was still more pliable. This also signified at first to speak in the name of God; for instance, irepl rovra>v Ta>v Boyfidr<ov OeoXoyel 'Haaia<s, i.e. concerning these things Isaiah speaks as commanded by God. Secondly, to explain any point theologically; for instance, Aoyov eiirev iva Tt)v reXeiav vnrap^iv aoi Tov 'lrjaov OeoXoytfo-p, i.e. he names Christ the Logos, in order to explain the absolute relation of Jesus to the very essence of God, — a use of this word which already with Justin Martyr obtained more general currency to indicate an investigation which was instituted with a certain dignity of form. Thus, for instance, in his Dial. c. Tr. (ed. von Otto, Jenae, 1876, I. 400 B), "Do you inquire in the spirit of theological discussion why one 'a' was added to the name of Abraham, and ask with an air of importance why one 'r' was added to the name of Sarah?" (Ata T! fiev ev dX<f>a 7t/jwto) irpoaeredrj rq>'A/3paan, OeoXoyelf, Kal Bid ri ev pS> ra> Sap/aa? ovofiari, 6/ioia>? KOfiiroXoyeli); where from the coupling of KOfnroXoyelv and OeoXoyelv it clearly appears, that in both cases a dignity, a gravity, and a rhetoric are implied, which did not correspond to the unimportance of the question. But besides these two meanings, which run parallel with those of "theologos," the great Fathers of the Christological conflict also used, in the footsteps of Justin, the word "theologein" in the sense of proclaiming one to be God, of announcing one as God. Justin Martyr wrote in his Dial. c. Tryph. (ed. von Otto, Jenae, 1876, I., p. 104 C), with the Messianic prophecy in Psalm xlv. 6 sq. in mind, "If, therefore, you say that the Holy Spirit calls any other God (OeoXoyelv) and Lord (KvpioXoyelv) except the Father of all the Universe and his Christ," — which manner of speech, both by the sense and by the addition of KvpioXoyelv, leaves no doubt but that OeoXoyelv is taken in the sense of calling one God. Thus also we read in Athanasius (Tom. I., p. 1030): 'Ev dttaaiv ol? Bo^d^erai 6 irarrjp OeoXoyovfievos, iv avrol<; Bo^d^erai Kal 6 uto? Kal To irvevfux To ayiov, i.e. "In all points in which the Father is glorified by being spoken of as God, the same also takes place with the Son and with the Holy Ghost." For the sake of still greater clearness, the word Oe6v is even added, OeoXoyelv riva Oeov, as for instance, in Philostorgius, Hist. Eccl. XIV., p. 103, To frpXiov OeoXoyel Oeov rov . . . Brjfuovpybv dirdvra>v, i.e. This book, the Gospel of John, calls the author of all things God. Thus also Ctesarius, Quest. 22, p. 44, says of the Christ, "also when he is incarnate, nevertheless Vtto T5>v irpo(pvr&v OeoXoyelrai, i.e. is he called God by the prophets; the Latin praedicare Deum." And finally there was developed from this the more general significance of deifying something or making it to be God. For instance, ov iravra Kara. <f>vaiv yiverai, Xva Fjlt) OeoXoyrjOfj 77 <f>vai<; (Chrysostom, V., p. 891), i.e. "It is by Divine appointment that all things do not happen in accordance with nature, lest nature be taken for God."

In this way only can we understand the history of the word "theology" in Patristic literature. If a theologian is one who speaks in the name of God, ImdTiheologein the act itself of speaking in the name of God, then we understand how "Theology" could mean the Old and the Neio Testament: T77? iraXaia<; deoXoyiai Kal Tt/? ve-ai OeoXoyia<; Tt/v ^vfji<f>coviav op&v, Oavfidaerai rrjv aXr\Oeiav, i.e. "Seeing the harmony of the Old and New Testament, one marvels at the truth" (Theodor. Therap. See Suicer, I., p. 1359). For the word of God comes to us in these two Testaments. If in the second place the word theologein means to explain a point so fully as to trace it back to God, then it is clear how "Theology" could mean: reduction to the mystery of the essence of God. Thus says Theodoret (Qucest. in Genes. I., p. 3), rl Brjtrore fir) irporera^e Tt)? rS>v oXa>v hrjfiiovpyia<; OeoXoyiav; i.e. "Why did not Moses preface the creation-narrative with an introduction on the mystery of the essence of God?" If, in the third place, "theologein" was used in the sense of "to declare some one God," then it follows also that "Theology" could signify: the divine appellation. Thus says Pachymeres in his note on Dionysius Areopagita (Suicer, I., p. 300), ra Koivsk rfj Oeia Qvaei apfio^ovra ovofiara Tjva>fievvv eiriypdfei OeoXoyiav, i.e. the names which in general belong to the divine nature, he calls theologia unita. And since in the bitter conflict against the Arians everything hinged on the point of proclaiming Christ as God, "Theology" in this sense became almost synonymous with the Deity of Christ. Thus Gregory of Nyssa speaks of a Krjpvaaew To fivarrjpiov rift OeoXoyias, with his eye on John i. 1, which thus means to say, "to announce the mystery of the Deity of Christ." This Theologia was then placed over against olKovofiia as the appellation for his human nature. Thus in Theodoret, Comm. in Heb. iv. 14, p. 414: we ought to know riva fiev Tj}? OeoXoyias, riva Be Tj/9 oucovofiiai ov6fiara, i.e. what names belong to his divine, and what to his human, nature. In connection with this, "Theology" was also used in the sense of the "mystery of the Trinity." The knowledge of God, which as such was the characteristic of Christianity, was contained just in this trinitarian mystery. Thus Athanasius, de Definitionibus, Tom. II., p. 44: 'E7rl Tj}? OeoXoyia<; fiiav <pvaiv 6fioXoyovfiev Tjj? ay ias TpidBos, rpels 8' viroardaeK, i.e. "Of the mystery of the Divine Being we confess that in the Holy Trinity there is only one nature, but a threefold hypostasis." Photius, Epist. XXXIV., p. 95, Sxrirep hrl Tjj? OeoXoyiai To rpeh ofioXoyelv ovaia<; iroXvOeov, i.e. even as it is Polytheistic to confess three substances in the mystery of the Trinity. Theophylact, Comm. in Math., c. xxviii., p. 185, eliruyv on Set ftairri£eiv ek To ovofia Tj)<j rpidBo<; Ttjv OeoXoyiav irapeBaiKev, i.e. by the command to baptize in the name of the Trinity, Christ has revealed to us the mystery of the Divine Being. And in like sense Gregory Nazianzen uses the word when in Oration L, p. 16, he writes, rpia ear* irepl OeoXoyia<; appa>arrjfiara, i.e. there are three weaknesses with reference to the interpretation of the Divine mystery.

Thus the development of the term Theology is not doubtful. First the word was adopted from the pagan usage to indicate a speaking of the things that pertain to the gods or God, whether materially, as declarations of divine affairs, or simply formally, as a speaking with dignity and with a certain unction. In the conflict about the divine nature of Christ the still living Grecian language-consciousness began to use the term OeoXoyelv actively in the sense of calling one God, and thereby OeoXoyia obtained gradually the significance of the confession of the Deity of Christ. Since the Christological conflict speedily assumed a Trinitarian character, and the confession of the Trinity hinged upon the acknowledgment of the Deity of Christ, Theology began gradually to be interpreted in the sense of the mystery of the Divine Essence as Trinitarian. And finally, by Theology there began to be understood that which is revealed to us concerning this mystery, since to this extent only we can deal with this mystery. At the point of history when the supremacy of the Church was transferred from the East to the West, and the living word 9eoXoyia was lost in the dead barbarism Theologia, this Latin term was understood to mean the revealed knowledge of the mystery of the Threefold Being of God, and by no means a prosecution of Theological departments of study.

§ 57. Theological Modality of the Conception of Theology

Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theol. I. 9, i., art. 7) already protested against the abuse of making the nature of Theology to consist, not in the knowledge of God, but in the knowledge of an entirely different object of investigation; and thus against those who assigned, not God, but "another subject for this science, for example, either things and signs, or the works of redemption, or else the whole Christ, that is, both head and members "; for, says he, "all these are treated in this science, but according to their order with respect to God" ("aliter assignaverunt huius scientiae subjectum, sc. vel res, et signa, vel opera reparationis, vel totum Christum, id est, caput et membra," . . . "de omnibus istis tractatur in istascientia, sed secundum ordinem ad Deum").i So far as this protest directs itself against the soteriological or Christological interpretation of the science of Theology, it is equally pertinent to almost all definitions which in the course of this century have been given of the conception of Theology. What he says, on the other hand, of Theology as a study of the Signa et Res, refers in part to Peter Lombard's Sententiae, but principally to Augustine, who, in his Libri IV. de doctrina Christiana, had followed the division into Signa et Res,—a division which Thomas does not reject, but which in his view does not define the "subject of Theology," or what we would call the object of Theology.

The important interest defended by Thomas in this protest, a protest to which all earlier Reformed theologians have lent their influence, lies in the requirement that the conception of Theology must not only be construed abstractly logically, but also theologically.

i Scientiae subjeclum here stands for what we would call Scientiae objectum. This confusion between the grammatical and the logical antithesis of subject and object is to be laid to Aristotle's credit, who took T4 iroKtlfitmv, i.e. the subject, also for rb *epl ou A X6701 ytverai. Compare Prantl, Oeschichle der Logik im Abendland, Leipzig, 1867, III. 208: "An unzahligen Stellen treffen wir fortan (since Duns Scotus, tl308, who first placed them over against each other as termini), bis in das 18th Jahrhundert (d. h. bis Alex. Baumgarten) diesen gebraueh der Worte 'subjective' und 'objective,' welcher zu dem jetzigen sich genau umgekehrt verhalt: namlich damals hiess subjectivum dasjenige, was sich auf das Subject der Urtheille, also auf die concreten Gegenstande des Denkens, bezieht; hingegen objective jenes, was im blosseu objicere, i.e. im Vorstelligmachen, liegt und hiemit auf Rechnung des Vorstellenden fallt."

See also Rudolph Encken, Die Gruridbegriffe der Oegenwart, Leipzig, 1893: Subjectiv-Objectiv, pp. 25 ff.; and Trendelenburg, Elementa Logices Aristotdiciae, ed. VIII., pp. 54, 55.

Augustine already tried to do this, though he rarely used the word Theology to indicate the conception intended by us. What in the Western Church also was called Theology, he called Doctrina de Deo or Christian Doctrine; and however strange it may seem, by the word Theology Augustine understands the pagan rather than the Christian conceptions of the Divine. This appears prominently in his De Civitate Dei, in which he (Lib. VI., c. 5 sq., ed. Bened. Bass. Ven., 1797, pp. 179-255) discusses the system of Varro, as though there were three kinds of Theology: mythology (theologia fabulosa), which lived in tradition and in the theatre; natural theology (theologia naturalist, which is found in the writings of the philosophers; and State religion (theologia civilis), which was maintained by official public worship. And it is noteworthy that while continually quoting this threefold description of Theology, Augustine nowhere places theologia Christiana, or vera, over against it, but always speaks of Doctrina Christiana. Once only, in caput 8 (p. 203), does he take theologia in its general sense, but still not to express doctrina Christiana, but that after which the doctrina Christiana seeks. In refuting the physiological representations of the philosophers he says: "But all these things, they say, have certain physical, i.e. natural, interpretations, showing their natural meaning; as though in this disputation we were seeking physics and not theology, which is the account, not of nature, but of God." From this we see, that by " Theology " Augustine did not understand the study of our science, nor that science itself; by him this was called doctrina; but much more the knowledge of God, as the aim of theological study.

Thus with Augustine already this deeper conception of Theology bore a decidedly theological character. This is seen in his Libri IV. de doctrina Christiana, where he goes back to God, as Himself the Wisdom (Sapientia), and calls Christ, as the Word of God (Verbum Dei), the first way to God (prima ad Deum via), and then by the side of the intellectual method of attaining the knowledge of God, he also emphasizes the way of contemplation (via contemplationis) and the seeing of God. Thomas Aquinas also occupies this point of view in the main, and in his footsteps also Calvin. Thomas' chief work bears, indeed, the title of Summa theologica, but in his introduction he systematically treats of the sacra doctrina, which really is not Theology itself, but circa theologiam versatur. Only rarely does the word theologia occur with him, as, for instance, when in P. i. i. Qu. art. 7, ed. Neap., 1762, I., p. 12b, he says: "But in this science discourse is chiefly made about God, for it is called Theology, as being discourse about God" ("Sed in hac Bcientia fit sermo principaliter de Deo; dicitur enim theologia, quasi sermo de Deo "). Here, however, he gives us least of all a definition, but derives an argument from the etymology of the word to maintain "God" (o 0ed?) as the object of the 'sacred doctrine.' The real conception which he attaches to Theology is therefore much more clearly seen from what he says concerning faith, hope and love as the three virtutes theologicae (see I., secundae, qu. 62, art. i.

Let it be noted also that he did not write as the title of his work: Summa theologz'ae, but Summa theologtca. De Moor, in his Comm. in Marck., Tom. I., p. 9, quotes these words of Thomas: "Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God" ("Theologia a Deo docetur, Deum docet et ad Deum ducit"); since, however, he does not name the place where he found this citation, it is not to be verified. In like manner Calvin does not give to his dogmatics the title of Epitome Theologiae, but of Institutio religionis Christianae, and translates the word theologia, which he almost everywhere avoids, by notitia Dei (cf. Lib. I., c. i., § i. sq.~). The indexes are not trustworthy with reference to this. The index to Thomas as well as to Calvin's Institutes gives a meaning to the word Theology in which the word Theology itself was used neither by Thomas nor by Calvin.

This distinction, now, which maintained itself for a long time between theological science as sacred learning or instruction (sacra doctrina, institutio), etc., and Theology itself as knowledge of God (notitia Dei), was not trivial; but tended to interpret the conception of Theology theologically, as this theological conception is more precisely analyzed into the theologia archetypa and ectypa. And this must be maintained. The field of knowledge disclosed to us in Theology cannot logically be coordinated with the other fields that are investigated by our understanding. As soon as this is done, Theology is already robbed of its peculiar character, and cannot be interpreted except as a part of metaphysics, or as a science whose object of investigation is the empirical phenomenon of religion, or, more precisely, the Christian religion. If, on the other hand, Theology is a knowledge which, instead of dealing with created things, illumines our minds with respect to the Creator, and the "origin and end of all things," it follows that this knowledge must be of a different nature, and must come to us in another way. The normae that are valid for our knowledge elsewhere have no use here; the way of knowledge must here be another one, and the character itself of this knowledge must differ from all other science. As within the boundaries of the finite you must follow a different way to knowledge for the spiritual than for the natural sciences, the way to the knowledge of that which transcends the finite and lies beyond its boundary cannot coincide with the Erkenntnisstheorie of the finite. Hence we have no warrant for making a logical division and saying: Science investigates nature, man, and God, and the science which does the latter is Theology, simply because the coordination of nature, God and man is false. He who views these three as coordinates, starts out logically from the denial of God as God. This was entirely correctly perceived by the Greek Fathers, and in the steps of Augustine by the Western Fathers, in consequence of which, even though without sufficient clearness of insight, they refused to place Theology in line with the other -logies or -nomies, and demanded a theological interpretation of the conception of Theology. The force of this theological interpretation was still felt in the second half of the eighteenth century, whenever the dogmatici described Dogmatics not as a subdivision of Theology or as one of the departments of theological study, but as the theologia propria, to which exegesis, church history, church polity, etc., were added as auxiliary studies. They had already lost the conception of Theology to such an extent that, although not theoretically, they practically applied the name of Theology to the human study which was devoted to this revealed knowledge of God; but from their limitation of this name to Dogmatics it was evident that they took this to be the study that leads to the right understanding of the real knowledge of God. They were not concerned about all kinds of learning, but about God Himself, and that alone which could bring us a closer knowledge of that God could claim in the more precise sense the name of Theology. It is indeed true, as is shown by the history of Encyclopedia, that the Encyclopedists gradually began to understand by Theology the complex of the several departments of theological study; but no one will contend that in doing this they contributed to an organic interpretation of the conception of Theology. Of Schleiermacher only it can really be said that, seeing the unskilfulness of the earlier Encyclopedists, he seriously tried to bring Theology, not as a knowledge of God, but taken as a theological science, to a unity of interpretation. It is too bad that he went to work at this so unhistorically; that he paid almost no attention to the development of the conception of Theology in former ages: and still more is it a pity that, mistaken in the idea of the object, he could not attain to an organic interpretation, and advanced no further than to explain it as an aggregate, united by the tendency of these several studies to aid in preparation for the sacred office. By this he cut off the theological understanding from the conception of Theology; and they who have come after him have no doubt superseded his aggregate by an organic conception, and his exceeding^ limited object by a broader object, but have not removed the breach between what Theology was originally and what lias since been understood by it. The rule continued to be derived exclusively from Logica by which to define the conception of Theology, and thus it was impossible to regain the theological conception of this science. This does by no means imply that repristination of the former conception would suffice. The very contrary will appear from our further exposition. All we intend to say, is that here also no progress is possible, unless we continue our work along the line of those threads that were spun for us in the past.

And in looking back upon this past we find that in the conception of Theology a characteristic theological modality exhibits itself almost constantly; by which we mean that the peculiar character of Theology has exerted an influence also upon the forming of this conception. How far this influence extended can only be shown in the following sections; but in order to place the significance of those sections in the desired light, it was specially necessary to refer to this point.

§ 58. TJie Idea of Theology

He who is called to the fifth story of a large building, and finds an elevator, which without any effort on his part brings him in a moment where he wants to be, will not climb the hundred or more steps on foot. Applied to our knowledge, this implies that common, slow investigation, with its inductions and deductions, is merely the stairs with its hundred steps by which we climb the heights of knowledge, while the attainment of knowledge is ever the aim in view. From which it follows that if that same height of knowledge can be reached by a shorter or less laborious way, the former stairs become worthless. This is true horizontally as well as vertically. Since now there are railways to all the corners of Europe, no one travels any longer by stage-coach. Though there may be a peculiar pleasure attached to that slow rate of progress, or rather to creeping along the way of knowledge, it is, nevertheless, somewhat morbid to abandon for the sake of this lower pleasure the much higher delight of the knowledge of the truth. Lessing's proverb has led us astray on this point, and therefore the brief indication of the only true point of view was necessary. What surprises still await us of locomotion by electricity or through the air are not easily foretold; but this is certain, that every more rapid communication antiquates the less rapid. This compels us in Theology, also, to distinguish between the conception and the idea of Theology. The conception is bound to the way of knowledge which we travel. The idea, on the other hand, views the end, independently of the question of the way by which this end shall be reached. This was the distinction in view in the formerly generally current division of Theology into a theologia unionis, visionis and stadii. This supplied three conceptions, which found their unity in the idea of Theology. The theologia unionis was that highest knowledge of God, which Christ possessed in His human nature, by virtue of the union of this nature with the Divine nature. The theologia visionis, also called patriae, was the appellation of the knowledge of God which once the elect will obtain in the state of heavenly blessedness. And the theologia stadii, also called studii, or viatorum, expressed that knowledge of God which is acquired here upon earth by those who are known of the Lord. That which was common to them all, and which united these three conceptions, was the general idea of the knowledge of God. The aim of Theology, therefore, did not lie in the theological investigation, neither in all sorts of studies and learning, but exclusively in knowing God. All study and learning served only as scaffolds for erecting the palace of our knowledge; but as soon as the building was finished that scaffolding lost all its meaning, even became a hindrance, and had to be cleared away. And this was more clearly perceived in olden times, than by most theologians after Schleiermacher. The idea of Theology can Jje^ none other than the knowledge of (?oc?j_and all_ activity impelled by Theology must in the last instance be bent upon_the. knowledge of God. This is not said in a metaphorical, but in a very exact sense. And this must be maintained as the idea of Theology, when you come to consider also the science of Theology, as it is studied and taught by the Theological faculty. By a different notion of the idea, and by lowering your ideal, you degrade theological science itself. According to its idea, Theology does not at first demonstrate that there is a God; but it, springs out of the overwhelming impression which, aa the only absolutely existing One,jGod Himself makes upon the human consciousness, and finds its_motiye in the~admTration which of itself powerfully quickens the thirst to know God. Though Theology may be permitted to seek after proofs for the existence of God, by which it may open the eyes of those half-blind, it cannot itself start out from doubt, nor can it spend itself in the investigation of religious phenomena, or in the speculative development of the idea of the absolute. It may do all this when it is convenient and as a dialectic auxiliary, but all this is only secondary; at most, a temporary bridge, by which itself to reach the other side or bring others there, but its purpose, wading the mountain stream, remains to come to the mountain itself, and in the sweat of its brow to climb the mountain path, until at length the highest peak is reached, the top itself, where the panorama, the knowledge of God, unveils itself. Only when thus interpreted does Theology regain its necessary character, and otherwise it lapses into an accidental dilettantism. Thus only it regains its value, and, apart from every conception of utility or eudemonistic purpose, it recovers an absolute significance in itself. Thus in its very idea it advances beyond the boundary of our present existence, and extends itself into the eternal and the infinite.

