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not merge into the higher community, ie. disappear in it as a separate body, it must at least be evident that such religion contains unsound elements. Every religious founder, embodying, indeed, the spirit of a definite circle but not of the truly universal, will be able to satisfy the individuals of his own circle, but not all alike, nor at all times.
Historical progress has the effect of allowing the spirits of the multitude to permeate each other by mutual contact. But where, in spite of this want of ability to give satisfaction on the part of the particular religious founder, individuals continue to adhere to him, whereas a higher stage is within their reach, a false dependence begins at once to threaten their own individuality, since a restricted alien individuality seeks to supplant their own, in contradiction with the receptiveness of man, which exists with a view to the really universal principle, in which the possibility of healing lies. For these reasons, without doubt, particular separate religious communities have their time, and as such must needs come to an end. Even in the ancient world, humanity demanded that mankind should regard themselves as a unity. So in Chrysippus. But this cannot be effected through philosophy, all not having philosophical gifts, but only by means of humanity knowing itself one religiously, before God as well as through God, and through possession of religious blessings outweighing all distinctions.
5. If even religious communities, subject to limitations of time and space, do not come into existence without a historical starting-point, far less can the highest form of the realized unity of entire real humanity, recognising itself as God's Church, come into existence without a historical starting-point, by which mediately or immediately all are possessed in order in it to know themselves one. What must be the character of such a starting-point, how it must not merely be free from all separatist extremes, but include in it for every true personality the innermost and best of all reality, nay, embody the very idea of religion, in order that in it all may have a real centre of a real communion, all this can only be discussed later on. In the organism of humanity it will fill a similar position to the one filled in the system of corporeal life by the head, which, although all the members are also ends and not merely means, while it is itself in turn a member, yet bears the hegemony over the entire body, doing good to each member after its manner, and keeping it in harmony with the whole.
Observation.-In the present section we have considered the nature of religion in general, and in doing so have been occupied in a psychological field; but even here it is evident how essential is the dependence of religion on divine action. Since it is this which fructifies the religious capacity, gives a start to, and assists its development, the more definite idea of religion is only the fruit of a closer consideration of this divine action or revelation.
NATURE AND NECESSITY OF REVELATION.
There is no Religion but through Revelation.
LITERATURE.-Bockshammer, Offenbarung u. Theologie, 1822. V. Drey, Apologetik (Philosophie der Offenbarung), 1838, I. 119 ff. Schelling, Philosophie der Offenbarung, 2 vols. Nitzsch, System, 6th ed. § 22 ff. Āuberlen, Offenbarung, 1861. Löwe, Die Offenbarung, 1842. Krauss, Die Lehre von der Offenbarung, 1868. Weisse, Philosoph. Dogmatik, 1855, I. p. 76 ff. Biedermann, Christl. Dogmatik, $$ 30-38. Rothe, żur Dogmatik, Art. 2, pp. 55–121, 1862.
1. If religion, where it exists, is not a mere subjective result, if we only come to know God through God, not simply through a movement on the part of man, who cannot command God, but, so to speak, through a movement on the part of God coming out of the depths of His secrecy (§ 46), this involves already the idea of Revelation, by which that of religion receives more precise definition. The word " Revelation ” is certainly used in very different senses. In the broadest sense, every activity is a manifestation of an inner power. The Apostle Paul calls the structure of the world a revelation of God. The idea of the world, eternally existent in God, is by the Word of God spoken forth into reality, revealed. The term gains in appropriateness in proportion as in revelation a new and profounder spiritual truth emerges; and since the concern of religion is above all with such an emergence of God out of Himself, with such a movement of God towards man, and such a meeting with him as makes God known and reveals Him to man, which is more than mere instruction about God, we may say that every truly religious moment which is neither occupied by one of the one-sided functions of the spirit, nor yet mere