The older Theologians derived this more accurate insight into the nature of Theology and this necessary distinction between the idea and the several conceptions of the one Theology from the Holy Scriptures. In the Scriptures " the knowledge of God" is clearly stated as the forma of "eternal life," and of that knowledge of God several degrees are indicated. The distinction is evident at once between the knowledge of God disclosed to man before he sinned, and that modified knowledge of God given to the sinner. There was a knowledge of God for Him who said: "Neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him"; and a knowledge of God for those who could not attain this save by that Son. And finally in the Scriptures a very significant distinction is made between the knowledge of God of those who have been "enlightened" and of those who still "walk in darkness"; between the knowledge of God, already obtained here by those who have been enlightened, and that which shall sometime be their portion in the realm of glory. Hence a rich difference of form was found in the Scriptures, but still the same idea was common to all these forms, which idea was and is: to know God, and to know Him as men. For in the Scriptures a knowledge of God in the world of angels is also spoken of, which is not entirely lost even in fallen angels, so that "the devils also believe that there is one God"; but since this knowledge assumes another subject, we need not here take it into account. This treatise deals exclusively with human Theology (Theologia humana), and for the sake of clearness we leave the other distinctions alone, in order now to study the distinction between our knowledge of God here and in heaven (Theologia stadii and patriae).

The classical proof-text for this is 1 Cor. xiii. 8—13, where the holy apostle definitely declares, that the gnosis which we now have "shall be done away," since now it is only a knowing "in part"; that in this matter of our knowledge of God there is a "perfect" contrasted to that which is now "in part"; that when that which is "perfect" is come, a seeing of "face to face" shall come into being; and that this seeing shall be a "knowing even as also I have been known." Elsewhere also, in Matt. v. 8, in 1 John iii. 2, in Psalm xvii. 15, etc., a knowledge of God is mentioned, which shall consist in a seeing of God; but for brevity's sake we confine ourselves to the utterance in 1 Cor. xiii. Two things are here included. First, a sharp dividing-line is drawn between the knowledge of God which is acquired on earth, and that other knowledge of God which is in prospect on the other side of the grave. But secondly, the relation is indicated which is sustained between these two forms of knowledge. Knowledge does not disappear in order to make room for sight. It is not a knowing here and a seeing of God there. No, it is a knowing both here and there; but with this difference, that here it is " in part" and there it shall be "perfect." The seeing, on the other hand, is, here as well as there, the means by which to obtain that knowledge; here a seeing "through a glass darkly," there a seeing "face to face." The holy apostle treats even more exhaustively the relation between Theology here and in heaven by indicating the analogy of the child that becomes a man. The child and the man have both a certain knowledge, but the knowledge of the child dissolves in that of the man. By becoming a man he himself brings the putting away of that which belonged to the child. Thus the unity between the two forms of our knowledge of God is most firmly maintained, and both conceptions of knowledge emphasized as finding their higher unity in the idea of Theology, which is and always will be: the knowledge of God. That Paul speaks very expressly here of the knowledge of God, and not of "the knowledge of divine things" in general, appears clearly from the Kadta< ; iireyva>aOvv in vs. 12. "Knowing even as also I am known" cannot mean anything save knowing Him by whom I am known.

The objection also that this future seeing of God is merely mystical or contemplative, and that therefore it has nothing to do with our logical consciousness, but falls outside of Theology, is set aside by 1 Cor. xiii. The logical is not a temporal form of our human consciousness, fundamentally fictitious, and therefore bound to pass away. But God Himself is logical, for in Him also knowledge is assumed, and between our knowledge here and that which shall be ours in eternity, there is no essential, but only a proportional, difference: now in part, then perfect. Similarly the difference between the two modes of knowledge is merely that of the immediate and mediate. Then our knowledge will turn immediately on God Himself, while now we only observe the image of God in a glass, in which it is reflected. Thus the continuity of our knowledge of God is not broken by the passing away of present things. When the knowledge "in part" shall have passed away, the identity of our consciousness shall continue. That same ego, which now can only faintly discern the image of God in a glass, shall presently be conscious of the fact that it knows that selfsame God whose image it first saw "darkly," and will recognize in the Divine face those very features which formerly it observed in the glass imperfectly and indirectly. From this, at least, we see that the so-called scientific investigation shall sometime fall away; that it bears no absolute character; and that it derives its temporal necessity merely from the condition brought about by sin, and its possibility logically from "common grace" and theologically from the "particular grace" of divine illumination. And if this is so, it follows of itself that scientific investigation can never be Theology, and is only an accidental activity amid present conditions and within given boundaries, impelled by the thirst after Theology, or rather by the thirst after the knowledge of God. Hence the higher idea of the knowledge of God determines Theological science and not Theological science the idea of Theology. There can, and there will hereafter, be a rich Theology without the aid of a Theological science; while on the other hand when Theological science withdraws itself from the knowledge of God, it loses all sufficient reason, and can lead no other than a nominal existence.

The naming of the animals by the original man in paradise presents a partial analogy. In the domain of zoology, also, the real end in view is not scientific study, but knowledge of the animal. In our present condition this knowledge cannot be acquired except by empirical investigation and the drawing of conclusions from the data obtained. But if we knew and understood the animal at once, this empirical investigation and this drawing of conclusions would be purposeless, and hence dispensable. And something like this is told us in the story of paradise. There was here really a knowledge of the animal by the "seeing of face to face." To Adam the animals were no enigma as to us, but were known and understood by him; and therefore he could give them a name according to their nature. Had this capacity remained intact in us, zoology of course would have assumed an entirely different form; and not in a lesser but in a much higher sense it would still have been zoology. For the knowledge of animals in paradisaical man was not analogous to the vague perception which we now have immediately of the world of sounds or of moral phenomena, but it was logical; as is evident from the fact that it led to the giving of the name. And in this sense it presents an analogy for Theology in its two different phases. Just as now in zoology scientific study is indispensable if we would obtain a logical knowledge of the animal, in our present dispensation Theological study is equally indispensable to obtain the logical knowledge of God. But as in paradise knowledge of animals was at the disposal of man without this study, in the dispensation of glory man will similarly attain a much more complete and yet logical knowledge of God, without theological study. This is equally applicable to theologia paradisi and theologia unionis; but this we pass by because for the sake of clearness we are considering only the antithesis between our knowledge of God "in a glass" here and "face to face" in glory.

If it is now plain that the theological idea lies in the impulse of our human consciousness to know God, entirely independently of the way in which this knowledge is to be acquired, our object has been gained. The idea of Theology as such is imperishable, but, according to the demands of our condition, it leads us by different ways to our ideal. The way which we must travel is that of theological study, and the science which is born from this study can with entire propriety be called Theology, provided this is not done in an exclusive sense, and this science admits no other motive than to know or learn to know God. Every conception of Theology which is not subordinated to the idea of Theology must fail.

§ 59. The Dependent Character of Theology

If the idea of Theology lies in the knowledge of God, an entirely peculiar character flows from this for all Theology, which distinguishes it from all other knowledge or investigations of science. For in all other investigations the investigating subject places himself above the object to be investigated, is the active agent in the investigation, and directs his course in obedience to his own free judgment. And this is both possible and proper with created things, because among all these man ranks first. But when the thirst for knowledge directs itself to Him to whom man and all creation owe their origin, existence, and consciousness, the circumstances are materially changed. Then man stands no longer above, but beneath the object of his investigation, and over against this object he finds himself in a position of entire dependence. Our earlier Theologians explained this by distinguishing between archetypal Theology (Theologia archetypa) and ectypal Theology (Theologia ectypa) — a distinction which as it was finally defended could not be maintained, but which contains an element of truth that should not be abandoned. For the real thought fundamental to this distinction between archetypal and ectypal Theology is that all personal life remains a closed mystery to us as long as he whose life this is does not himself disclose it to us. And this thought must be maintained. We purposely limit ourselves to personal life in order to exclude the zoological question, even though we readily grant that in animals also a similar mystery presents itself; but this mystery need not detain us now, because the knowledge of man presents already the entirely sufficient analogy for the knoivledge of God. With man also the rule applies to each individual that you cannot know him in his personal existence, except he himself disclose the mystery of his inner being.

And yet as far as man is concerned, appearance might readily deceive us. We quickly form an idea about the persons we meet in daily life, and some of us can form a fairly accurate idea of a man at the very moment of meeting. Let us observe however: first, that being human ourselves we have a means in our own existence by which measurably at least to understand a fellow-creature. Were we not ourselves man, we would not understand what man is; as it reads in 1 Cor. ii. 11: "For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him?" In the second place, this knowledge which we owe to our mutual relationship, is strengthened by the fact, that as a rule we associate with fellow-citizens, congenial spirits, and those to whom we are united by a certain community of lot. Hence not only our common humanity, but the fact also that the modality of existence is largely common to us all, makes it easy from ourselves to form conclusions concerning others. How important this factor is, we perceive at once when we cross the boundaries of our native land, and especially when we come among other races and into entirely different countries. A Russ or Finn understands very little of the real inner nature of the Red man, and what does a Frenchman understand of the inner nature of a Lapp or Finn? In the third place, let it be noted that however much there may be something personal in every man, characters divide themselves into certain classes, which are recognized by certain combinations of phenomena, so that he who knows one or more of these kinds readily understands a great deal of a person, as soon as he perceives to what class he belongs. Fourthly, man is no spirit but a spiritual being, and exists simultaneously psychically and somatically, so that a great deal of his inner life manifests itself without the person being conscious of it; often indeed against his will and purpose. The look of the eye, feature and color of face, carriage and manners, composure or restlessness in the whole appearance, etc., betray much of what goes on in man. To which may be added, in the fifth place, that in conversation or in writing a man may say to us or to others, something of himself from which very important data may be gathered directly or by inference concerning the mystery of his person. No doubt there are "closed characters," and also "characters that falsify themselves," which you can never fathom, but as a rule you can obtain considerable knowledge of a man, even when he does not purposely disclose to you the mystery of his person.

If, now, on the other hand, you turn from the knowledge of man to the knowledge of God, you perceive at once that almost nothing of these five means of help is at your disposal. Standing before God you do not find an analogy in your own being to His Being, because He is God and you are man. The closer knowledge of your fellow-man which you acquire from your sharing his modality of existence falls entirely away, since the distance between you and the Eternal Being discovers itself the more overwhelmingly as your existence specifies itself. The division into kinds is of equally little service, because there is but one God, of whom therefore no conclusion can be drawn from the species to the individual. Unintentional somatic unveiling is equally impossible with God, since asomatic and only spiritual existence characterizes Him as God. And finally, the casual dropping of a remark does not occur with respect to the Eternal Being, since the casual and unconscious doing of a thing is not predicable of God.

The difficulty which the biographer encounters when he undertakes to sketch the development of a character that belongs to another age, land and surroundings, and of which almost no personal utterances are handed down in writing, repeats itself with the Theologian, only in an absolute measure. His aim and purpose is to acquire knowledge of a Being which is essentially distinguished from himself and from all other creatures; a Being which, by no amount of investigation, he can compel to give knowledge of itself; which as such falls entirely outside of his reach; and over against which he stands absolutely agnostically, in accordance with the true element of Spencer's Agnosticism.

Let it not be said, that an infinite number of things are manifest and knowable of God, in the works of creation, in history, and in the experiences of our own inner life; for all this leads to a certain knowledge of God, only when God has begun to reveal Himself to me as a God, who exists and exists as God. Even though for the moment we do not reckon with the darkening of sin, all that is called "natural revelation" would not impart to us the least knowledge of God, if it were not willed by God, and as such make an intentional revelation, i.e. a disclosure in part of His Divine mystery. Suppose that on the fixed stars there lived a race of beings, of an entirely different type from what we have ever known; the simple report of what they had done would never advance our knowledge of them, as long as the idea, not to say every conception, of their kind of being were wanting. From the nature of the case this is much more forceful with reference to the knowledge of God, and the contemplation of visible things would avail us absolutely nothing, if the sense that there is a God, and of what a God is, were not imparted to us in an entirely different way.

In this sense we speak of a dependent character for Theology. When an absolute stranger falls into the hands of the police, which is no infrequent occurrence anywhere, and steadfastly refuses to utter a single syllable, the police face an enigma which they cannot solve. They are entirely dependent upon the will of that stranger either to reveal or not to reveal knowledge of himself. And this is true in an absolute sense of the Theologian over against his God. He cannot investigate God. There is nothing to analyze. There are no phenomena from which to draw conclusions. Only when that wondrous God will speak, can he listen. ^And thjis.the_TJieolQgian is absolutely dependent upon the pleasure of God, either to impart or not to impart knowledge of Himself. Even verification is here absolutely excluded. When a man reveals something of himself to me, I can verify this, and if necessary pass criticism upon it. But when the Theologian stands in the presence of God, and God gives him some explanation of His existence as God, every idea of testing this self-communication of God by something else is absurd; hence, in the absence of such a touchstone, there can be no verification, and consequently no room for criticism. This dependent character, therefore, is not something accidental, but essential to Theology. As soon as this character is lost, there is no more Theology, even though an investigation of an entirely different kind still adorns itself with the theological name. In. his entire Theology the Theologian must stand in the presence of God as his God, and as soon as for a single instant he looks away from the living God, in order to engage himself with an idea about God over which he will sit as judge, he is lost in phraseology, because the object of his knowledge has already vanished from his view. As you cannot kneel in prayer before your God as worshipper, in any other way except as dependent upon Him, so also as Theologian you can receive no knowledge of God when you refuse to receive your knowledge of Him in absolute dependence upon Him.

This deep sense of dependence has ever induced our real theologians, in the days of their power, to place all our knowledge of God as ectypal Theology, in absolute dependence upon the self-knowledge of God, which they called archetypal Theology. As the ectype is absolutely dependent upon the archetype, is governed and formed by it, thus, they would say, all our knowledge of God is absolutely governed by the knowledge which God has of Himself. Thus they taught that we of ourselves can never enter into the holy place of the Lord, to examine it and gather knowledge concerning it, but that it behooves us to take our stand on this side of the veil, and to wait for what God Himself will communicate to us from this holy place and from behind this veil. This revelation or communication, which is imparted to our knowledge, we may consider, analyze, systematize and cast into the form of our consciousness; but in all these operations all active investigation after what is God's remains excluded, all knowledge remains received knowledge, and it is not God Himself, but the knowledge He has revealed to us concerning Himself which constitutes the material for theological investigation. Hence ectypal Theology.

The objection raised against this division and appellation cannot stand. It has been said, that in this way we can also speak of an ectypal zoology, botany, etc. For these parts of His creation are also known to God before they are known to us; and all our knowledge of the world of animals and plants, etc., is either in harmony with the knowledge God has of them and then true, or in antagonism with it and then false. This distinction between archetypal and ectypal knowledge is valid in every department, and therefore may not be claimed as something characteristic of Theology. But this objection is altogether inaccurate. For instance, I can order a sketch to be made of a gable-roof, which upon examination is seen to agree entirely with the original drawing of the architect; but does that prove that this last sketch has been copied from the original drawing? No, only if this sketch had not been made from the gable, but immediately from the original drawing, would it have been ectypal; but not now. It is not true, therefore, that our botanical and zoological knowledge can be called ectypal. It would be this, if we did not draw this knowledge from the world of animals and plants, but copied it apart of these realities from the decree of creation, as far as it referred to animals and plants. We will not stop to consider the question whether our knowledge of the world of angels, of the soul, of the other side of the grave, of the future, etc., is not ectypal; this question is in order in the section on the ambitus (circle) of Theology. It is enough if the essential difference is clear between a knowledge which is the result of the active investigation of an object, and that wholly different knowledge which we must first passively receive and then actively investigate. And with the old Theologians we maintain the ectypal character of the knowledge of God, since no man can investigate God Himself, and all the knowledge which we shall have of God can only be a copy of the knowledge God has of Himself, and is pleased to communicate to us.

Besides the strictly dependent character of Theology, there lie in this ectypal characteristic two suggestions, which must be emphasized. First, that there is no involuntary revelation. This refutes the idea that God may be more or less unconscious of Himself, or that He could be seen by us in His works, without His willing or knowing it. Since this ectypal Theology has its rise only from the fact that archetypal Theology imprints itself in it, there is nothing in the ectype which was not first in the archetype. Everything, therefore, from without that mingles itself with the ectype and does not come to it from the archetype, is contraband and must be excluded. A child may watch his father without his perceiving it or wanting to be watched; a precocious child can sometimes know his father better than he can know himself; but nothing of all this can ever take place with reference to God, because all this springs from the imperfection of the father or from the superiority of his child, and the very idea of God excludes every possibility both of incompleteness in God and of superiority in His creature. All representations of this sort, therefore, which have crept more and more into Theology, must be banished as impious, since they start out essentially from the exaltation of man above God. The second point, which must be emphasized in the ectypal character of our knowledge of God, is the truth of our knowledge of God. If the ectypal originates by the imprint of the archetypal, the ectypal image is no phantasy, no imagination, but an image in truth. Just as we saw in the antithesis between Theology here and hereafter, that our knowledge of God on earth shall then be done away, and rise again in a higher form of a knowledge "face to face"; but always such, that the truth of our knowledge "in part" shall be the more fully exhibited by the completer knowledge in heaven. Our given knowledge of God derives from this its absolute character, not as to its degree of completeness, but with reference to its connection with its object, i.e. with God. God who is, has knowledge of Himself; and from this self-knowledge God has taken the knowledge given to us. This excludes not only doubt, but also the dilution of subjectivism, as if our formulated statement of the knowledge of God in our confession were unimportent, and without loss of truth could be exchanged for every other confession or placed on a line with it.

Meanwhile we should guard against anthropomorphism in our representations of this archetypal knowledge of God. As human beings, we do not know ourselves at the beginning of our lives , gradually we obtain a certain consciousness of our own person, and we frame a certain representation of our personal existence and of our inner being. In intimate intercourse we can impart this representation of ourselves to others. And in this way it is also possible to speak of a certain archetypal and ectypal knowledge of our person. But if this were applied similarly to God, we would incur a very serious error. We cannot conceive of a gradually increasing self-consciousness in God, and consequently of an existence of God that preceded His consciousness. Consciousness in God covers His entire existence, and the word "eternal" is predicable of both in an intensive sense. Hence with God there can be no self-knowledge which has been formed in a human way by observation, analysis, inference, etc. The self-knowledge in God is sui generis, and therefore Divine. If this condemns the admission of all anthropomorphism in the archetypal knowledge, this mode of representation is equally inadmissible in our communication of this knowledge to man. When we communicate something concerning ourselves to another, it is man who imparts something to man, and thereby deals with analogies that are mutually present, and with similar representations which render the understanding of our communications possible. All this, however, falls away when God approaches man. Then it is not God revealing knowledge of Himself to a O-od, but God imparting His self-knowledge to man. Moreover, in our communications with others concerning ourselves, we are bound to the form of thought, and must take the capacity for knowledge as it is; but there is no such limitation with God, who Himself created the creature to whom He has determined to impart this self-knowledge, and thus was able to adapt this capacity for knowledge to His revelation. And, finally, it should be remembered that we can mutually come close to each other's heart, but can never penetrate each other's inner selves; while the door to the secret and innermost recesses of our being is open to God.

It was entirely correct, therefore, when in olden times it was additionally stated that ectypal Theology reveals to us the self-knowledge of God according to our human capacity; and that the necessity was felt in the eighteenth century (see De Moor, Comm. in Marck., Vol. I., p. 29) of limiting archetypal Theology to that self-knowledge of God, quam creaturae manifestare decreverat, i.e. "which he had decreed to reveal to the creature." In itself this was correctly viewed; in order to preserve the image of the type, the ectypal must be equal in extent and form to the archetypal. And yet this further explanation has not made the matter itself more clear, but more confusing, — both mechanically and intellectually. In the self-knowledge of God there are not ten parts, six of which he has decided to reveal unto us; but, though only "as in a glass darkly," the whole image has been reflected to us in Revelation. Neither will it do to interpret the revelation of God's self-knowledge as a merely intellectual communication, independent of Creation and the Incarnation; for this would cut in Revelation itself the main artery of religion.

Rather, therefore, than lose ourselves in this intellectualistic abstraction, we adopt the names of Archetypal and Ectypal Theology in the originally fuller sense, i.e. as standing in immediate relation to the creation of man after the image of God. As man stands as ectype over against God, the archetype, man's knowledge of God can therefore be only ectypal. This is what we meant when we called Theology a dependent knowledge — a knowledge which is not the result of an activity on our part, but the result of an action which goes out from God to us; and in its wider sense this action is God's self-revelation to His creature.

§ 60. Ectypal Theology the Fruit of Revelation

The ectype does not arise unless there is a material that can receive the impression of the archetype, and the act of impressing it on this material has taken place. And though in the preceding section it was maintained that the ectypal knowledge of God did not arise from our observation of God but from self-communication on the part of God, and consequently bears a dependent character, we do not assert, that for the acquisition of this knowledge of God the nature and disposition of the subject are indifferent. On the contrary, all revelation assumes (1) one who reveals Himself; (2) one to whom he reveals Himself; and (3) the possibility of the required relation between these two. In revelation, therefore, man (and more especially sinful many, who is to receive it, must be taken into account. If, as was done formerly, we exclusively consider Him who reveals Himself and that which He reveals, this revelation lies outside of man; the actual perception and assimilation are wanting; and the whole end of revelation is lost. In the second place, it will not do to interpret revelation as an announcement or communication of the one subject to the other subject, without taking due account of the fact that the subject God created the subject man, and that God wholly maintains and governs man from moment to moment; the result of which is, that He does not follow a way of communication that happens accidentally to be present, but that He Himself lays out the way of communication in keeping with His purpose. In the third place, it must be kept in view that the revelation of God is not an act of a single moment, but a continuous process, which extends itself across the ages, and in this extension does not purposelessly swing back and forth, but propels itself according to the motive contained in its idea, according to the nature of its successive content, and according to the nature of the bed which its stream must form for itself. In the fourth place, this revelation may not be interpreted as an atomistical self-communication of God to the several individuals, but must be taken as a revelation to man in his generations, i.e. to the organic unity of humanity, and only in this organic unity to the single man. And finally, in the fifth place, account must be kept of the special character which this revelation had to assume, both with regard to the act of revelation and its content, and the forming of its channel in the human spirit, in order, in spite of the obstruction of sin, to accomplish its original plan and to realize the purpose implied in its tendency. Though it is thus unquestionably true that in our sinful state we could never attain to a true Theology, i.e. a true knowledge of God, unless the form of revelation were soteriological, it is nevertheless necessary that in our representation of revelation also the fact be emphasized that the soteriological element is ever accidental, bears merely an intervenient character, and remains dependent upon the fundamental conception of revelation which is given in creation itself, and which teleologically looks forward to a state of things in which there shall be no more sin, so that every soteriological act shall belong to a never-returning past.

The first proposition therefore reads: God reveals Himself for His own sake, and not in behalf of man.

This only true starting-point for the real study of Revelation has been too much lost from view, not only in recent times, but even in the more prosperous periods of sound Theology. Even in the treatment of the dogma of "the necessity of sacred Scripture," the fact of sin was always taken as the point of departure, and thus the starting-point for Revelation was found in the soteriological necessity of causing light to arise in our darkness. A revelation before sin was, to be sure, recognized, but it was never successfully placed in relation to revelation in the theological sense ; and this was especially noticeable in the mechanical placing side by side of natural and revealed Theology. To repair this omission is therefore a necessity. Every interpretation of Revelation as given for man's sake, deforms it. You either reduce Revelation to the Creation, or cause it to occur only after the Creation. If you accept the latter view, you make it intellectualistic, and it can only consist, as the Socinian conceived, of an outward mechanical communication of certain data, commandments, and statutes. Thus, however, true revelation, which is rooted in religion itself, is destroyed. If for this reason you favor the other horn of the dilemma, viz. that Revelation goes back to Creation itself, then the motive for this Revelation cannot be found in man; simply because man was not yet in existence, and therefore could be no motive. For though it be asserted that, as the apostle Peter says, man was foreknown in the Divine decree before the creation, and that therefore Revelation could well point to this foreknown man, the argument is not valid. For in the decree a motive must have existed for the foreknowledge of man himself; and if it be allowed that this motive at least could lie only in God, it follows that Revelation also, even if it found its motive in man, merely tended to make man what he should be for the sake of God, so that in this way also Revelation finds its final end in God, and not in man.

But even this might grant too much. With a little thought one readily sees that Revelation is not merely founded in Creation, but that all creation itself is revelation. If we avoid the Origenistic and pantheistic error that the cosmos is coexistent with God; the pagan representation that God Himself labors under some higher necessity; and the Schleiermachian construction that God and the world were correlate, at least in the idea; and if, consequently, we stand firm in the sublime confession: "Ibelieve in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth," the motive for Creation cannot be looked for in anything outside of God, but only and alone in God Himself. Not in an eternal law (lex aeterna), a fate {fiolpa) or necessity (avay/cj;), nor in some need of God nature, nor in the creature that was not yet created. He who does not worship God as selfsufficient and sovereign, misconceives and profanes His Being. Creation neither can nor may be conceived as anything but a sovereign act of God, for His own glorification. God cannot be glorified by anything that comes to Him from without. By His own perfections alone can He be glorified. Hence creation itself is primarily nothing else than a revelation of the power of God; of the God Almighty, who as such is the Creator of heaven and earth.

If this is true of creation, and of the self-revelation of God which was effected in the creation, this must be true of all revelation, simply because the cosmos, and every creature in the cosmos, and all that is creaturely, are given in the creation. If you deny this, you make an essential distinction between all further revelation and the revelation in creation; you place it as a second revelation mechanically alongside of the first; and lapse again into the irreligious, intellectualistic interpretation of revelation. If, on the other hand, further revelation is not taken except in organic relation to the revelation given in creation, and thus is postulated by it, the motive of creation becomes of itself the motive of its manifestation; and all later revelation must likewise be granted to have been given us, not for our sake, but in the last instance for God's own sake. For though it is self-evident that the manner of operation of this revelation in every concrete case adapts itself to the disposition of the creature, and in this creature reaches its temporal end, yet in the last instance it only completes its course when in this operation upon or enriching of this creature it glorifies its Creator. When this revelation, therefore, leads to the creaturely knowledge of God, i.e. ectypal Theology, this knowledge of God is not given primarily for our benefit, but because God in His sovereignty takes pleasure in being known of His creature; which truth is thus formulated in Holy Scripture, —that God doeth all things for His Name's sake; sometimes with the additional words: not for your sakes, 0 Israel.

From this the second proposition follows of itself, that Divine Revelation assumes a creature capable of transposing this Revelation into subjective knowledge of God.

Revelation by itself would not be able to realize its aim. Imagine that there were no reasonable creatures, and that the creation consisted of nothing but entirely unconscious creatures, incapable of consciousness, the perfections of God revealed in His creation could not be evident to any one but God Himself. This, however, would be a contradiction in terms. He who is Himself the Author of revelation, knows the entire content of His revelation before He reveals it. Hence nothing can become known to Him by His revelation, which at first He did not know. This is possible in part with us. When by the grace of God a poet first carries a poetical creation in his mind, and afterwards reveals it in his poem, many things become known to him in this poem which at first were hid from him. This is accounted for by the fact that this poet was inspired in his poetic creation by a higher power, so that he himself did not know all the obscure contents of his imagination. With God, on the other hand, such cannot be the ease, simply because God cannot be inspired by one higher than Himself, and because there is nothing in His Being which He does not see with fullest clearness of vision. This implies that there can be no mystery for God, either in His Essence, counsel, or plan of creation; and hence nothing can become revealed or known to God by creation. By creation the contents of His virtues are in nothing enriched; in no particular do they become more glorious to Himself; hence there would be no revelation in creation or in any later activity of God, if there were no creature to whom all this could become the revelation of a mystery. For though we grant that God Himself sees and hears the beautiful in His creation; we deny that this display in creation is a greater joy to God than the view of His perfections in Himself. Every effort to seek a necessary ground in this sense for the creation of the cosmos results in cancelling the selfsufficiency of the Eternal Being, and in making God, by His creation, come to the knowledge and possession of His own divine riches; and by a little deeper thought this of itself leads back again to the theory of the world's coexistence with God.

The proposition of an unintentional revelation is equally untenable. This often happens with us, because the revelation of our person or of our disposition is not always under our control. Not only unintentionally, but sometimes against our intention and in spite of our purpose to the contrary, all sorts of things are constantly heard and seen of us, which it was by no means our desire to reveal. But this again you cannot apply to the Eternal Being, without lapsing into the anthropopathic representation of His existence. Such unintentional discovery of self to others results from a lack of power or insight, and from a consequent dependence upon many human data. Thus the omnipotence and absolute independence of God would be impaired, if in Him you assumed this unconscious, unintentional, and in so far accidental, revelation. His revelation postulates both the will and the purpose to reveal Himself, and this is inconceivable, unless there is at the same time a conscious being outside of God, which is able to appropriate what is revealed, and for which this revelation is intended. Though a star is praised for sparkling, which it does without knowing it, and a flower for the aroma that flows from its cup without this cup perceiving it, and though, in a similar strain, we praise the native simplicity of a beautiful character that radiates without effort and conscious aim, yet with no such conception can we approach the Lord our God, for He has nothing that He does not owe to Himself, and in no single particular is He a mystery to Himself. In Him whose is the highest and the most complete consciousness, there is no room for the conditions of semi- or total-unconsciousness. What the Confessio Belgica states in Art. 12, that all created things are "for the service of man, to the end that man may serve his God," applies also to the realm of revelation, since man is the creature, by whom whatever is creaturely on earth becomes the instrument of revelation of the attributes of God.

Our second proposition, however, implies more than this. The conscious creature is not only indispensable in order that revelation can be revelation, but that which is revealed must also be transposed by man into subjective knowledge of God and of His perfections. That which God reveals is conscious knowledge of Himself, before He reveals it. He is not a Light from which effulgence radiates, while He Himself does not know that light. His self-knowledge is absolute, and the impulse to reveal His perfections arises from His knowledge of them. And therefore this revelation of His perfections does not reach its aim nor point of rest until God is known. Hence, without ever giving themselves to intellectualism, the Holy Scriptures always put this knowledge of God in the foreground, and stand in prospect a "knowing of God as we are known." If Mozart had been a completely self-conscious musician, he would not have been able to develop his compositions otherwise than with the will and aim of finding performers and hearers who would not only hear his compositions and perform them, but would also understand them. And in like manner revelation flows from the archetypal knowledge of God and strives to become ectypal knowledge of God in man. Thus revelation itself is properly no Theology, but flows from the auto-Theology in God Himself and has Theology, i.e. knowledge of God in man, for its result.

This leads to our third proposition, viz. that man, in order to do this, must be adapted by nature, relation and process to interpret what has been revealed as a revelation of God and to reduce it to subjective knowledge of God.

It was the aim of propositions one and two to show that man did not come into being indifferent as to the manner how, and only afterwards revelation was added to him as an auxiliary, and was therefore adapted to his need; but that, on the contrary, revelation finds its end in God, and our human race was in its creation entirely adapted to this revelation. In this third proposition examine this original and necessary relation between revelation on the one side and the nature, relation and development process of our race on the other. And we point at once to the twofold office of man in revelation. He is not only to appropriate that which has been revealed, but he is himself a link in that revelation. This is exhibited most strongly in his logos, since by his logos he appropriates revelation to himself, and in his logos reflectively (abbildlich) reveals something of the eternal logos. If the cosmos is the theatre of revelation, in this theatre man is both actor and spectator. This should not be taken in the sense that, in what is revealed in him, he adds one single drop to the ocean of cosmical revelation, but rather, that man himself is the richest instrument in which and by which God reveals Himself. And he is this not so much on account of his body and his general psychical organization, but chiefly on account of that deepest and most hidden part of his being, in which the creaturely reaches its finest and noblest formation. And if, without lapsing into trichotomy, we may call this finest element in our human being the pneumatical, we define it as being both the choicest jewel in the diadem of revelation and the instrument by which man transmutes all revelation into knowledge of God. Both are expressed in the creation of man after the image of God. On one hand, one's image is his completest revelation, and on the other hand, from just that creation after God's image originates that higher consciousness of man, by which in him also the logos operates. This is what the older Theology called innate or concreate Theology (theologia innata or concreata), and to which the doctrine of faith must be immediately related.

To make this clear we must go back a moment to the first man, who, in so far as he represented our entire race, was no individual, and in whose case we do not yet need to reckon with the relation in which we stand to other men. It is evident that, when thus taken, Adam possessed in himself, apart from the cosmos, everything that was necessary to have knoivledge of God.

Undoubtedly many things concerning God were manifest to him in the cosmos also; without sin a great deal of God would have become manifest to him from his fellow-men; and through the process of his development, in connection with the cosmos, he would have obtained an ever richer revelation of God. But apart from all this acquired knowledge of God, he had in himself the capacity to draw knowledge of God from what had been revealed, as well as a rich revelation from which to draw that knowledge. Our older theologians called these two together the "concreate knowledge of God"; and correctly so, because here there was no logical activity which led to this knowledge of God, but this knowledge of God coincided with man's own self-knowledge. This knowledge of God was given eo ipso in his own self-consciousness; it was not given as discursive knowledge, but as the immediate content of self-consciousness. Even in our present degenerate condition, when much of ourselves can only be learned by observation, there is always a background of self-knowledge and of knowledge of our own existence, which is given immediately with our self-consciousness. Before the fall, when no darkening had yet taken place, this immediate self-knowledge must have been much more potent and clear. And thus it could not be otherwise but that in this clear and immediate self-knowledge there was, without any further action of the logos in us, an equally immediate knowledge of God, the consciousness of which, from that very image itself, accompanied him who had been created in the image of God. Thus the first man lived in an innate knowledge of God, which was not yet understood, and much less expressed in words, just as our human heart in its first unfoldings has a knowledge of ideals, which, however, we are unable to explain or give a form to. Calvin called this the seed of religion (semen religionis), by which he indicated that this innate knowledge of God is an ineradicable property of human nature, a spiritual eye in us, the lens of which may be dimmed, but always so that the lens, and consequently the eye, remains.

In connection with this, now, stands faith, that wonderful Ttuttk, the right understanding of which has been more and more lost by the exclusively soteriological conception of our times. Of course as a consequence of the fall faith also was modified, and became faith in the Saviour of the world. But the form which anything has received as a consequence of sin can never be its proper or original form; and it is equally absurd to look upon saving faith as a new spiritual sense implanted for the first time by regeneration. Nothing can ever be added to man by regeneration which does not essentially belong to human nature. Hence regeneration cannot put anything around us as a cloak, or place anything on our head as a crown. If faith is to be a human reality in the regenerate, it must be an attitude (habitus) of our human nature as such; consequently it must have been present in the first man; and it must still be discernible in the sinner. To prove the latter is not difficult, provided it is acknowledged that ethical powers (sensu neutro) operate in the sinner also, even though in him they appear exclusively in the privative, i.e. sinful form. Taken this way, the pistic element is present in all that is called man; only in the sinner this pistic element assumes the privative form, and becomes unfaith (airiaria). If sin is not merely the absence of good (carentia boni), but positive privation (actuosa privatio), airiaria also is not only the absence of faith (absentia fidei), but the positive privation of faith (actuosa fidei privatio), and as such sin. By overlooking this distinction our earlier theologians came to speak of the innate knowledge of God (cognitio Dei innata) as an attitude (habitus), which properly invited criticism. Cognitio can be no habitus. But while they expressed themselves incorrectly, they were not mistaken in the matter itself; they simply failed to distinguish between concreate theology (concreata), and faith which is inseparable from human nature. Faith indeed is in our human consciousness the deepest fundamental law that governs every form of distinction, by which alone all higher "Differentiation" becomes established in our consciousness. It is the daring breaking of our unity into a duality; placing of another ego over against our own ego; and the courage to face that distinction because our own ego finds its point of support and of rest only in that other ego. This general better knowledge of faith renders it possible to speak of faith in every domain; and also shows that faith originates primordially from the fact that our ego places God over against itself as the eternal and infinite Being, and that it dares to do this, because in this only it finds its eternal point of support. Since we did not manufacture this faith ourselves, but God created it in our human nature, this faith is but the opening of our spiritual eye and the consequent perception of another Being, excelling us in everything, that manifests itself in our own being. Thus it does not originate after the Cartesian style from an imprinted idea of God, but from the manifestation of God in our own being to that spiritual eye which has been formed in order, as soon as it opens, to perceive Him and in ecstasy of admiration to be bound to Him. By faith we perceive that an eternal Being manifests Himself in us, in order to place Himself over against our ego, in the same way in which we discover the presence of light by our eye; but what this eternal Being is and what it demands of us, is not told us by faith, but by the innate knowledge of God, presently enriched by the acquired.

The discovery, the perception of a mightier Ego, which is above and distinct from our own ego, is therefore the starting-point of all religion and of all knowledge of God. If we were not created after God's image, this manifestation would affect us strangely and cause us fear; but since in virtue of our creation there is an affinity between our own ego and that other Ego revealing itself to us, the manifestation of that mighty Ego affects us pleasantly, it fascinates and satisfies us with a feeling of infinite rest. It appeals to us. And as all revelation finds its completion only in this, this appeal becomes at length a speaking to us. There is fellowship between that peace-bringing Being, that reveals itself to us, and our own ego. He is the heavenly Friend, who does not merely reveal himself as a silent presence, but who, asking for our word in prayer, addresses us in the highest utterances of spirit, i.e. in the transparent word, and only in thus speaking to us becomes our God, unto whom goes out the worship of our hearts. In this way only does man know his God; not with a knowledge of Him or concerning Him, but in such a way that with the deepest utterance of the soul he knows his God personally; not yet with the full vision, but with something already of the seeing of face to face lost by sin, and only to be perfected in the full unfolding of our nature. Thus there is a revelation of God about us and within us, and the latter culminates in the personal knowledge of the living God, as a God who dwells among and associates with us, and allows us to associate with Him. He who understands it differently from this separates Revelation from religion, and degrades it to an intellectualistic communication of certain facts or statutes. For the fact must not be abandoned that religion germinates only when it attains unto that which is written of Enoch, viz. that he walked with God. Neither knowledge nor pious feeling by themselves can ever be called religion. Only when your God and you have met each other and associate and walk together, does religion live in your heart.

But even this does not fully construe the conception of innate theology. The distinction between the seed of religion and faith, both of which are increated in our human nature, explains how from the side of God a revelation takes place in us, and how our ego is disposed to observe this revelation in us, but this by itself does not give us any theology yet, i.e. knowledge of God. Even though revelation in us on the one hand, and the working of our faith on the other hand, have so far advanced that at length we have perceived God in us and consequently know God, we have as yet no knowledge of God, and hence no theology. I may know a number of persons in the world whom I have met, whose existence has been discovered to me, and of whom I have received general impressions, while yet I have no knowledge of them. That I may have knowledge of him whom I have met, the logical action must first take place. When I have met some one and thus know him, I inquire about him, or seek an interview with him, that I may obtain knowledge of his person. And such is the case here. Though God works and manifests Himself in our being, and though I have the power of faith to perceive this inworking and this manifestation, this produces nothing in me beyond perceptions, impressions and feelings; while I am left to the mysticism of my emotions. If from this mysticism I want to advance to knowledge, and transform revelation into theology, the logical action must enter in between; perception must pass over into thought; impression must sublimate itself into a conception; and thus the seed of religion must unfold the flower-bud in the word; viz. the word of adoration. Hence this logical action also was included in innate theology; simply because otherwise it could have been no theology. This, however, should not be taken in the sense that Adam was created with some sort of a catechism in his head; for logical action presumes subjective action of the human mind. If, therefore, we should speak with entire accuracy, we should say that there was no increated theology in Adam, but that he was so created, that, in his awakening to self-consciousness, he arrived of necessity at this original theology from the data that were present in him. In a literal sense respiration was not increated in Adam, for the first inhalation only came when the creation was completed, while before the creation was ended he could not draw breath. Breathing is an action of the person which comes only when the person exists. Since all the conditions for breathing are given in our nature, and every person born in this nature breathes of himself and from necessity, no one hesitates to acknowledge that respiration is inborn with us all. It were mere prudery, therefore, to object to the expression of innate or concreate theology; for though theoZo<7# is the result of a logical action in the subject, with Adam this logical action took place immediately and from necessity; and it was by this alone that the receiving of an oral revelation was already possible in paradise. For it is plain that the entire representation which the Scripture gives us of the intercourse with God in paradise, of the fall and subsequent promise, becomes unintelligible and falls away, if we assume in Adam exclusively the sense of the eternal, and deny him all conscious knowledge of God. Language itself decides the case. Speech without language is inconceivable, and he who in contradiction to the Scriptures declares that the first man could utter at most a few vague sounds, but was not in possession of language, wholly denies thereby the Christian doctrine of creation and the fall, and consequently of the Salvation in Christ. If, on the other hand the original man, to speak with Heraclitus, possessed a language by ^wrt?,i the very possession of that language assumes a logical action which is immediate, regular and pure equally with our respiration. And if from the nature of the case this logical action was originally limited with reference to its content to what man perceived in himself, and, in his inner perceptions, the perception of God stood majestically in the foreground, it is evident that the first natural action of the human consciousness could have been no other than the necessary translating into knowledge of God of the inner sensibilities and perception effected in him by God Himself. And on this ground we hold that innate or concreate theology presumes three factors: (1) the inworking and manifestation of God Himself in Adam's inner being; (2) faith, by which the subject perceives and grasps this inworking and manifestation; and (3) the logical action, by which of himself and of necessity he reduces this content in his heart to knowledge of God, in the form of thought and word.

From this it does not follow that one of these three factors should fall outside of Revelation. With none of these three factors do we overstep the boundary of creation, and all creation as such belongs to the domain of revelation. This does not need to be shown of the first factor. The action of God in our being is of itself revelation. But this same thing is true also of the second factor: faith. For what is faith but the sympathetic drawing of the image (Abbild) to the original (Urbild); and what is there revealed in this faith but that God has created us after

i In opposition to the conventional theory of Democritus, Heraclitus tanght that language was produced in us by the impressions received from the objects in or around us. So Democritus taught a language by 8tnt, he by <t>wis.

Himself, for Himself, and to Himself? And concerning the third factor, viz. the knowledge which is the result of the logical action, what expresses itself in this but the reflective (abbildliche) working in us of that Logos, which is in God and itself is God? The whole man, therefore, in his existence, in his relation to God, in his communion with, and his knowledge of, God, is originally but one rich revelation of God to man. At a later period revelation may also come to him from without; but it begins by being in him, as an immediate result of his creation.

This innate or connate theology was destined to be enriched by acquired (acquisita) theology. Not in the sense of addition, as though this increated knowledge would gradually increase by such and such a per cent. Innate theology was rather a completed whole by itself. It constituted all that knowledge of God, which was to be obtained from the immediate communion of God with the individual soul. It completed that knowledge of God, whose principium lies in the mystery of the emotions. But since the creation did not consist of that single soul but of a human race, and of a cosmos as the basis of this entire human race, a revelation of God was also necessary in that cosmos and in that organic unit of humanity; and since the individual soul stands in organic relation to humanity and to the cosmos, its knowledge of God had to include both these other spheres of revelation. Even though you conceive a development apart from sin, acquired theology would of itself have been joined to innate theology, as soon as man entered into conscious relation to the cosmos and humanity as an organic unit. Not for the sake of filling out what was incomplete, but of enriching the knowledge complete in itself with the revelation in both these other spheres. Thus, for instance, to enlarge upon this with a single word, the idea of God's Omnipotence, Wisdom, etc., would never have entered into the consciousness of the soul from the cosmos nor from the universal human life. These ideas lie in innate theology, and are given in the idea of God as such. Nevertheless the significance and tendency of these ideas are only clearly seen "since the creation of the world, being perceived through the things that are made." And as to the acquired theology which comes to the individual soul from its relation to the organic unity of humanity, it is evident at once that the Divine is too potent and overwhelming to reveal itself in one human soul. Only in the combination of the whole race of man does this revelation reach its creaturely completeness. Which could not be so if one man were merely a repetition of another, but which leads to that completeness since every individual is a specific variation. Herein also lies the ground for the social character of all religion. The knowledge of God is a common possession, all the riches of which can only be enjoyed in the communion of our race. Not, indeed, as if even outside of religion man is a social being, so that of necessity his religion also is of a social character, for this would reverse the case; but because humanity is adapted to reveal God, and from that revelation to attain unto His knowledge, does one complement another, and only by the organic unity, and by the individual in communion with that unity, can the knowledge of God be obtained in a completer and clearer sense.

For this reason reference was made not merely to our nature, and to the relation we sustain to one another, but also to the process or course run of necessity by human development. Without sin Adam would not have remained what he was, but he and his race would have developed themselves into a higher condition. The process as known in reality may be dominated by sin, but even with a sinless existence there would have been a process of development; and this element must be reckoned with in theologia acquisita. Of course we cannot enter into the particulars of a supposed possibility cut off by sin. This were to lose ourselves in fiction. But in general it may be affirmed, (1) that even without sin human existence would have been a successive existence in time, and consequently an existence in the form of a process; (2) that the entire human race was not in existence at once, but could only come successively to life; and (3), as is seen from the paradise narrative itself, the study of the cosmos would have borne a successive character. Hence in this process there would have been progress, and not simple repetition. Difference of relation to the Eternal Being would have resulted from difference of conditions. The relations among these several conditions would have been organic. Hence in this process of human development there would of itself have appeared a process of development of the knowledge of God. Yea, this process itself, as history foreordained and ruled by God from step to step, would in turn have become a revelation sui generis. In this development of the human race the logical consciousness in man would likewise have obtained a development of its own. Thus parallel to the process of history there would have run a histoiy of man as a logical being. In proportion as revelation enriched itself, the instrument would thus have become more potent by which man transmuted the treasures of this revelation into Theology. We do not say that this would have taken place in the form of our present science. In our human existence eveiything is so intimately connected, that the modification which our entire existence experienced by sin and by sinrestraining grace, both "common" and "particular," impresses its stamp upon our science also. Abstraction, which at present is absolutely indispensable to our science, would certainly not have exercised so strong an influence without sin as it does now. But in whatever form common human consciousness might have developed itself without sin, Theology, i.e. the knowledge of God, would have occupied a sphere of its own in the world of thought, and would by no means have been restricted to the secret reverie of individuals upon the sensations of their inmost soul. All revelation proceeds from the Logos (John i. 1-8), and therefore cannot rest content as long as it is not grasped and reflected back by the logical consciousness of individuals and of the whole of humanity, i.e. by the "logos in humanity." In this way knowledge of God would have proceeded immediately from revelation, and in virtue of the organic relation and development of our race this knowledge of God eo ipso would have assumed a scientific form, even if by another effort of the mind than that from which at present the science of Theology is born. Theology as a science would then have proceeded immediately and of necessity from Theology as the personal and universal knowledge of God, and it would never have entered the mind of any one to understand by the name of Theology anything but that God-knowledge itself. Scientific Theology also would rigorously have maintained its character as knowledge of God. The three above-mentioned factors — revelation, faith and the logical action — are and ever will be with acquired Theology also, which develops of itself into scientific Theology, the three constituent elements of ectypal Theology. Without revelation nothing is known; without faith there is no apprehension nor appropriation of that revelation; and without the logical action, that which has been perceived cannot be transmuted into subjective knowledge of God.

We, however, may not rest content with this supposition of a sinless development. The development is a sinful one, and all closer insight into the nature of Theology must therefore deal with this fact. And yet we do not deem the exposition superfluous of the relation which would have arisen in the case of a sinless development. It is rather a significant fault that in later theological studies this has been too much neglected. We understand what darkness is only from the antithesis of light. Pathology assumes the knowledge of the normal body. And so too the sinful development of our race and of its world of thought, in relation to intervenient grace, can never be understood except we first leave sin out of account. He only who has before his eyes the straight line understands the crooked line. To note a deviation, I must know where the right path runs. And the negative or privative character of sin makes this also necessary with the study of Theology. By the too exclusively soteriological interpretation of Theology we have become unaccustomed to this; while the theologians, who avoided this danger, weakened the fact of sin, and so lost more or less the whole antithesis. Formerly, however, in the days when Theology was still taken theologically, this distinction was rigorously maintained; and every one who, as theologian, aims again at Theology in its real sense, must return with us to this distinction.

But neither in this discussion of the Revelation of God to the sinner, any more than in the first part of this section in our explanation of the Revelation of God to man, will we describe the content and form of that Revelation itself. For so far as the form of this revelation is in order in Encyclopedia, it falls to be treated in the chapter on the Principium of Theology. Since now, however, we have only just begun to develop the conception of Theology from its idea and history, we cannot concern ourselves with that content and form, but must confine ourselves here to its general character.

In view of this our fourth proposition reads, that the revelation of God to the sinner remains the same as the revelation of God to man without sin, only with this twofold necessary difference, that formally the disorder in the sinner must be neutralized, and materially the knowledge of God must be extended so as to include the knowledge of God's relation to the sinner.

In this connection we need not concern ourselves with the fact that it is grace that speaks in the so-called soteriological Revelation. This belongs properly to Dogmatics and not to Encyclopedia. In passing, however, we suggest that the possibility is conceivable, that after man had become a sinner, God might have continued to reveal Himself as before. The result of this would not have been, as is commonly asserted, that the natural knowledge of God alone would have survived; for, as will be shown later on, this natural knowledge of God also is a fruit of grace, and more particularly of "common grace." Imagine that all grace had been withdrawn, so that sin would have been able to develop its deepest energies in the sinner all at once, without any check or opposition, nothing would have remained but spiritual darkness, and all "knowledge of God" would have turned into its opposite. Hence to obtain a clear insight into the modification suffered by the original revelation on account of sin, we must go back to this hypothesis and put the question, in what condition the three factors of the knowledge of God — revelation, faith and the logical action of the human mind—would exhibit themselves under this constellation.

Revelation, taken as limited to man and interpreted as the inworking and manifestation of God in man's hidden being, does not cease with sin; nothing can annihilate the omnipresence of God, not even sin; nor can man's dependence as image upon the archetype be destroyed, neither can the mystical contact of the infinite and the finite in the human soul be abolished. Thus revelation is continued in the heart of man. That which in his hellish terror drove Judas to despair and suicide, was but the perception of this fearful manifestation of God in the deepest centre of his person. Only this revelation, which was originally sympathetic, turns into its opposite and becomes antipathetic. It becomes the revelation of a God who sends out His wrath and punishes the sinner. Even in hell the sinner continues to cany in himself this inworking of God's omnipresence. Because as sinner also he remains forever man and must remain such, he can never escape from that revelation. "If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there."

The same is true of the second factor, iriors. Faith also belongs to human nature, consequently the sinner can never rid himself of it; it also turns into its opposite and becomes unfaith (a-maria); which must not be understood as a mere want or defect of faith, but always as an active deprivation (actuosa privatio). The energy which by nature operates in faith remains the same, but turns itself away from God and with all the passion at its command attaches itself to something else. This is accounted for by the fact that revelation can no longer reach its highest point in the sinner, viz. the personal manifestation of God to the sinner. So that it is limited to the internal operations of God in His anger, and thus to perceptions in the subject of an awful power that terrifies him. This perception can affect faith in two ways: the sinner to whom God can no longer appear personally can either attribute this inworking to some powerful, terrible creature, and for that reason direct his faith to this monstrous creature itself; or, against this terrifying power in his inmost soul he can seek protection elsewhere, and thus centre his faith upon a creature that is sympathetic to him. After he has become a sinner, man still continues to seek after a something to which to cleave with his faith; even though, in Diabolism, Satan himself became this to him.

And finally the third factor, the logical action by which that which faith receives by revelation is raised to subjective knowledge, remains also operative in the sinner, and, cases of idiocy and lunacy excepted, maintains itself in him. The sinner also is impelled to reflect in his consciousness the perceptions which by means of faith he has grasped as real, and placed in relation to an author. Though the stimulus of the logical activity generally operates less strongly in the sinner, since it is the tendency of sin to slacken all activity, yet this is by no means the case with all individuals, and so far as faith has turned into unfaith it can strongly stimulate this activity from sheer enmity against God. Even then, this logical activity does not lead to the knowledge of God, but simply to the erroneous effort to explain the potent and terrible perceptions, actually received in one's being by the inworking of God, in such a way that God is denied by the intellect, and all such inworking is either explained away or explained from the creature. That which is written of Satan: "The devils also believe and tremble," expresses the condition of the sinner under the perception of the inworking of God in his soul; only with this difference, that the demons, as non-somatic, cannot deceive themselves with reference to the reality of the existence of God, and can work no eclipse of His existence by the substitution of a creature, which is the very thing that man as sinner can do; at least so long as he is upon earth, and especially in connection with the restraint of sin by common grace.

In case, therefore, that revelation had not been modified on the part of God, by way of accommodation to the sinner, revelation would have worked nothing in man beyond the sense of the presence of a terrible power that makes him tremble; faith would have turned into unfaith toward God, and would have attached itself to an antipathetic or sympathetic creature; and the logical activity would have sought an explanation of that perception, but would never have achieved any knowledge of God. There would have been no Theology; and nothing could have been done on the part of the sinner to create light in this darkness. This light could only come from the side of God.

This implies, as the facts of history show, that there was in fact a modification introduced in the original plan of revelation and of the construction from this revelation of a knowledge of God. It was changed, but not by the addition of something new and foreign. This would have worked magically; it would have stood mechanically by the side of man, and would have been incapable of assimilation. That which is to be knowable to man and is to be known by man must correspond to the disposition of human nature. That which does not approach us in a human perceptible form has no existence for us, and that which is not adjusted to our subjective logos can never become the content of our knowledge. Hence revelation to the sinner must continue to exhibit that same type to which man is adjusted in his creation. This first, and in the second place there must occur such a modification in revelation as will make it correspond to the modification which took place in man. The nature of the change worked in man by sin governs the change which must follow in revelation. This also affords no room for arbitrariness or whim. The fundamental type remains what it is in original revelation, and modification in this type must entirely agree with the modification occasioned by sin. In the third place, it must not be lost from view that immediate restraint of the deadly operation of sin was necessary, in order that such a modified revelation might still be of use. If sin had once worked its absolute effect, there could be no more help against it by revelation. All they who have once received the hellish character, lie in a darkness which no ray of light can penetrate. And in that case all contact with the light of revelation but leads to sin against the Holy Ghost. All "special" revelation, as it is commonly though not altogether correctly called, postulates common grace, i.e. that act of God by which negatively He curbs the operations of Satan, death, and sin, and by which positively He creates an intermediate state for this cosmos, as well as for our human race, which is and continues to be deeply and radically sinful, but in which sin cannot work out its end (tc'xo?). In the covenant with Noah especially, which embraced the whole earth and all that has life upon it, this "common grace " assumed a more definite form; and human life, as we know it, is not life in paradise, nor life as it would be if sin had been allowed to work out its final effects, but life in which evil truly predominates and works its corruption, but always in such a way that what is human as such is not destroyed. The wheel of sin is certainly revolving, but the brakes are on. This is what our churches confessed when they spoke of sparks (scintillae) or remnants (rudera) which still remained of the image of God, which did not mean that they have remained of themselves, as though sin would not have extinguished those sparks or destroyed those remnants had it been able to do so; but that by "common grace " God has restrained and curbed for a time the destructive power of sin. In virtue of the Noachic covenant this restraint continues to be applied till the Parousia. Then the brake is taken from the wheel and those sparks also go out into entire darkness.

The so-called "special" revelation, therefore, does not adapt itself to the sinner, as he would have been, if sin had worked in him its destruction to the end. Such a sinner would have become satanic, and consequently have passed beyond all possibility of salvation. But special revelation is intended for the sinner who stands in common grace. This is not said in order to postulate in the sinner anything positive, that could ever produce regeneration. Even while standing in common grace the sinner is "dead in trespasses and sin," and in regeneration is absolutely passive; only under common grace palingenesis is still possible, while it has become an entire impossibility in the angel absolutely fallen and will be impossible in man when he shall have become absolutely satanic. This refutes the representation that the sinner is a "stock or block," and what we maintain is but the antithesis of the Reformed against the Lutheran representation, in which it was objected to on our part, that every point of connection for grace was wanting in the sinner. Re-creation may never be interpreted as an absolute creation.

With reference now to the modifications which of necessity must occur in the fundamental type of revelation, it is evident that these must take place in each of the three factors which lead to the knowledge of God.

Since God in revelation could no longer appear to the spiritual vision of man, after it had been darkened by sin, that self-manifestation had to be transferred from the mystery of soul-life to the outer world, with the incarnation as its central point, which is by no means the necessary complement of the normal human development, but was demanded only and alone by sin. From this it follows of itself that the method of revelation became inverted. If it began originally in the mystical nature of the individual, that so it might grow into a common revelation to our race, this was no longer possible after the fall. All knowledge, which as a connected whole directs itself from the external to the internal, is bound to the method of first establishing itself in the common consciousness, and from this only can it enter the consciousness of the individuals. And. formally it is by these two data that special Revelation is entirely governed; while its material modification could consist in nothing else than that God should no longer reveal Himself to the sinner antipathetically in His anger, but sympathetically, i.e. in His pitying grace.

So much for revelation itself. On the other hand, the modification effected in the second factor—faith — bears an entirely different character. The faith life of the sinner is turned away from God in airicria, and attaches itself to something creaturely, in which it seeks support against God. If, now, this turning of faith into its opposite stood as a psychical phenomenon by itself, this faith could only again be made right. But such is not the case. That faith turned into its opposite took place in connection with the entire change occasioned in the psychical existence of man, and extended not only to the outward act but even to the root. Recovery of the original working of faith is, therefore, only possible by palingenesis, i.e. by bending right again, from the root up, the direction of his psychical life. Potentially, in order from the potential to become actual. In the second place this faith, which was originally directed only to the manifestation of God in the soul, was now to be directed to the manifestation of God in the flesh, and thus become faith in Christ. And in the third place this faith, which originally could turn to unfaith, was now to obtain such a character, that, once grasping God in Christ, it should hold fast forever, and so far as its fundamental tendency is concerned, would not again turn back.

It is not so easy to lay hand on the change, necessitated by sin in the entire scheme of revelation, with reference to the third factor: the logical action. Here, confusion has sprung from the almost exclusively soteriological interpretation of the knowledge of God. It was thought that Revelation was exclusively intended to save the elect; consequently Revelation could not be understood except as directed to the individual person; and this has prevented every collective view of special Revelation as a whole. In this way one becomes at once involved in the insoluble antinomy, that in order to be saved the first fallen man in paradise must already have had this Revelation in a state of sufficient completeness, and that therefore all that came afterward was really superfluous, since that which was sufficient to save Adam ought also to suffice for Isaiah, Augustine and Luther. From this point of view an historical, progressive and an ever increasingly rich revelation is inconceivable. Already in its first form it must be complete; and what is added at a later date is superfluous luxury. If meanwhile you face the fact, that this Revelation has a history, and in part still progresses, and that from this long process a broadly ramified and organic whole is born, you incur the other danger, that in this Revelation the saving germ is distinguished from that which has grown around it; in which way a retreat is suggested from the clearly conscious to the less clearly conscious; which opens the door to boundless arbitrariness; and ends in a return to mysticism, and in viewing all logical action as accidental. Which evil is still more aggravated by the consideration that the humblest-minded people should have the full offer of salvation, and that even children, who die before they have awakened to any consciousness, should not be excluded. And this obliges you to conceive the germ to be so small that even the simplest mind can grasp it, and to place the degree of consciousness so low, yea, even below zero, as not to exclude the infant that dies at its veiy birth. Thus you see that this exclusively soteriological interpretation of special Revelation tends directly to its destruction; for from the nature of the case nothing whatever remains of an external revelation as the means of salvation for the young dying child. Hence it is no help to you, that along with the logical action you point to divine illumination. This may be added to it, but soteriologically can never be the essential condition. And the fact is w^ell known, that this soteriological interpretation of revelation as a revelation of salvation has of necessit}^ led many minds to seek refuge again in the tents of mysticism; and to deem themselves accordingly authorized to try to their heart's content their anatomical skill upon the Holy Scriptures as upon a corpus vile.

From this difficulty there is no escape, until special Revelation is no longer viewed as directed soteriologically to individual man. Revelation goes out to humanity taken as a whole. Since humanity unfolds itself historically, this Revelation also bears an historic character. Since this humanity exists organically, having a centrum of action, this Revelation also had to be organic, with a centrum of its own. And as individuals partake of this human life only in relation to humanity as a whole, so also in relation to this whole alone is Revelation of any significance to individual man. By this we do not deny the soteriological aim of special Revelation, but merely assert that salvation of the individual soul is not its rule. Its standard is and will be theological; its first aim is theodicy. Surely whosoever believes on Christ shall be saved; this is possible first and only because God has sent His Son; but the aim, and therefore also end, of all this is, to make us see how God has loved Hi* world, and that therefore the creation of this cosmos, even in the face of sin, has been no failure. Hence Revelation taken as a whole aims at three things: (1) the actual triumph over sin, guilt and death, — a triumph which for the sake of Theology could not be limited to God's plan or counsel, but was bound to go out into the cosmical reality; (2) the clear reflection of the manifold wisdom of God in the logical consciousness of man; and (3) such a dioramic procedure, that at every given moment of its career it offers all that is necessary for the salvation of the contemporaneous generation and of all persons in that generation. Passing by the first and the third for a moment, we consider the second alone as touching directly upon the logical action. The realization of the triumph over sin, guilt and death belongs in revelation to life itself; the salvation of individuals does not depend in principle upon the logical action, but upon the rectification of faith; and with the logical action, which is the point in hand, the main point is what we called, in the second place, the reflection of the wisdom of God in the logical consciousness of humanity. The subject of this action is not the individual person, but the general Ego of believing humanity — a limitation in which the additional term of "believing" ia no contradiction, if only it is understood how wrong it is to suppose that the real stem of humanity shall be lost, and that merely an aggregate of elect individuals shall be saved. On the contrary, it should be confessed that in hell there is only an aggregate of lost individuals, who were cut off from the stem of humanity, while humanity as an organic whole is saved, and as such forms the "body of Christ." By "believing humanity," therefore, we understand the human race as an organic whole, so far as it lives, i.e. so far as unbelief has turned again to faith or shall turn.

In the general consciousness of humanity thus taken, the content, according to the original disposition of our creation, should be formed by individual accretion. Bud by bud unfolds, and thus only is the foliage of the bush gradually adorned with flowers. Without sin the logical action, which translates the content of faith into a clear conception, and thus into knowledge of God, would have gone out from the individuals, and from these single rills the stream would have been formed. Here, also, the way would have led from within outward. This, however, was cut off by sin. As soon as sin had entered in, revelation had to work from without inward, since sin had fast bolted the door which gave access to the manifestation of God in the soul. No sooner had sin gained an entrance than Adam discerned and perceived the presence of the Lord approaching him from without in the cool of the day. And thus the problem arises, in what way the logical action, which is to transmute the content of faith into knowledge of God, can come from without, in order now inversely, from the general consciousness, to reach the consciousness of the individual. And from the nature of the case there is no simple solution for this very complicated problem, but a very complex one, which can only be fully explained in the chapter on the principium of Theology. The lines alone can here be indicated, whose combination and crossing offer the figure for this solution.

In the first place, then, let us observe that the general subject of the essential ego of restored humanity can be no abstraction, simply because an abstraction is incapable of any logical action. Agreeably to this the Scripture teaches that this general subject is the Christ. As we commonly say that there is a thinking head in an association, group, or party, or that he who forms a school is the essentially thinking head for all his school, so in a much more rigorous sense is Christ the thinking subject of our restored humanity, in whose common consciousness "the manifold wisdom of God" is to reflect itself. The Church confesses this by honoring him as prophet, and Paul expresses it by saying that Christ is first given us as wisdom (1 Cor. i. 30). Even though it is the Holy Spirit who executes the logical action, it is Christ himself who said: "He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." He is not only the light and the life and the way, but He is also the truth. And Christ can be this, because he is himself the Logos, as the Evangelist emphasizes so strongly, and because the logos in man exhibits the image of this Logos of God. If now there were no causal relation between these two, Christ would be inconceivable as subject of the new humanity. Since, however, our logos is reflectively (abbildlich) the counterpart of the divine Logos, and since this Logos is in consequence, also independently of sin, "the Light of the world," thus supporting and animating the logical existence of man, it is in every way conceivable that this Logos should approach individual man from without, for the sake of executing for him and in his stead the logical action, for which he himself had become disabled, and thus by indoctrination in the literal sense to bring him back again to that logical action.

This was implied in the saying of the older theologians, that the Logos had revealed himself to us in a twofold way, viz. in the reality of being by incarnation, and in the world of our consciousness by what, for brevity's sake, we will call inscripturation, without emphasizing for the present the scriptural part. There was a revelation of the Logos, they said, in the flesh, and a revelation of the Logos in the word, or, if you please, in being and thought. And because both these revelations were revelations of the one Logos, they were organically united in him, and together formed one wholev If the incarnation were nothing but a physical fact, without a logical content, this fact could not be taken up into our consciousness as far as its content is concerned. And, on the other hand, if the revelation by the irord had no background in reality, and no central motive in the incarnation, it were nothing but an abstraction. Since, however, the subject of the incarnation is one with the subject of the revealed word, there is not merely harmony between the two, but organic relation; and this organic relation is most strongly evident when the incarnate Logos utters even as man the oracles of God. To be sure the Logos is not bound to the organ of his own human nature for revelation by the word; as organic head of the new humanity he can also speak through the organ of other human persons; so Peter affirms of the prophets (1 Pet. i. 11, what the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify) and Jesus himself declares of the apostles; yet the coincidence of the two lines, that of the incarnation (ewra/3«a)<rt?) and of the words (XoXwi), in Christ's own manifestation, lends an entirely unique majesty to his word, which does not appear to this extent either before or after him.

Thus, if it is true of sinless humanity that the "knowledge of God " could gradually ripen in individual persons and from the few enter into the general human consciousness, it is the opposite of this that takes place with sinful, and therefore to be restored, humanity. Christ, as the Head of the Body, is the general subject of restored humanity; and the knowledge of God is not only complete in him, but from him it descends to individual believers. It is the same difference that is found in the domain of ethics between the dispensations of paradise and Golgotha. In paradise ethical life is first personal, and then common, and is intended to progress toward perfection. In Christ, on the other hand, holiness is centrally given for his entire mystical body, from him to communicate itself to his members; while in Christ also an ethical perfection is offered to us which is no more to be acquired, but is now finished. And the same is true of the knowledge of God. This also is first in Christ as our common head and centrum, and descends from him to individual believers (" Neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Matt. xi. 27); and again this knowledge of God in Christ is perfect ("As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father." John x. 15). Our older theologians expressed this entirely exceptional position of Christ as our prophet by attributing to him the Theologia Unionis, i.e. that "knowledge of God" which resulted from what he himself described by saying: I and the Father are one. The Christological explanation of this is not in order here, but in Dogmatics. But to show the significance of this fact to special revelation, we here indicate these three points: (1) that the theologia unionis is not taken as an adequate divine self-knowledge, but always as a human knowledge of God, i.e. a knowledge as complete as the measure of human capacity will allow, but nevertheless ever bound to this measure. Our eye can only take in light to a limited degree of intensity; stronger light does not lighten us, but blinds our eye, and that degree of light only which is adjusted to our eye gives us entire clearness. In the same way a knowledge of God which exceeds our human limitations would throw no light into our darkness, but cause us to see still less. (2) Let it be observed that this knowledge of God as the fruit of Christ's union with the Father was not the result of a dialectical analysis, but was intuitive, and therefore was not acceptable "to the wise and the learned," but intelligible to babes. It is not said, therefore, that Christ is our knowledge (yW0W), much less that he is our understanding (o-weo-t?), but that he is our wisdom (aofyia). Christ does not argue, he declares; he does not demonstrate, he shows and illustrates; he does not analyze, but with enrapturing symbolism unveils the truth. The statement that Christ "increased in wisdom" cannot detain us here; in this instance we merely deal with Christ after his baptism, when the "hear him" had been proclaimed of him. And the objection that Christ consulted the Holy Scriptures of Israel has no weight with those who confess, with the apostle Peter, that Christ is also the subject of prophecy. But in whatever way this may be taken, the result remains the same. The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, has declared Him unto us, and this implies what we postulated: (1) that the knowledge of God of restored humanity was first in its general subject, i.e. in Christ; and (2) that in this general subject it was perfect.

If this is the beginning of the logical action by which regenerated humanity turns into knowledge the content of revelation received by faith, it is at once evident that this does not end the logical action. First, there is still wanting the logical action of the individual, by which he comes to a personal knowledge of God; and, in the second place, the central and complete knowledge of God, which the whole body of Christ possesses in Him who has been given it of God for wisdom, must be radiated from all the combining articulations of regenerated humanity, and must become "understanding" in its dialectical consciousness.

With reference to the first it is necessary that the organ or instrument for this logical action in the sinner shall regain the power which it has lost by sin. Although we are not deprived by sin of the power of thought, and though our law of thought is not broken, the pivot of our thought has become displaced, and thereby our activity of thought, applied to divine things, has a wrong effect. This is restored by divine illumination, which does not imply that he who has thus been enlightened is to think more acutely. Greater or lesser acuteness of thought depends upon personal conditions which are entirely different. Paul is a more acute thinker than James, and in acuteness of thought Aristotle and Kant excel by far the majority of Christians. If I put a sharp knife in a mowing-machine, but place it too high, so that it cannot touch the grass, all action of the machine is in vain; and with a duller knife, which touches the grass, I will produce ten times as much effect. And such is the case here. As long as the divine illumination remains wanting, the logical instrument in the sinner is out of relation to divine things. It does not touch them, and therefore its action is in vain. The instrument of the logical action is not repaired mechanically; this postulates the palingenesis of our person, which is only effected by the Holy Spirit in the regenerate. When, however, this divine illumination has once become actual, at least in its beginnings, our consciousness is able to appropriate to itself logically also the content taken up by faith. Not in the sense that every believer is able to think out in a clear way the entire content of revelation. This is only done by all believers together. After these many centuries, this task is still by no means completed. Personally this enlightening simply means that, according to the peculiarities of his person, according to his needs and the measure of his gifts, every believer understands everything that is necessary for confession. Under the influence of divine illumination, this logical action therefore does not direct itself to the entire field of revelation, but to its central content, while the knowledge which extends itself also to a part at least of the periphery is only the possession of a very few. Moreover, this logical action does by no means effect a clear understanding with all, but gives each the insight suited to the peculiar susceptibility of his person, which is entirely different with a humble day-laborer from what it is with the scholar. But as a result so much knowledge of God in each case is obtained as corresponds to the clearness of each consciousness.

Next to this individual insight into the content of revelation, no less attention should be paid to the logical action which brings the content of revelation to clearness in that^eneral understanding, which in turn serves and enriches personal knowledge. The foundation for this is laid by apostolic revelation, which affords us a more varied and distinguishing look into the wisdom of Christ. This does not imply that the apostles offered us anything that falls under the conception of scientific Theology. He who makes this assertion totally underestimates their authority. But in their writings the lines are indicated along which the logical activity of the so-called scientific Theology must conduct itself through all ages. Thus they indicate what the content of revelation is, as well as the relation in which this content as a whole stands to the past, to the antithetical powers, and to personal faith and practice. This apostolic knowledge is, therefore, the complement of revelation itself, since this revelation would be incomplete if it did not itself produce the roots from which the understanding must develop itself. This development can only follow when it finds its point of departure in revelation itself. Even then this development is not left to abstract and independent thought, but remains dependent upon the inworking and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The human logos, as weakened by sin, can certainly deal with the content of this revelation, as has been the case in all ages; but as soon as this movement has reached out after something more than a mere superficiality, it has become at once antithetical, has placed itself in opposition to revelation, and has sought, and still seeks, logically to destroy it. Hence the development we referred to can only come from that circle in which the divine illumination operates, and the logical action of the circle outside of this can only serve to stimulate the action of those who have been enlightened and to make them careful of mistakes. Since in the circle of the "enlightened" the Holy Spirit operates not merely in individuals, but also in groups and in the whole circle, it is actually the Holy Spirit who, as "the teacher of the Church," interprets the content of revelation, and so enriches and purifies the knowledge of God; not, however, by the suppression of logical action, but by stimulating and by employing it as its instrument. The necessary outcome of this is that this working is not perfect; that it propels itself by all sorts of vibrations between truth and error; that it only gradually obtains more firmness, and finally results in the dogma of the Church.

But even this does not end the task of the logical action. The understanding of Revelation must be taken up into the general understanding, from which of itself the need arises of giving an organic place in the unit of our knowledge to that knowledge of God lodged in the regenerate, and which under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Church, in deadly conflict, has formulated into dogma. Our knowledge of the cosmos and of revelation must not merely be brought into practical harmony for the sake of the life of faith, but in the human consciousness as such it must also become an organic whole, and thus Theology rise as a science: first, in the scholastic sense, so long as it serves no other purpose than the justification of the content of Theology at the tribunal of thought; after that, poll/historically, when it swarms upon every sort of flower-bed that stands in less or more relation to Theology; and finally, in the organic sense, when it places its subjective action, as well as its given object, in their relation to our world of thought and the world of other objects. Thus only can that which is at first potential knowledge unfold itself to a complete and actual science.

But in this process, from start to finish, it is ever and always Theology in its proper sense, i.e. the knowledge of God divinely given, that is taken up into our consciousness, and is reflected from our consciousness (personal as well as general). Hence nothing is significant to Theology, because nothing belongs to it organically, but that which interprets this "knowledge of God" in its origin, content, significance, working and tendency.

By way of recapitulation, therefore, we arrive at what was stated in our fourth proposition, viz. that ectypal Theology, as revealed by God Himself, is the same in all its stages ; and that special revelation, i.e. revelation to the sinner, is only modified to the extent that now it can also be known what God is willing to be to the sinner. That, further, this development of revelation goes hand in hand with an accommodation to the lost condition of the sinner, so that now revelation does not work from within outward, but makes its approach from the outer world to the inner life of man, and that the logical action goes out from the central ego of Christ, and thus only benefits the individual subject in the personal believer. And that finally, for the sake of the assimilation of this knowledge of God by the sinner, his unbelief must be changed to a faith in Christ, which is only possible through, at least a potential, palingenesis of his whole being.

And thus we reach the point which renders the forming of the conception of Theology as science, possible, and which will be considered in the following section.

§ 61. Conception of Theology as Science

Like every other science, the science of Theology can be spoken of in a twofold sense, viz. either with reference to the intellectual labor expended upon Theology, or with reference to the results of that labor. In the latter sense, Theology as science also remains the knowledge of God; for though its result is not an increase of the knowledge of God, and can only lead to a clearer insight into the revealed knowledge of God, yet every gain in clearness of insight magnifies the worth of that knowledge. The microscope adds nothing to the wing of the butterfly, but enables me to obtain a richer knowledge of that wing. And while the science of Theology adds no new knowledge of God to the knowledge revealed to us, scientific Theology renders my fuller assimilation of its content possible.

Whether this scientific insight into the knowledge of God is possible and necessary, depends upon the stage of development which has been reached by the human consciousness. In fact, in the sense in which we now interpret the domain of theological studies as one organic whole, the science of Theology has only been born in our century. Even down to the middle of the last century, while there was a Theology, as Dogmatics, with which other studies were connected, yet the necessity was not felt of moulding these into one organic whole, and still less the impulse to conjoin this unit of Theology organically with the other sciences into one architectural whole of science. This was not accidental, but the immediate consequence of the general spirit of the times. This same phenomenon presented itself not only in the domain of Theology, but in the domain of every other science. The Encyclopedia of Theology had already made considerable advances, while all encyclopedical insight into the psychical and medical sciences was still entirely wanting, and in the philological and juridical sciences it had scarcely yet begun. Impelled by its own exceptional position, as well as by the alarming attitude the other sciences assumed against it, Theology was the first to give itself an account of its place and of its calling. For the greater part of the last century, however, this attempt bore an apologetic character; and only when, by and after Kant, the question about the essence and the method of our knowledge, and consequently of the nature of science in general, pressed itself forcefully to the front, in our human consciousness, was there gradually adopted the organic interpretation of Theology as a whole and as one of the sciences in the great unit of the sciences, which is now dominant in the Theological faculty, and is being more widely recognized by the other faculties. Formerly a science of Theology in that sense was not necessary, because the human consciousness in general did not feel the need of such an interpretation; neither was it possible, because the data for such a construction of Theology, and of all the other sciences, cannot be borrowed from the knowledge of God, but from Logic in the higher sense.

Hence the conception, which was formed of Theology in the academic sense, has certainly been modified. Theology, taken in the subjective sense, was understood to be our human insight into the revealed knowledge of God, and this insight was graded as the subject chanced to be a layman, a scholar, or more especially a theologian; but even in this highest sense Theology was limited to Dogmatics, generally with Ethics included. This learned insight into the revealed knowledge of God was for the most part explained after the scheme of Aristotle or Peter Ramus, and defended against all objections. This study alone was called Theology, besides which some theologians would study Church History and other similar branches; but the relation of all these to real Theology was merely mechanical. At present, however, the name of Theolog)' covers the entire realm of these studies; there is no rest until a starting-point for Theology has been found in the unit of science; and, in this connection, the effort is also made to understand organically the essence of Theology itself.

It is evident that this has given rise to a serious danger of falsifying the nature of Theology. As what used to count as the whole of Theology has been classed as « mere part, the tendency was bound to exhibit itself to seek the heart of Theology no longer in its principal factor, but in its auxiliary departments; and similarly when the articulation of Theology to the organism of science is traced, of necessity its Nature can no longer be explained simply from its own principle alone, but also from the general principle of science. Both these dangers have shown themselves and have brought their evil with them; even to such a measure that in the conceptions of Theology, as severally formed in our times, scarcely a trace of the original significance remains. This compels us to hold fast, tooth and nail, to the original meaning; and therefore, starting out from the idea of Theology, we have made a transition from the idea to the conception of Theology, in which the conception of the knowledge of God remains the principal part.

The way in which the several departments of theological study are organically related to this knowledge of God can only be shown when we come to consider the organism of Theology; here, however, this organic relation is merely assumed, so that we do not even say which departments of study do and which do not find a place in this organic unit. At present we only speak of a certain group of studies which together have announced themselves as a theological science, and are recognized as such at the great majority of universities. This group of departments offers a scientific treatment of all sorts of material, which, however widely they may differ, must nevertheless be bound together by a common motive. This motive neither can nor may be anything else but the idea of Theology itself, and hence must be contained in the knowledge of God revealed to us. If for a moment, therefore, we dismiss from our thoughts the division of departments, and thus picture to ourselves the theological science as one whole, "this revealed knowledge of God," and this alone, is its object of investigation. This investigation would be superfluous if this knowledge of God were revealed to us in a dialectic, discursive form. Then, indeed, the human mind would be released from all necessity for assimilating this knowledge of God. But such is not the case. The knowledge of God is revealed to us in a veiled form, just such as was necessary in order that it might be valid for every age and people, for every time of life, grade of development, and condition. Not the dialectically acute Greek, but the mystic-symbolic man from the East, was chosen as the instrument to reveal to us this knowledge of God. Hence a considerable distance still separates this knowledge of God, as it has been revealed, from the world of the entirely clarified human consciousness, and the consciousness of man has yet to perform a giant's task, before it has appropriated the treasures of that Revelation with transparent purity and has reflected it from itself.

This labor, therefore, is nevertheless not scientific labor in its entire extent. There are lower grades in the development of our consciousness, which, though they do not bear the scientific stamp, are yet productive of early fruit. The assimilation of the revealed knowledge of God by our human consciousness has gone through all these grades. There is a labor of thought devoted to this knowledge of God, which has had for its exclusively practical purpose the persuasion of him who stands afar off to confess Christ. There is a labor of thought expended upon this Revelation with no other purpose than to defend it against opposition and heresy. This knowledge of God has been reflected upon by the human consciousness in the personal application of it to one's own condition and experience of soul. Human power of thought has entered upon this knowledge of God in preparation for preaching and catechizing. No less in the formulation of dogma has human power of intellect labored in the sweat of its brow. And all that national acumen and the spirit of a given age, or the sense of a peculiar confession, could produce in rich variation has been applied with indefatigable diligence and indomitable perseverance to cause the beauty of this "knowledge of God" to glisten to its utmost in the prism of our human thought. But all this, however excellent and rich, is not yet what we understand by Theology as science. Of this we can speak only when our intellect does not perform mere menial service for other purposes, but when in our consciousness itself awakens the sense of its higher calling, viz. to transmute the mechanic relation between itself and its object into an organic one. Of course, this does not imply that science should exist merely for the sake of knowledge, and that in entire self-sufficiency it should lose itself in abstractions. On the contrary, science also, as a sphere of the Logos, is called as a creature of God to serve its Creator, and its high and practical purpose in our behalf is, that it should emancipate us, afford us an independent position in the face of threatening powers, and that thus it should advance our human existence to higher estates. This, however, can only be more fully explained when we come to consider concretely the place of Theology in the whole organism of science. For the forming of the conception of Theology, it is sufficient if it is seen that the science of Theology can flourish as a plant by itself only when our human consciousness takes the reins in its own hands and becomes aware of its sacred calling to melt the ore of this "revealed knowledge of God " into shining gold, in order, apart from every incidental aim, as soon as this task is done, to place the fruit of its labor at the disposal of the higher aim to which its labor especially must be directed.

But because this science engages itself with theologia, i.e. the knowledge of God, as its object, it could not claim the name of Theology, if it were not included in the plan of Revelation and in the nature of this knowledge of God that the Logos in this higher sense should be one of the means to enrich our subjective insight into this ectypal knowledge of God. For which reason we mentioned the fact, in our discussion of Revelation, that it is also the calling of the logical activity to introduce this knowledge of God into the general subject of re-created humanity. Christ is no doubt this general subject in its central sense, on which account, as shown above, "wisdom" is given in Him; but this is still entirelydifferent from the "understanding " of the general subject of humanity in the general human consciousness. Only when from the central subject (Christ) this "wisdom " has entered into individual believers and into circles of believers of different times is it possible that, from these individual and social insights into the wisdom of God, a different kind of insight can gradually be formed as "understanding," which cannot rest until it has become adequate to the content of the wisdom which was in the central human consciousness, i.e. in Christ. But even if for a moment we imagine the unattainable ideal that the content of each were adequate, yet the nature of each would be entirely different; what was "wisdom" in Christ as the central subject would have become "understanding" and "science " in the general subject of regenerated humanity; and it is the science of Theology alone that can lead to "understanding" in this given sense. As in every domain science, by the establishing of the general human consciousness, unveils the possibility of single persons and individual groups, broadening their insight and clarifying it, such is also the case here. The more the science of Theology succeeds in giving theology to the general subject of regenerated humanity, and thus in bringing this general subject to the knowledge of God, the more clearly does it open the way to the churches and to believers to attain, at least so far as the intellect is concerned, to a fuller knowledge of God, and thus to a better theology. Even as science it adds its contribution to the subjective assimilation of the knowledge of God within its appointed sphere, and so derives its right to claim for itself the name of Theology. Thus it presents itself to us as a logical activity, which transfers ectypal knowledge of God from Revelation, as "understanding," into the general subject of (regenerated) humanity-.

Meanwhile this qualification of regenerated humanity demands a fuller explanation. God does not love individual persons, but the world. His election does not abandon the human race to perdition, merely to save individuals, and to unite these as atoms to an aggregate under Christ; but He saves humanity, He redeems our race, and if all of our race are not saved, it is because they who are lost are cut off from the tree of humanity. There is no organism in hell, but an aggregate. In the realm of glory, on the other hand, there is no aggregate but the "body of Christ," and hence an organic whole. This organic whole is no new "body," but the original organism of humanity, as it was created under Adam as its central unity. Therefore the Scripture teaches that Christ is the second Adam, i.e. that Christ in His way now occupies the same place in the human race which was originally occupied by Adam. Hence it is not something else nor something new, but it is the original human race, it is humanity, which, reconciled and regenerated, is to accomplish the logical task of taking up subjectively into its consciousness this revealed ectypal Theology, and to reflect it from that consciousness. Whatever a man may be, as long as he does not share the life and thought of this regenerated humanity, he cannot share this task. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. ii. 14). Our consciousness is connected with our being. Without palingenesis there is no adaptation of our consciousness conceivable, which would enable it to assimilate or reflect ectypal Theology, and it is only by the "enlightening," as the result of palingenesis, that our consciousness receives the susceptibility for this. As in the general subject of humanity the spirit of man (to irvevua) is the real agent, so in the general subject of humanity, or in the body of Christ, the spirit (irvevfid) in this body, i.e. the Holy Spirit, is the inner animator. And therefore the science of Theology is a task which must be accomplished, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, by regenerated humanity, and by those from among its ranks who, being partakers of palingenesis, and enriched by "enlightening," have also in their natural disposition those special talents which are necessary for this intellectual task.

That the science of Theology is thereby not isolated nor cut off from the common root of all science, can onty be explained when we consider the organism of Theology. Here we affirm that in every domain palingenesis revivifies the original man as "a creature of God," and for no single moment abandons what was given in the nature of man. Sin tries to turn the excellencies of this nature into their opposites, but this fatal effect of sin has been restrained by common grace; and where particular grace renders this restraint potentially complete, and at the same time potentially recovers original purity, from the nature of the case the action of the Spirit in the sphere of palingenesis remains identical with the action of the Logos in human nature, and joins itself to the common grace, which has called all science into being, at every point of investigation.

The science of Theology, therefore, is nothing but a specialization of what is given in the idea of Theology. It is not all Theology, neither may all subjective assimilation of ectypic knowledge of God be appropriated by it. Among the different assimilations of this knowledge of God, Theology as a science occupies a place of its own, which is defined by its nature as an organic member in the unit of sciences. And thus we come to this conception of Theology, viz. that it is that science which has the revealed knowledge of God as the object of its investigation, and raises it to "understanding." Or in broader terms, the science of Theology is that logical action of the general subject of regenerated humanity by which, in the light of the Holy Spirit, it takes up the revealed knowledge of God into its consciousness and from thence reflects it. If, on the other hand, the science of Theology is not taken in its active sense, but as a product, then Theology is the scientific insight of the regenerated human consciousness into the revealed knowledge of God.

This conception diverges entirely from what the several schools at present understand by Theology as a science; and this compels us, in defence of our definition, to investigate first the several degenerations of Theology as knowledge of God, and then the several falsifications of the conception of Theology as science.

§ 62. Degenerations of Theology as "Knowledge of God"

The idea and significance of Theology has been corrupted in two respects: on the one hand with reference to Theology as "knowledge of God," and on the other with reference to Theology as "science." This section treats of the first kind of degeneration, and the following of the falsification of Theology as science.

With reference to the degeneration of Theology, taken in the sense of "knowledge of God," we must begin with Natural Theology (theologia naturalis), since only in view of this natural knowledge of God can there be any question of Theology with those who reject special revelation (revelatio specialis). It is common in our times to seek the tie which unites the higher life of pagan nations to our own, in religion. A general conception of religion is then placed in the foreground. It is deemed that in this general sense religion is present in almost all these nations. Affinity is observed among their several religions, but also a gradual difference. In all this it is thought that a process is perceptible, and it is by means of this many-sided process that the Christian religion is brought into relation to these lower forms. We do not take this way, because religion and knowledge of God are not the same, and it is in the latter that Theology finds its only point of departure. Religion can be interpreted as a sense, a service, or an obligation, but in none of these is it identical with the "knowledge of God." This is most strongly emphasized by the pious agnostic who claims himself to be religious, and yet on principle excludes all knowledge of God. The loss from sight of this specific difference between religion and Theology accounts for the fact, that even in the science of Theology religion has been put in the place of its original object.

This compels us to seek the tie that binds us to pagan nations, not in the phenomenal side of their religious lifeexpressions, but, along with Scripture, in natural Theology; which at the same time offers this advantage, not to be despised, that we need not confine ourselves to the national forms of ritual, but can also deal with the theology which, outside of these rituals, can be observed in their mysteries and in their poets and philosophers. It is well said, that even the most repulsive idolatry stands in organic relation to the purest revelation. There is a generic unity, which in former times was too greatly lost from sight, and is still overlooked too much, especially by Methodism; overlooked also in the work of missions. The purest confession of truth finds ultimately its starting-point in the seed of religion (semen religionis), which, thanks to common grace, is still present in the fallen sinner; and, on the other hand, there is no form of idolatry so low, or so corrupted, but has sprung from this same semen religionis. Without natural Theology there is no Abba, Father, conceivable, any more than a Moloch ritual. In so far, then, we agree in principle with the present day Science of Religion (Religionswissenschaft). On the other hand, we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, as soon as it tries to fill in the interval between this Abba, Father, and the Moloch ritual with the undulations of a gradually advancing process. There is here no transition nor gradual development, but an antithesis between the positive and negative working of a selfsame power. With natural Theology it is the same as it is with faith and ethics. Ethical life knows only one normal development, viz. that to holiness; but over against this positive stands the negative development along the line of sin. Sin is an "actual deprivation," and not merely a want (carentia), and therefore it is virtue turned into its opposite, and such by the negative working of all the glorious power which by nature belongs to the ethical life. Likewise unbelief, as shown above, is no want of faith, but an actuosa privatio fidei, i.e. the power of faith turned into its opposite. And in the same way idolatry also is no outcome of the imagination, nor of factors in the human consciousness that gradually develop themselves, but of an actuosa privatio of the natural knowledge of God. In the idolater both the motive and the content of this natural theology are turned into their opposites. It is the same wheel, turning itself on the same pivot, but in a reverse or averse direction. The Christian Religion and Paganism do not stand related to each other as the higher and lower forms of development of the same thing; but the Christian religion is the highest form of development natural theology was capable of along the positive line; while all paganism is a development of that selfsame natural theology in the negative direction. Christendom and Paganism stand to each other as the plus and minus forms of the same series.

From this it appears that natural theology is not taken by us in that worn-out sense in which, at the close of the seventeenth century, a barren scheme of individual truths was framed, which was made to stand as natural theology alongside of the supernatural. Natural theology is with us no schema, but the knowledge of God itself, which still remains in the sinner and is still within his reach, entirely in harmony with the sense of Rom. i. 19 sq. and Rom. ii. 14 sq. Sin, indeed, is an absolute darkening power, and were not its effect temporarily checked, nothing but absolute darkness would have remained in and about man; but common grace has restrained its workings to a very considerable degree ; also in order that the sinner might be without excuse. In consequence of this common grace there remain the rudera or sparks of light in the sinner, and the curse upon nature has not yet come in such measure but that "invisible things " are clearly seen, because understood by the things that are made (Rom. i. 20). Hence the condition of man and his world are not such as they would have been if sin had at once accomplished its end; but, thanks to common grace, both are of such a character that knowledge of God is still possible, either by way of tradition, or as the result of personal insight, such as has been found in generous measures in the midst of paganism, in its mysteries as well as with its poets and philosophers. But, and this is the point, instead of clinging fast to this, the sinner in general has played a wilful game with this fruit of common grace, and consequently his "foolish heart" has become entirely "foolishness" and "darkness." And only as result of this abuse which the sinner has made of natural theology, God at last has "given him over," as Paul reiterates it three times in Rom. i. God has let go His hold upon him; and in consequence of this desertion of God the curse of self-degradation and of brutishness has come upon paganism, and now constitutes its real mark.

Hence two mistakes have here been made, and two errors are to be guarded against. Our older theologians have too greatly ignored paganism, and have explained it too exclusively from a demoniacal motive, and thereby have not allowed the organic relation to show itself sufficiently, which unmistakably exists between true and false theology, as the normal and abnormal working of one and the same impelling principle; while, on the other hand, it is the error of our times to abandon the antithesis of true and false, to identify the two, and to prefer the form of the process of development to this organic relation. If formerly they failed per defectum, we now fail per excessum. And true insight into the organic relation between true Theology and Paganism is only obtained when the antithesis is fully recognized between the positive and negative development of common grace. There is here also an antithesis between true and degenerate development, which the more they progress, the farther they separate from each other,— an antithesis which is in no single particular a lesser one than that between good and evil, as both expressions of the one ethical principle implanted in us all.

We do not deny that a process has taken place; only this process is twofold. As at the fork in the road where good and evil separate a twofold process begins, of which one leads to an ever richer revelation of that which is holy, and the other to an ever sadder exhibition of that which is demoniacal in sin, such also is here the case. From the times of Abraham the lines of true and false theology separate. Not as though this antithesis did not exist before; but because at this point the two manifestations assume each an historic form of its own. And from this point we have on the one hand a development of true theology, which reaches potentially its acme in Christ, and on the other hand also a deterioration of false theology, which in a negative sense must likewise run its course to the end. In another volume this will be more fully explained. Here we can only locate the point of view where one must stand, in order that the organic relation between our own confession and that of Paganism may fully exhibit itself again, and at the same time the danger be avoided of weakening the distinction between these two to a relative difference.

To preclude the possible objection, that the theology of Greek philosophy stands higher and approaches nearer to the truth than the Animistic and Fetishistic forms of paganism, we observe: first, that it should not be considered proper to link the theological representations of a negro tribe to those of a people so highly cultured as that which gave being to Greek philosophy. The hypothesis that all nations have begun with Animism, and have gradually mounted the several rounds of the scale, is entirely unsupported. Our second observation is, that dissimilar magnitudes cannot be compared, and hence the cultus-forms of any people cannot be compared to the theological teachings (theologumena) of philosophers. For comparison the cultus-forms of paganism must be contrasted with the practical religion of these philosophers, and their theological teachings with the ideas concerning the infinite and its workings which are fundamental to the cultus-forms of the nations of lower standing, or of the Greeks. By which comparison it appears at once that the philosophers had no cultus-forms, and obtained them only when in Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, etc., they had adopted elements from the Christian religion. This shows that Natural Theology operated in them more as an intellectual power than as a devotional impulse, — a fact which of itself leads to our third observation, viz. that however high, from an intellectual point of view, the theological teachings of Greek philosophy may stand, in the main they exhibit a much stronger deterioration of the true knowledge of God, inasmuch as they destroyed the feeling of dependence, in place of which, in Stoicism, they substituted human self-sufficiency. In the negro, who trembles as he kneels before his Fetish, there is more of the fear of God than in the proud philosopher, who reasons about the gods (or about To delov) as about powers, of which he will determine what they are. In the negro there is still a considerable degree of vitality of the seed of religion, while in the self-sufficient philosopher it is dead. He reasons; in however imperfect a way, the negro worships.

As Christian Ethics not only deals with the positive development of good, but reckons as well with the negative development of evil, Christian theology also is not to confine itself to the study of true theology, but must also deal with false theology in paganism; and this it must do not merely for the sake of making obvious the monstrosity of pagan representations,— this, indeed, would not be a proper interpretation of its task,— but rather that it may show that this paganism also is born of natural theology, and discover the law which this false development has obeyed. There is no single datum in idolatry, which is inherent in it, but has sprung from natural theology. Of course this does not underestimate the inworking of tradition from paradise, nor the influence exerted by Israel. When the antithesis between true and false theology is sharply seen, the true must have preceded the false, and idolatry can be nothing else than deterioration; which implies of itself that, as with all deterioration, some elements of the originally pure development still cooperate. And with reference to the inworking of special revelation, it should not be lost from sight, that from the days of Abraham, the people of revelation have ever been in touch with the surrounding nations, and that extensive journeys, for the sake of finding out what other nations taught concerning Divine things, suited entirely the spirit of the ancients. With this purpose in view the passes of the Himalaya were crossed from China to the Ganges. Add to this the great significance and calling of the empire of Solomon, and the fact that the prophets appeared long before the Greek philosophers, and it betrays little historical sense, when a priori all effect of Israel upon paganism and pagan philosophy is denied. But this after-effect of tradition, as well as that possible inworking of Israel, are accidental. They are not inherent in the contrary process of natural theology in its deterioration. Hence this process itself must be investigated, not for the sake of paying homage to the theology of paganism as such, but to show that the religious life of these pagan nations was founded upon some theology, which as such was not invented, but is the necessary result of the sinful development of natural theology.

Islam occupies here a somewhat separate position. Just as with Gnosticism and Manichaeism, we here deal with a unit of theological representations which has special revelation back of it, and partly included in it. This presents three factors for our consideration. First, the contrary development of natural theology, which here also forms the pagan background. Secondly, the contrary development of supranatural theology, which had an entirely peculiar career. And, thirdly, the syncretistic element, which united these deteriorations into one. Islam is not merely pagan, nor is it merely heretical, but both together, and hence it occupies an entirely peculiar place among the deteriorations of true theology, in which it now stands alone, simply because Manichaeism, Gnosticism, etc., as religious societies, have passed away. On the other hand, Islam, as such, is allied to those theological representations that have become current again, especially since the beginning of this century, and which have embroidered the flowers of Christian revelations upon the tapestry of a radically pagan philosophy. With this difference, however, that these philosophic deteriorations have not established religious communions, but have invaded the Church of Christ.

§ 63. Falsifications of the Conception of Tlieology

The falsifications of Theology as science bear an entirely different character. By these we do not refer to the heretical divergencies, such as Protestants assert of Romanism, and Rome in turn affirms of Protestantism. With every heretical divergence both sides occupy the same point of view as to natural theology; from both sides it is confessed that their theology is derived from special Revelation; and the difference arises only from the diverging views of this special Revelation. In speculative and empiric theology, on the other hand, one is met by a falsification, which, from principle, denies all special Revelation, and thus in reality takes counsel with natural theology. Both forfeit thereby the right to the name of theology, because in this way speculative theology really ends in Philosophy, and empiric theology disappears in Naturalism. Natural Theology can exhibit itself as a regnant power only when human nature receives the beams of its light in their purity and reflects them equally completely. At present, however, the glass has been impaired by a hundred cracks, and the receiving and reflecting have become unequal, and the image that was to reflect itself is hindered in its clear reflection and thereby rendered untrue. And for this reason you cannot depend upon natural theology as it works in fallen man; and its imperfect lines and forms bring you, through the broken image, in touch with the reality of the infinite, only when an accidents enables you to recover this defective ideal for yourself, and natural theology receives this accidens only in special revelation. Speculative and empiric theology are correct, therefore, in their reaction against methodistic superficiality, which actually annuls natural theology, and accepts special revelation by faith as something entirely independent by itself. While, on the contrary, it is only by the natural knowledge of God, by the semen religionis, that a special revelation is possible for us, that our consciousness can unite itself to it, and that certainty can be born of its reality in our sense. Yea, to speak still stronger, we may say that special theology is merely temporal, and natural theology eternal. This is not stated more boldly than the Scriptures justify, when they explain the mutual relation between the special priesthood of the Aaronic ceremonial and the natural priesthood of Melchizedek. Melchizedek appears as one standing entirely outside of the special revelation; he is a priest-king, who has natural theology only, together with a weakened tradition of the once blessed paradise. Aaron, therefore, on whom shone the full light of special revelation, stands far above him in knowledge of God, in loftiness of religion, and in purity of priestly ritual. With a little less thought one would have been tempted to place Aaron's priesthood far above that of Melchizedek, in order to find the ideal highpriesthood of Christ in Aaron, and not in the order of Melchizedek. And yet revelation, in both Old and New Testaments, teaches the very contrary. Aaron's ceremonial bears merely a temporal character; Melchizedek's office is eternal; and Aaron disappears in Christ, in order that in Christ Melchizedek may reappear. Thus Aaron's service merely fulfilled the vocation of rendering the service of Melchizedek possible again, and enabling it to resume its original significance. And this is the point of view which dominates also the relation between "natural theology" and "particular grace." Undoubtedly the content of special revelation is much richer than the meagre content which natural theology now offers fallen man; and it is also evident that without its accidens in special revelation this natural theology is no help to you whatever. Aaron's service was much richer than that of Melchizedek, and without the Aaronic ordination Melchizedek's offering missed every atoning merit. But this does not take away the fact, that natural theology always remains the originally real one, and that special revelation can never be anything else than accidental. Hence, when it comes to a state of purity, when sin shall have been eradicated so that its very memory shall no longer work its after-effects in the creation of God, then all the riches of special revelation shall merely have served the end of bringing natural theology back again to its original lustre, yea, of causing it to glow with a brightness which far excels its original lustre. In the prophetic domain of the knowledge of God, also, Aaron disappears, and Melchizedek returns with all the glory of the original creation. This is the deep significance of the oath sworn by the Lord in Psalm ex., concerning the priest after the order of Melchizedek. Jesus Himself spoke of a future in which His disciples would no more ask Him anything, because the Father Himself loved them. And in the perspective of 1 Cor. xv., when God shall be "all in all," the entire special revelation has receded; the object for which it was given has been obtained; and with reference also to the knowledge of God, the "all in all" expresses nothing else than what once existed in paradise.

Though this deeper truth was not recognized by Schleiermacher, the spiritual father of subjective empiricism, and by Hegel, the master thinker, who founded the school of recent speculative theology, they perceived it, nevertheless, sufficiently clearly to vindicate the primordial authority of natural theology. Calvin saw deeper than both, when he compared ectypal theology, as thanks to common grace it still exists in and for the sinner, to a book the writing of which had become blurred, so that it could only be deciphered with a glass, i.e. with the help of special revelation. In this figure the thought lies expressed, that the theology which reflects itself as such in our nature, is ever the real theology, which, however, must be augmented and be explained, and which without this assistance remains illegible; but which, even during and after this help, always remains the true divine writing. So also it is foretold in prophecy, when Jeremiah declared that there was a time coming in which the outward special revelation would be ended, and every one would bear again in his heart the divine writing, and all should know the Lord from the least unto the oldest. This, too, is only the representation that the outward special revelation merely serves for a time, and that it has no other tendency than to lift natural theology from its degeneracy. Natural theology is and always will be the natural pair of legs on which we must walk, while special revelation is the pair of crutches, which render help, as long as the weakened or broken legs refuse us their service. This indeed can be frankly acknowledged, even though it is certain, that as long as our legs cannot carry us we can only walk by means of the crutches, so that during this abnormal condition our legs do not enable us to walk truly in the ways of the Lord, but only our crutches, i.e. not natural theology, but only special revelation. This last point has been less denied than entirely abolished by Schleiermacher, as well as by Hegel, and in so far we deny that the subjective-empiric and the speculative schools, which they called into life, are able to offer us any real and actual theology. But this does not destroy the fact that the motive which impelled them contained an inward truth. After the Reformation orthodoxy withdrew itself all too quickly from general human life. It became too greatly an isolated phenomenon, which, however beautiful in itself, was too much disconnected; and when it undertook to distil a kind of compendium from the so-called natural theology, and in all its poverty to place this by the side of the rich display of special revelation, it belittled this natural theology to such an extent, that rationalism could not fail of its opportunity to show itself and to administer reproof; while orthodoxy, removed from its basis, was bound to turn into inwardly thin supranaturalism with its external supports. Thus there was no longer a scientific theology worthy of the name. All that remained was, on the one hand, a mysticism without clearness, and on the other hand a barren framework of propositions and facts, without the glow of life or of reality. This was observed with great sharpness of vision by Schleiermacher, as well as by Hegel, and both endeavored to find again, in the reality of life, a So? fioi Ttov ar<a (starting-point) for religion, and thus also for theology. They did this each in his own way: Schleiermacher by withdrawing himself into human nature, as religious and social in character; and Hegel, on the other hand, by extending the world of human thought so broadly, that theology also found a place in it. From subjectivity, i.e. from mysticism, Schleiermacher came to theological thought, Hegel, from the thought of man, hence from intellectualism, to religion. Thus together they grasped natural reality by the two handles which this reality presents for religion. Natural theology includes two elements: first, ectypal knowledge of God as founded in the human consciousness, and secondly, the pistic capacity of man to grasp this ectypal knowledge with his inner consciousness. Hegel made the ectypal knowledge of God to appear in the foreground of human consciousness; Schleiermacher, on the other hand, started out from the pistic capacity increated in the inner nature of man. Hence it is not surprising in the least, that both formed a school of their own, and that only by their initiative theology revived again as a science. They indeed abandoned the isolation to which theology had fled. Each in his way restored religion and theology to a proper place of honor in human life and in the world of thought. By their work the "unheimisch" feeling of confusion in the face of reality was taken away from the theologian; he had again a standing. The thirst after reality could again be quenched. And that even orthodox theologians, whose earnest effort it was to maintain by far the greater part of the content of special revelation, sought refuge in the two schools need not surprise us, for the reason that the strength of each lay not so much in their positive data, as in their formal view, which to a certain extent was also adapted, if needs be, to cover an orthodox cargo. With respect to this formal part, Schleiermacher and Hegel even supplemented each other. If in Schleiermacher's subjective school theology was threatened to be sacrificed to religion, and in Hegel's speculative tendency to be glorified as the sole substance of religion, it was evident that those who were more seriously minded foresaw the future of theology in the synthesis of both elements. There were two sides to natural theology, and only in the combination of Schleiermacher and Hegel could natural theology again obtain a hearing in its entirety.

But this whole effort has ended in nothing but bitter disappointment. Not, as already said, as though in these two schools men began at once to cast the content of the special revelation overboard. On the contrary, Schleiermacher and Hegel both did not rest content with the meagre data of natural theology, but made it a point of honor to demand the exalted view-point of the Christian religion for its own sake, and, so far as they were able, to vindicate it. What good was this, however, when they were bent on explaining, at any cost, this ideal view-point of the Christian religion from the normal data? They no doubt acknowledged the considerable interval between this ideal religion and the imperfect religious expression outside of the Christian domain, but they refused to attribute this to the supernatural, and thus to what seemed to them the abnormal action of the living God. The interval between the highest and the lowest was not to be taken any longer as an antithesis, but was to be changed into a process, by which gradually the highest sprang from the lowest. Thus each in his way found the magic formula of the process. From Theism they glided off into Pantheism. For thus only was it possible to maintain the high honor of the Christian religion, and at the same time to place this exalted religion in organic relation to the reality of our human existence. And this was the thing that avenged itself. For from the meagre data of natural theology they were not able to operate along straight lines, and thus even these fundamental data were falsified. This became especially apparent in the school of Hegel, when in their way his younger followers tried to systematize religion, and soon rendered it evident that, instead of vindication, the result, which in this school they reached by strict consequence, was the entire undermining of historic Christianity and of all positive religious data. What Hegel thought he had found was not religion, but philosophic theology, and this theology was no true "knowledge of God," but a general human sense, in which the immanent Spirit (der immanente Geist) gradually received knowledge of himself. This did not find archetypal knowledge in God, but in man, and ectypal knowledge in the incomprehensible God. Hence it was the perversion of all Theology, and the inversion of the conception of religion itself, and both dissolved in a philosophic system.

Though at first the subjective-empiric school of Schleieimacher appeared less dangerous, and though it did not lead to those repulsive consequences in which the young Hegelians lost themselves, yet even this did not escape its Nemesis, and with fatal necessity tends more and more to Naturalism. It did not come to religion from the sphere of thought, but sought its connecting point in human nature. Man, not as individual, but taken as an integral part of the organism of humanity, presented himself as a subject with certain emotions and perceptions, and bearing a religious character; from these perceptions and emotions, by virtue of the "social instinct" (Sociale Trieb), which is peculiar to man as an organic being, sprang a certain desire after religious communion (Verein); and since man inclines to take up his emotions and perceptions into his consciousness, there was gradually born of this selfsame subjective mysticism a world of religious representations. Only with these ethical premises at his disposal, does Schleiermacher come to the phenomenon of the Christian Church, which, both by way of comparison and in principle, seems to satisfy the highest aspirations these premises inspire. Faithful to his naturalistic interpretation he concedes that it is the vocation of the Church to remain the leader of this ethic-social process in humanity. This requires elucidation of insight. And so he arrives at an interpretation of theology which is nothing but an aggregate of disparate sciences, which find their bond of union ad hoc in the phenomenon of the Church.

We readily grant that Schleiermacher did not mean this naturalistically. His purpose was to save the ideal life of humanity. But we maintain, that this whole interpretation sprang from the naturalistic root, and is chargeable with the naturalistic tendency, which became more strongly evident in his followers. Of the three data which he deals with,— human nature, God and thought,— he takes human nature alone to be autonomic. All that he teaches of God, is not merely bound in its form of expression to the data of our nature, but the content also is the mere reflection of subjective perceptions; man is and remains the subject, that is, thinks and speaks, and in his presence God obtains no autonomic position. The reality even of the existence of God appears to the very end to be dependent upon the reality which vindicates itself in the subject man. The same is true with reference to the factor of thought. With Schleiermacher, thought is the result of being, not in the absolute sense, but of being in man and of that which springs from this being of man. Actually, therefore, human nature alone and its phenomena are real for Schleiermacher; from this nature only you come to God as to its projection; and thought exercises so little independent power, that the unconscious senses, feelings and perceptions not only govern our entire thought, but even repress it, and already prepare the primacy of the will of later date. With this, however, Schleiermacher as a theologian had passed the handle entirely out of his hands. It is selfevident, that the autonomic study of human nature held the mastery also over the future of theology. If that physiological and psychological study should lead to materialistic results, the whole of Schleiermacher's religion would fall away. Or, where the result was less disappointing, yet so far as the method is concerned, the physiological factor was bound to dominate entirely the psychological factor, and this would also include everything that relates to religion under the power of the naturalistic view. In this wise the Christian religion was bound to be reduced to the product of all preceding religious development; that preceding religious development could at length be nothing more than the necessary development of a psychological peculiarity; that psychological peculiarity, in turn, must be the result of the fundamental data in our human nature; that human nature could be nothing else than the product of the unbroken development of organic nature; that organic nature could not differ essentially from the inorganic nature; so that finally, everything that is high and holy in the Christian domain has been brought under the power of the evolution theory, and the theologian has to be informed by the naturalist where to look for the origin of the object of his science.

Thus, in both schools, everything that had so far been known by the name of theology was in principle destroyed. There were no longer two, God and man, the former of whom has imparted knowledge of Himself to the latter; there was, in fact, nothing else but man, in whom alone, according to the speculative school, "the Ever-Immanent Spirit" (der ewigimmanente Geist) came to consciousness of himself; and who according to the subjective-empiric school, experienced subjective perceptions, from which he formed for himself subjective representations of a religious character. Neither in one school nor in the other was there any more question of an extrahuman God, nor room for a theology which should be able to introduce actual knowledge of that God into the general human consciousness. The abandonment of the name Theology, and the substitution in its room of the name of Science of Religion, was nothing but the honest consequence of the fundamentally atheistic point of view which was held. Is atheistic too strong a word in this connection? It is, when by atheism we understand the denial of the spirit and perceptions of the infinite; but not, when we interpret it as the refusal longer to recognize the living God, who has made Himself known to us as God. Though both schools held to the name of God, they both afterward denied that we have the right to reckon with the reality of the living God, as a personal, self-conscious Being, who from that self-consciousness reveals Himself to us. And from that time on, the object that engaged the investigator in this domain was no longer the reality God, but religion. With reference to the eternal Being everything had become problematic; the religious phenomenon was the only certain thing. There revealed itself in human nature and in history a mighty factor, which was known by the name of religion. It was possible to trace and to study the historic and ethnologic development of this factor; psychologically, also, an explanation of this religious phenomenon could be sought; and in this perhaps at length sufficient ground could be found to assume a general agent as cause of this phenomenon; but no venture could be made outside of this phenomenal circle. The vovfievov remained problematic.

That nevertheless most students shrank from the immediate adoption of this radical transition, had a threefold caus'e,— the historic form of our theological faculties, the existence of the Christian Church, and the exalted character of the Christian religion. By far the larger number of theologians of name do not reach their destination except in the theological faculty. That faculty, as an historic institute, is bound to the theological name, and more particularly still to Christian Theology. The revolution which has taken place on theologic ground must of necessity either modernize these faculties entirely, or perhaps occasion their disappearance, and the transfer of their chairs to other faculties. But this is not done at once. Every academic institute is conservative. And since one cannot wait for this, and meanwhile is not willing to abandon the influence of the chair, one adapts himself to the inevitable, and continues to call himself a theologian, and to speak of theological study, even though in the main he has broken with theology, in the historically valid sense of the word. The second reason, why the name of theology has been maintained, lies in the Christian Church. For her sake the Ministers of the Word must be educated. If it were not for her, there would be no question after pupils for this faculty. Dilettant theologians are becoming ever more scarce. And thus one had still to adapt himself to practical needs in these departments. From a scientific point of view the study of other religions might promise richer harvests; but almost no one would frequent the lecture-rooms where exegetical readings were given from the holy books of other religions. And thus the scientific standard had to be abandoned, and for the sake of practical needs the old theological tracks are still continued. This is indeed an unenviable position, in which self-respect is regained in part only by the consideration of the third cause mentioned above, that is, the relative excellency of the Christian religion. Even when, after the fashion of botanists, Ave treat religion as a flora of poorer and richer types, it is but natural that fuller study should be devoted to the religious plant of higher development; and, as such, homage is paid to the Christian religion. Not generally any longer as the highest, for Buddhism, and even Islam, are placed by its side; and much less as the highest conceivable, for in ethics Christ is thought to be far excelled, and it is maintained that further development is not at all impossible. But in general the Christian religion still counts as one of the higher developments; especially as that development, which is of greatest interest to us historically, and which, so far as the lower classes of people are concerned, is even yet the only one that claims our general notice. And thus it comes to pass, that this faculty is still called theological, and is still regulated with a view to the training of Ministers of the Word for the Christian Church, and, though the other religions are reviewed, the Christian religion is still the main study pursued. This is done, in antagonism with principle, for the sake of secondary considerations; and it is for this reason that the ancient name of Theology is still borne, though now as a misnomer, and that the only fitting name for what is really meant, that of "science of Religion " (Religionwissenschaft), remains still banished from the official curriculum.

In order to restore harmony to a certain extent between name and matter, it has been tried in more or less conservative circles, to define Theology as "the science of the Christian religion"; which, however much better it may sound than Schleiermacher's prudish and unnatural definition, is nevertheless equally unable to stand the test of criticism. Is there likewise a science of English history? Of French philosophy? Of Greek art? Of course not. The science of history devotes a chapter to England's national past; the history of philosophy devotes a separate investigation to that which has been pondered and reflected upon by French thinkers; and the history of aesthetics engages itself especially with Greek art; but no one will undertake to represent these parts of a broader object as a proper object for an independent science. Hence, in the religious domain also, there is no separate science of Parseeism, of Buddhism, of Israelitism, of Christianity, or of Islam. He who takes one of these phenomena as such as object of investigation, may not take it outside of its relation to correlated phenomena, and can take no stand except in a science which embraces these correlated phenomena as a whole. It is unscientific, therefore, to speak of a "science of the Christian religion." If I confess a Revelation, which has no correlates and which is a phenomenon of an entirely singular kind, it may well be the object of an independent science. But if one views the Christian religion as one of several religions, even though it is comparatively the highest of all religious developments known to us, he is as unable to create an independent science of the Christian religion as the botanist is to speak of a special science of the cedar. If, on the other hand, with other more or less orthodox theologians, we assert that the Christian religion is distinguished from all other religious phenomena by a special specific revelation, its distinguishing element is not in the religion, but in the revelation of Christianity, and hence this revelation must be the object of this science.

This was felt by Hodge, the champion of scientific orthodoxy in America, and therefore he tried to escape from the dilemma by choosing the facts of the Bible as the object of his theology. His intention was good, for in the main he was correct in saying that the Holy Scriptures offer us no scientific theology, but contain the facts and truths, "which theology has to collect, authenticate, arrange and exhibit in their internal relation to each other" (Syst. Theology, I., p. 1). And yet we may not rest content even with Hodge's definition. For in this way the conception of "ectypal Theology" is lost, and from all sorts of facts we are to conclude what must follow from them with respect to the Being of God. His combination of "facts and truths" overthrows his own system. He declares that the theologian must authenticate these truths. But then, of course, they are no truths, and only become such, when I authenticate them. His idea was, of course, to save theology as a positive science, and to do this in a better way than they who took the "Christian religion" as the given object; but it can scarcely be denied that he succumbed to the temptation of placing Theology formally in a line with the other sciences. All the other sciences have the data of nature and of history for their object, and Theology, in like manner, has the data of this supernatural history. There were two spheres, two worlds, which have become object of a proper science each. That the distinction between God as creator and all the rest as His creature draws the deep boundary-line between theology and all other science, could not be established in this way. The authentication of his "facts" brought him logically back again under the power of naturalistic science. And though as a man of faith he bravely resisted this, his demonstration lacked logical necessity.

Our result is that, though still called by the name of theology, the entire subsequent development of theological study has actually substituted an utterly different object, has cut the historic tie that binds it to original theology, and has accomplished little else than the union of the subdivisions of psychology and of historic ethnology into a new department of science, which does not lead to the knowledge of God, but aims at the knowledge of religion as a phenomenon in the life of humanity. Along this way also the return was made to natural theology, and whatever was still valid as "Christian revelation" was cited to legitimatize itself before the tribunal of natural theology. The harmony between the results of these modern investigations, and those derived in former ages from natural theology in India and elsewhere, could therefore arouse no surprise in the least. This only should be added, that the exchange of theologia naturalis for religio naturalis accounts for the loss. with us of what the Vedanta still maintains, viz. the divine reality, which corresponds to the impressions and perceptions of the religiously disposed mind.

§ 64. Deformations of Theology

If the effort to obtain Divine knowledge from natural theology, without the help of special revelation, was bound, after the fall, to effect the entire deterioration of the knowledge of God; and if, on the other hand, the effort to substitute religion as object of investigation for the "knowledge of God" was bound to falsify the conception of theology; the evil worked within the theological domain by what we call its deformations, the results of schism and heresy, is of an entirely different character. The difference is still clearly evident between what is called Protestant, Romish and Greek or Eastern Theology; and though on Protestant ground the antithesis between the Lutheran and Reformed type of doctrine is less significant than before, it is selfdeception to suppose that it has become extinct; while, on the other hand also, the variegations of the mysticapocalyptic and the pietistic-methodistic mode of teaching still maintain themselves in ever wider Protestant circles. The illusion that the former confessional differences have had their day, in order gradually to make room for a general Protestant sense, scarcely held itself intact for a quarter of a century. It was evident all too soon, that this indifference to confessional standards sprang from an unhistoric tendency and was fed by an exceedingly serious hypertrophy of the philosophic element. Almost everywhere, therefore, we see the revival of confessional standards in theology, the moment it escapes from the arms of philosophy, and, for the sake of defending its position, is bent upon the recovery of its independence. This, however, makes it necessary, just as our fathers did before us, to deal with the deformations of Theology.

This conception of deformation excludes, on our side, two untenable points of view: first, the sceptical, which attributes no higher worth to Protestant Theology than to the Romish or Eastern, and evermore tends to place these in a line; and secondly, the absolute, which counts out every other theology but its own as worthless, and frankly declares them to have originated with the Evil One.

The sceptical point of view falls short in faith, decision and courage of conviction. Here, in reality, one takes truth as something that lies beyond human reach; hence one's own confession also is valued no higher than as an effort to express truth, which from the nature of the case has met with ill success. One feels his way in the dark, and hence must readily concede others the right of doing the same. Their confession and yours contain equally little or much of worth, just as you please. They are variations of the same theme. Each of these variations enrich and complement, and you stand personally higher, just in proportion as being less narrow in the attachment to your own confession, you have an open eye and ear to rejoice in all expressions of life. This is not meant to be taken eclectically, for since you have no favorite flower, you gather no bouquet from the several confessions, but simply walk among the several flower-beds to enjoy whatever is beautiful in this confessional garden. All this lacks seriousness of purpose. From this view-point every form of confession becomes an article of luxury. Confessional life aims no longer at truth, but serves as a kind of poetry. In the life of his emotions one experiences certain pious perceptions; one also seeks a certain mystical communion with the hidden world of the infinite; and in so far as one accepts the reality of that world, he is seriously minded; but he has no faith in what he himself expresses or in what he hears others say concerning it. It does not become us, it is said, to do anything but stammer. No significance, therefore, should be attached to the sounds, forms, or words which we speak, as though these expressed the higher reality. At most these sounds have the worth of a musical character. They give utterance to our better feelings, and presently aid to revive them again. But for this very reason, the song which another sings from his heart is equally beautiful. There is no more truth to be confessed. All that remains is a pious, aesthetic enjoyment of what has been stammered by man in all manner of ways concerning the truth. A Calvinistic prayer, which drinks in encouragement for higher life from the fountain of eternal election, impresses, from this point of view, equally strongly as the Ave verum corpus of the Romish worshipper, as he kneels before the uplifted host.

This sceptical point of view, therefore, should not be confounded with the mystical antithesis, which opposes all dogma. all confessions and also all special revelation. This myotic antithesis springs from the tendency to let being triumph over consciousness, and, while it apparently antagonizes barren intellectualism, in reality it opposes every modification which by virtue of religion must be brought about in our world of thought. It is said that our so-called modern ethical tendency sets no store by conceptions; but from the nature of the case this is not so. No one can get along without thought; without a life with consciousness no human life is conceivable; every one goes out from certain general conceptions; and, voluntarily or otherwise, in those who live in higher spheres those general conceptions form a system, i.e. they stand in a certain relation to each other. As an actual fact, therefore, the conflict against "barren intellectualism " banishes all influence of revelation or even of religion from the development of our world of thought; while eventually the world of thought, which from natural reason has become common property, is permitted to assert itself as unassailable and self-evident. With these men it is ever the old conflict between the primacy of the consciousness and of the will, while our entire higher life is subsumed by them under the will. With the deformations of theology, however, we need not take this into account; since all such efforts end in an entire falsification of the conception of theology, and as such belong to our former paragraph. The sceptics, on the other hand, whom we here speak of, occupy the selfsame view-point with us of special revelation; with us they feel the need of holding dogma in honor, and readily agree that no church can get along without confessional standards; only, to all these confessions together they attribute nothing but a relative value. The truth is not contained in one confession, nor in all the confessions taken together; to push propaganda, therefore, of one confession above another is entirely void of motive. Going from one church to another, except for the sake of marriage or of national interests, has no significance. And the poor martyrs who faced death for the sake of their convictions, died like naive victims of a confessional mistake.

If thus in this confessional scepticism the energy of conviction is wanting, the confessional absolutists, on the other hand, sin through the excess of conviction, when they anathematize everything that falls outside of their own confession. This ground was not held by the Reformers and the learned divines who theologically expounded the confession of the Reformer's. Even Calvin is clearly conscious that he builds on the theology of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas; and he who reads the original Lutheran and Reformed dogmatists, perceives at once that they make constant use of what has been contributed by Romish theologians. But in the subsequent period this usage has become extinct. Every church withdraws itself within its own walls; and finally it seems that there is no theology for the dogmatist, but that which rests upon his own confession. Hence, not only in the case of every antithesis, is one equally firm in cleaving to his own conviction, and in rejecting whatever opposes it; but also every suggestion is banished that, at least in that which is not antithetic, some theologic depth, development and truth may lodge with the opponent. The Romish theologians carry this confessional absolutism to the farthest extreme. With the Lutheran theologians this absolutism is quickly carried into practice, even at the expense of Reformed theology. The Reformed theologians alone have longest reacted against this confessional absolutism. If the confessional sceptic knows little besides irenics, and if in his eyes all controversy is folly, the absolutist, on the other hand, is averse to all irenics, and controversy or polemics is his only point of contact with the confessions of the other churches, which he considers simply false.

But it is readily seen that neither this sceptical nor this absolutist point of view is in harmony with the claim of theology. Not the sceptical, for if theology is "the knowledge of God," and if, consequently, theology as a science can have no other object than to introduce that revealed knowledge of God as clearly as possible into our human consciousness, personal convietioyi must ever be the startingpoint of all theology. Taken generically, theology is, and always will be, knowledge, and for this reason there can be no theology where the conviction that one knows is wanting. Confessional indifferentism is in irreconcilable conflict with this, for many things may lie in the farthest circumference of each one's conviction which are not attached to his personal consciousness; but these do not belong to our confession. But that which one confesses, one must mean; of this we must be certain; if necessary, the greatest sacrifice must be made for this; if needs be, the sacrifice of life. That now this confessional conviction in the Lutheran Church is different from that in the Eastern, and in the Reformed than in the Church of Rome, certainly does not depend upon our personal preference. This difference is connected, rather, with our position in life and genealogy. No objection should ever be raised on that account, however, against the reality of our conviction, since the entire world of our representations, those of the non-religious kind also, are determined by the circle from which we spring and the age in which we live; the Pelagian only may encounter some difficulty here, because he does not believe in a divine plan, which determines our whole position; but, for the rest, no conviction ever strikes deeper root than when it has been prepared atavistically in us. He, therefore, who has in this way obtained his conviction as one with his life, does not ascribe its possession to his own excellencies, but renders thanks for it to the grace of God. A true theologian, therefore, will and must hold for real and true the theology which he embraces, and to the further development of which he devotes his life, and should not hesitate to consider all other theology to be deformation. A Lutheran theologian, who is not firmly convinced of the truth of his own confession and who has no courage to denounce all theology which is opposed to it as deformation, has lost his way. The same is true of the Romish theologian. And we as Reformed theologians stand equally firm in our unshakable conviction that the track, along which we move, runs the most accurately, and that every other track leads to lesser or greater deformation.

But though from his own point of view no single theologian should shrink from this qualification of deformation, this conception of deformation contains, on the other hand, an element of appreciation, and therefore a sentence against confessional absolutism. Deformation passes judgment on the imperfection of the form, but honors the essence. Whether this deformation is the outcome of schism, and consequent onesidedness, by the contraction of the energy of truth at one single point; or whether it has found its origin in heresy, i.e. in the adoption into one's confession of elements that are foreign to the truth, can make no difference. In either case you acknowledge that there is a "knowledge of God," and that that which calls itself theology is truly possessed of the theologic character. It is still commonly accepted in the confessions that there is an ectypal knowledge of God, that in the natural way this cannot lead the sinner to saving results, and that there is a special revelation to supply this want. The canonical books also of the Old and New Testaments are honored by all these churches together as the Divine documentation of this revelation. Difference only begins with the addition to these Scriptures of the apocrypha, of tradition, of papal inspiration, of the mystic inspiration by the internal light (lumen internum), etc. Thus from either side we are abundantly able to show how the deformation originated with the other; and this is the point of attack; yet this does not destroy what is common in all confessions and theologies.

And if this opens the way to the appreciation and use of what has been prepared also by theologians of other confessions, in what is common to us all, it leads at the same time to still another consideration. Even Rome does not deny that charismata are also at work outside of her church; and where in this way even Rome maintains a unity, our Protestant principle includes the open recognition of the correlation of the other churches with ours. No single confessional group claims to be all the church. We rather confess that the unity of the body of Christ extends far beyond our confessional boundaries. The theological gifts that operate outside of our circle may supply what we lack, and self-sufficient narrow-mindedness alone will refuse such benefit. With us irenics go ever hand in hand with polemics. Firmly and unshakably we stand in our confession, that the track along which we move is the most accurate known to us, and in virtue of this conviction we do not hesitate a moment to mark the divergence of the tracks of others as deformation. Against all such deformity we direct our polemics. But we are equally conscious of the fact that we alone do not constitute the Church of Christ in the earth; that there is a conviction of truth which operates also outside of our circle; and that in despite of all such deformation divine gifts continue to foster a theologic life worthy of the name. Hence our irenics.

To us, therefore, there is no theology as such, which, exalting itself above all special theologies, is the theology in the absolute sense. Such a theology would effect at once a new confession and call into life a new church organization; simply because one can hold no different conviction as theologian than as church member. But this would reverse the order of things. The Church does not spring from theology, but theology has its rise in the life of the Church. And if the objection is raised, that in this way theology is robbed of its character of universal validity and thus becomes unscientific, we answer: (1) that for universal validity the acceptance of all individuals is not demanded, but only of those who are receptive to the truth of a matter and are well informed of it; (2) that every convinced theologian in the presence of his opponent also appeals from the mind that has been ill-informed (male informatum) to the mind that is to be better informed (melius informandum). The fact that unity of conviction, which is fairly common with the material sciences and rare with the spiritual sciences, is altogether wanting with the highest, viz. theology, is no plea against theology, since it merely shows that, as it touches that which is most tender, it of necessity stands highest, and consequently has most to endure from the ruin worked by sin in our spiritual life.

On this ground we maintain the confessional character of theology, since otherwise either the unity of our theological thinking is lost, or the integrity of our theological conviction. To us who are members of the Reformed Churches the more exactly defined object of theology is, the knowledge of God, as given in the Reformed or purified confession.

§ 65. The Relation of Theology to its Object

Thus far the course of thought has run smoothly. Knowledge of God is the crown of all that can be known. Knowledge of God is inconceivable, except it is imparted to us by God Himself. This knowledge, given us by nature in our creation, has been veiled from and darkened in us by the results of sin. Consequently it now comes to us in the form of a special revelation, and we have received the divine illumination, by which we can assimilate the content of that revelation. And science is called in, to introduce this knowledge of God, thus revealed, into our human thought. Just here, however, a very serious misinterpretation is possible, which must needs be prevented. It can be represented that it is only science that places the revealed knowledge of God within the reach of the pious. In which case it is science that investigates the special revelation; the results of this investigation are gradually more fully established; that which is established is brought to the knowledge of all; and thus the knowledge of God is made universal. This entirely intellectualistic way excludes, meanwhile, the spiritual experience of the Church in its entirety, as well as of individual believers. Taken in this way, scientifically theological study must have preceded all faith, and the knowledge of God would only have come within our reach after theology had as good as finished its task. This, however, is inconceivable, since theology is born of the Church, and not the Church of theology. Reflection does not create life, but suo jure life is first, after which reflection speaks its word concerning it. And thus spiritual life became manifest in the Church of Christ, and as the result of Revelation practical spiritual knowledge of God had been the rich possession of thousands upon thousands, long before the idea of a scientific theology was suggested. It cannot even be said that scientific theology presented the forms of thought which led to the formulations of dogma. Those formulations were much more the product of the conflict for truth which took place in the life of the Church, and therefore they have borne much more an ecclesiastical than a scientific character. The knowledge of God, held by the Church, did not remain naively mystical, until science analyzed this mysticism. But sharp and clear thinking was done in the Church as such, long before the science of theology as such had won a place for itself. The Church has not lived wraconsciously, but consciously, and so far as the personal life of believers is concerned, no urgency for a closer scientific explanation has ever been observed.

Much less can it be said that scientific theology is called to add more certainty to the confession of the Church and to demonstrate its truth. The desire to have theology perform this service, so entirely foreign to it, has not originated in times of spiritual prosperity and healthful activity of faith, but was always the bitter fruit of the weakening of faith, and consequently was ever incapable of checking the decline of the life of the Church. The Church that has leaned on theology, instead of presenting its arm to theology for its support, has always lost the remnant of higher courage which reminded it of better days, and has always degraded itself to a dependency upon the school. No, the need of scientific theology does not spring from the need of the soul, but always finds its motive in our human thought. There is a world of thought which binds man to man, and which, notwithstanding the change of individuals, passes on from generation to generation. Only a few, however, live in that world of thought with such clear consciousness as to feel themselves at home there. But they also who do not enter in so deeply, derive general representations from this world of thought which are the common property of all and thereby render the mutual correspondence among minds possible. And this world of thought cannot resist the impulse to take all things up into itself, and therefore also this knowledge of God; and of this impulse theology as a science is born. This seems to be otherwise, when we observe that the practical purpose of the first theological studies was to defend themselves apologetically, or to train preachers for the Church; but appearance must not mislead us. The actual need, expressed in these attempts, was to seek a point of support for one's propaganda in the world of thought that was common to Jews and heathen. It was soon learned that with one's preaching pure and simple no gains were made. Hence the need was felt of something of a more transparent character, to supply which the content of the faith was gradually interpreted in the language of our thinking consciousness. In proportion as the significance of this effort after clearer consciousness was more sharply seen, the sense also gradually awakened of a vocation, which, independent of necessity and defence, should cause the content of the revealed knowledge of God to shine likewise in this world of thought. By obedience to this, that content was not brought closer to our heart, but was presented with more clearness to our consciousness. The distance was lessened between our general conceptions and the content of that revelation. The confession of that content became more transparent and accurate, and though this scientific theology was unable to add one grain to the content of this knowledge of God, it has unquestionably heightened the pleasure of our possession. The Church, therefore, has not hesitated to profit by it; and though there is no single pearl in her confession which she owes theology as such, since all her pearls are gathered from the depths of spiritual life, it is equally certain that she would not have been able to string these pearls so beautifully in her confession, had not the light of theology illumined her spiritual labor. From clearer consciousness to go back to mystic darkness, is obscurantism; and since theology has also made the scientific torch to burn, no church that wants to avoid being wilfully "blind" can afford to act as though this torch had never been lighted, but must duly take it into account. In this wise, moreover, theological science is no abstraction. On the contrary, it springs of necessity from the life of the Church, upon which it exerts an influence in all the stages of its development. What we protest against is, that theology should be thought to exist merely for the sake of rendering this auxiliary service, and that the Church by itself should be considered not to be able to do without it. Spiritually the Church has prospered long centuries without it, and in so far can never be dependent on it. But on the other hand, again, theology should not be explained from utility. That it did originate, is accounted for by the nobility of our human thought, which cannot rest, so long as there is still a single domain within reach which it has not annexed to itself. Thinking man, converted to God, has felt himself called to cause the honor of God's truth to shine also in the world of our representations and conceptions. If that which God causes us to perceive of Himself were limited to a mystic esthesia, we might philosophize about this phenomenon, but we would never be able to analyze this perception theologically. Since, however, at sundry times and in divers manners God has spoken unto the fathers, and thus light upon God has arisen in our consciousness, that revelation itself has impelled a scientific investigation, and Christendom would have done violence to the impulse of its consciousness if it had lived without theology.

Theology, therefore, like every other science, aims at as complete and accurate a knowledge of its object as possible. It too is born from the thirst after insight and clearness, and cannot rest so long as there is still a possibility of making the insight into its object more clear. Theology should not be denied this ideal character of all science, and therefore its motive should ever be sought in knowing God, and not in knowing religion or Christianity. Religion and Christendom by themselves are excellent and important subjects, but as such they do not cover a necessary department in our consciousness. But this is entirely different with respect to the Eternal Being. In every human consciousness of higher development, or at least in the general consciousness of humanity, there is a vacant space, which can only be filled by the knowledge of the Eternal One. If, therefore, as was shown above, theology is to find its object only in the revealed, ectypal knowledge of God, this should never be taken in the sense of scholastic learning. The motive for all theology is and ever will be the knowledge of the Eternal Being, not now in the interest of the needs of our heart, and not, as a rule, for the practical purposes of life, but solely in the interest of the world of our thought. More than this it cannot give. As a science, it is and always will be intellectual work, and can never be ani/thing else. Only as far as the revealed knowledge of God has a logical content, is theology able to master it. Outside of the domain of our thinking it is powerless; but when the matter concerns this thinking, it is indisputably the province of theology to do it.

But if in this way we concentrate its calling upon the critical examination of the self-revelation of the Eternal Being to us sinners, we do not mean that it is merely to explain from this revelation what relates exclusively to God and to His Nature. It must be strictly theological, so that from the beginning to the end of its epic God Himself is the hero; but as was observed by the older theologians, one can treat of God both in the direct and oblique cases (de Deo in casu recto et obliquo). Not only, therefore, that which in revelation deals with the being of God, but also His attributes, activities, and creations, so far as these contribute to the knowledge of God, should be taken up in the investigation; nature, therefore, as well, and history, i.e. from the theological side; and man likewise, provided he is taken as created after the image of God, and thus interpreted theologically. And as knowledge of a powerful thinker is deemed incomplete for his biography, unless you include his ideas concerning the significance of man, the great problems of life, and the development which awaits us in the future, it is self-evident, that it belongs to the knowledge of God, to investigate what He declares concerning man, His relation to the children of men, and His counsel which shall stand. The emphasis, which we put upon theology, as theology, tends by no means to impoverish it; we take it that its content is thereby greatly enriched; we only claim that whatever shall belong to its content must be governed by one and the same leading thought, which leading thought is the knowledge of God. This provides at the same time a standard, as shall be shown later on, by which to bring perspective into the Scripture; provided we avoid the errors of distinguishing between Scripture and the Word of God, and of concentrating the significance of the Scripture upon the religious-ethical. The knowledge of God alone teaches you to distinguish between eminent, common, and less important interests in the Scripture. Only that which you have made your own theologically, you possess as part of revelation; while that which to your sense is not connected with the knowledge of the Eternal Being, lies still outside of it.

Even this, however, does not entirely determine the relation of theology to its object. All this concerns exclusively the content of Revelation, and does not yet reckon with the revealed knowledge of God as such. Thus far a dogmaticethical study might develop itself, but this would not provide room for a theology in the broader unfolding of all its departments of study. Only with the organic construction of theology as a scientific unity can it be shown more accurately of every department, in what relation it stands to the knowledge of God, and what place, therefore, belongs to such a department in the theologic unit. To this, then, we refer; but it is necessary here to indicate, in broad outline, from whence theology derives these many departments of study. It will not suffice to say, that they have appeared de facto, neither will it be enough to emphasize the significance of these departments as preparation for the preaching of the Word. To be capable of being scientifically interpreted, the unit of a science must spring from the root of its object, or, at least, its object must be its motive. This object here is: the revealed knowledge of God, or the theologia ectypa revelata. From this it follows, that we are not simply to deal with the content of this revelation, but also that this revelation as such must be investigated; that the activity must be traced, which has gone out from this revelation; and that the relation must be traced between revelation and our psychic data, in order to make action from our side possible with that revelation. He who is to make a scientific examination of a mineral spring, is not permitted to rest content with an analysis of its ferruginous quality, but is bound to inquire into the history of this spring, to watch the action of its waters, and to experiment as to how its content is best applied. Apply this to the revealed knowledge of God, and you perceive at once, that the theological science cannot deem its task completed, when it has analyzed the content of revelation, but the revelation itself and the action that went out from it, together with the method demanded by its application, must be studied in their relation to each other. With the strictest maintenance, therefore, of the theologic character of our science, nothing prevents a view of the relations of the several departments of study. For instance, what is church history but the broad narrative of the effects which the ectypal knowledge of God has exerted in the life of nations? Meanwhile we content ourselves with the simple indication of it here. This relation can only fully be explained in the closing sections of this volume.

§ 66. Sacred Theology

Before we enter upon the study of the principium of Theology, we insert here a brief explanation of the ancient epithet of Sacred before Theology. Not that we should insist on this title, or that to our idea this title implies any special merit, but because the purpose of its omission is the secularization of theology, and for this reason it has an essential significance as an effort to destroy the distinguishing character of theology. The habit of speaking of Sacred Theology has the indorsement of the ages. At the Reformation the churches found it in this form, and they felt themselves bound to reverence and maintain it. The first mention of the omission of this title appears, after the conflict had begun against a principium proprium for theology; and the dislike which the effort to restore this ancient title to theology creates in many people, is identical with the dislike which is shown by those same people for every representation of a special revelation. As the omission of Sancta was no accident, our effort is equally intentional, to renew the use of that name in our Reformed circles. By inserting Sancta before Theologia we desire it to be clearly understood, that we take no part in the secularization of Theology, but maintain that it has a sphere of its own.

The Church of Christ has borrowed from the Holy Scriptures this word sacred as a prefix to whatever stands in immediate relation to the special revelation. This prefix is constantly used in the Old, as well as in the New, Testament. The spot of ground at the burning bush is called holy ground, because there the holiness of the Lord revealed itself to Moses. The TTTp in Israel, or the congregation of the people, is called holy. In Exod. xvi. 23 it speaks of "the holy sabbath unto the Lord." The people itself is called an "holy people," and its members are called "holy men" (Exod. xxii. 31). In a still more pregnant sense the altar is called "holy" and " whatsoever touches the altar" (Exod. xxix. 37), which refers to places and buildings, as well as to persons, their garments, tools and acts. Jerusalem itself is called the "holy city" (Neh. xi. 1). Holy, therefore, is the definite epithet not only for what is in heaven, with all the hosts of angels, but equally for that which on earth is chosen of God for His service. Thus the Psalmist speaks of "the saints that are in the earth." "God's faithfulness is in the assembly of the holy ones." Thus the Proverbs speak of the knowledge the people of God received by higher light, as "the knowledge of the holy" (A. V. ix. 10 and xxx. 3); and, in short, without a closer study of the idea of ttfi"lj5, it may be said that in the Old Testament this title of "holy" is attached to everything that transmits the special revelation, flows forth from it, or stands in immediate relation to it.

That it will not do to explain this prefix, "holy," simply from the symbolic and typical character of the Old Dispensation, appears from the entirely similar use of "holy" in the writings of the New Covenant. Here also we find Jerusalem spoken of as the "holy city" (Math. iv. 5; xxvii. 53 and Rev. xi. 2; xxi. 2 and xxii. 19). Christ also speaks of "the holy angels" (Luke ix. 26). Christ himself is called "that holy one that shall be born of Mary." The men of God of the Old Covenant are spoken of as the "holy prophets." The members of the Church of the New Covenant, from the Jews as well as from the heathen, bear the almost fixed name of "the saints," so that oi dyioi was provisionally the technical name for those who subsequently were called "the Christians." In an entirely similar sense the books of the Old Covenant are spoken of as the "Holy Scriptures." The kiss, with which the partakers of the aydirai greeted each other, receives the name of "holy kiss." Children born of believing parents receive the same honorary title. Like the prophets of the Old Covenant, the apostles and prophets of the New Dispensation are called "holy apostles and prophets." Believers on the Lord are called a "holy people," a "holy priesthood." Their prayers come up before God as "the prayers of the saints "; the martyr's blood is "the blood of the saints "; and the Gospel itself is announced as "the holy Gospel."

In connection with this use of language the Church of Christ has introduced this epithet of "holy " into her public utterances; and not only the Romish Church, but the churches of the Reformation as well, spoke of the "holy church," of the "holy prophets," the "holy apostles," the "holy Scriptures," the "holy Gospel," the "holy sacraments," "holy Baptism," "holy Communion," and thus likewise of "sacred Theology " and the " sacred ministry." This use of language was constant, and, at least in this limited sense, met with no opposition. This only manifested itself when the Romish church applied this epithet of "holy " distinctively to individual persons of a higher religious standing. This opposition, however, was not unanimous nor logical. Even where the so-called Romish saints were passed by, it remained invariably the custom to speak of "Saint Augustine," "Saint Thomas," etc. These were inconsequences, however, to which men were led by the accustomed sound, and which represented in the case of no writer in the days of the Reformation any intentional principle; in addition to which it is observed that Reformed theologians offended less in this respect than many a Lutheran.

This does not mean that by this reformatory correction the use of the ancient Christian church was restored in all its purity. Originally, indeed, the name of holy (oyt0?) was a general distinction, to discriminate between what was within and what without. Everything that had entered holy ground was considered holy; everything outside was spoken of as "lying in wickedness"; but in the Scriptures of the New Testament no such distinction occurs between a lower and higher holiness within the bounds of the Church. The error of the Romish Church lies in the application of this title to this non-Scriptural distinction. While in the Holy Scriptures all confessors of Christ are called saints, the Romish Church deprived the people at large of this title, and reserved it for a special class of Christians, either for the clergy in general, or for those under higher vows, or for those who, as church fathers and teachers, held a special position; or finally, in its narrowest sense, for those who were canonized. The Reformation opposed this non-Scriptural distinction, but lacked courage to restore the name of saint in its original significance to all believers. Spiritualistic apocalyptic circles tended toward this; from the side of Protestantism also, in addresses, etc., the whole congregation were again called "a holy communion" (eine heilige Gemeinde); poets frequently followed this use of language; but the Reformation has not restored the name of saint as a general term for every Christian. It preferred rather to abandon the name in its general sense, than by the use of it to encourage the Romish misuse.

From this, however, it is evident that there was no superficial work done in the days of the Reformation, and that the representation that by speaking of "holy Scripture," "holy Gospel," "holy Baptism," etc., they merely imitated Rome, rests on a misunderstanding. The reformers did most careful work. There were cases in which the epithet "holy" was purposely dropped; but others also in which this prefix was purposely kept; and to this last category belongs the word "Sacred" before Theology. If it is asked what was meant by this qualification of theology, no special reason seems to have been given. As in the Proverbs " the knowledge of the holy" was spoken of, it was thought proper that that knowledge and science, whose principium lies in the Holy Scriptures, should be distinguished from all other knowledge; and thus it may be said, that in the sixteenth century Sancta theologia chiefly indicated the antithesis between that which came to us from profane literature and from the Holy Scriptures.

At present, however, this general indication will not suffice. The significance of this epithet for the object, the subject, and the method of theology should be more accurately analyzed. And with reference to the object, the principium proprium of theology stands certainly in the foreground. What we understand by this "proper principle" of theology, we will endeavor to explain in the following chapter; here it is merely remarked that the ectypal knowledge of God, in which the science of theology finds its object, does not come to us in the same way, from the same fountain and by the same light, as our other sciences. There is a difference here, which in its deepest root reduces itself to a straightforward antithesis, which places two principles of knowing (principia cognoscendi) over against each other. The particular principium of theology characterizes itself by the entrance of an immediate, divine action, which breaks through what is sinful and false, in order in the midst of these false and sinful conditions to reveal unto us, by a light of its own, what is true and holy in antithesis to what is sinful and false. The heathen antithesis between profane and sacred has no application here. That was simply the pride of the initiated that expressed itself at the expense of the uninitiated. The odi profanum vulgus et arceo is refuted and censured by the character of everything that is holy in the Scriptures, and we might wish that our theologians would never have employed the word profane as an antithesis. In Scripture the antithesis is between the special source and the natural, which is more sharply emphasized by the antithesis between what is wicked, foolish and satanic, and what is true, holy and divine. But however much this proper prineipium of theology, far from underestimating the natural prineipium, rather takes it up in itself, as the next chapter will show, the antithesis between the normal and abnormal, the general and special, and between that which is bound by sin and that which surmounts sin, of these "two sources of knowledge," can never be destroyed. To emphasize this antithesis, the word "sacred" was used in simple imitation of the Scripture, and in this entirely Scriptural sense our science was called Sacred Theology.

If thus the principal motive for the use of this word "sacred " lies in the peculiar character of the object of the science of theology, a second motive was added in consequence of the peculiar quality which in the investigation of this object was claimed as a necessity in the subject.- This was on the ground of 1 Cor. ii. 14, that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him "; and also because he who stands outside of palingenesis "cannot see the kingdom of God." Hence, there was not simply an antithesis to be considered between the object of this and of all other sciences; but a similar antithesis also presented itself in the subject, that was to take this theology up into itself and presently to reproduce it. Not every one can engage in this work, but only they who are spiritually minded. No intellectual relation is possible in the domain of this science, between those to whom this theology is "foolishness," and the others to whom it is the "wisdom of God." They only, who by virtue of palingenesis are partakers of spiritual illumination, have their eyes opened to see the object to be investigated. The others do not see it, or see it wrongly. By reason of the lack of affinity between subject and object, every deeper penetration into the object is impossible. The rule that "in thy light we see light" finds here its special application. No blind man can be our guide in the domain of optics. Though it is entirely true, therefore, that in the science of Theology the ego of the general human consciousness is the general subject, yet this ego is here incapable of its task, unless the darkening worked by sin in his consciousness is gradually withdrawn.

This leads, in the third place, to the conviction that the science of theology is not governed by the general human mind, such as it now operates in our fallen race, but only to that extent in which this universal human mind has been animated by the Holy Ghost, i.e. also to a difference in method. Only later on can this point be fully explained. At present let it be said that that same Holy Spirit, who offers us the Holy Scriptures and the Church as the result of His activity, is the real Doctor ecclesiiE, who enables us to grasp the truth from the Scriptures, and from our consciousness to reflect the same in scientific analysis. As it advances in the course of centuries, there is coherence and steadiness of progress in the science of theology, and a decided unity of effort, even though individual theologians are not conscious of it or able to determine its course. But while this unity of effort in the course of centuries is determined in the other sciences partly by the inherent Logic, and by natural events keeping pace with it, theology derives this determination of its process from a Logic which presents itself in light pneumatically only, in connection with events which flow from the dealings of Christ with his Church. Hence, this leading of the Holy Spirit as subject of theology makes itself felt in a threefold way. First, through the Church, which has the formulation of dogma in hand, and with it the choice of the course to be taken, and which effects this formulation of dogma officially, i.e. as the instrument of the Holy Spirit. That in this the Church is not an infallible organ, and the reason for it, will be explained later on. We here content ourselves with pointing to this mingling of ecclesiastical power in the development of theology, as one of the actions of the Holy Ghost. Secondly, this action of the Holy Spirit presents itself in the logical development of those tendencies opposed to the truth, which, without any fault or purpose of its own, the Church has had to resist successively, and which only subsequently prove themselves to have been the means of revealing truth in its logical relation. Not from the Church, but rather from without comes the frequent impetus, which stimulates and necessitates spiritual thought, and yet the thinking born from this is not aphoristic, but logical and organically coherent. And in the third place this action of the Holy Spirit is evident from the productiveness of theology in times when the operations of the Spirit in the Church are powerful, and from the poverty and meagreness which are seen in contrast, as soon as those operations of the Spirit withdraw themselves from the Church. Subjectively this can be expressed by saying that theology has flourished only at the times when theologians have continued in prayer, and in prayer have sought the communion of the Holy Spirit, and that on the other hand it loses its leaf and begins its winter sleep when ambition for learning silences prayer in the breast of theologians.

In this sense, both with reference to its object, and to the extent in which it concerns its subject, and its method as well (in virtue of the leading of the Holy Spirit as Doctor ecclesiae), the peculiar character of theology demands that its peculiarity shall be characterized also by its title of Sacred Theology.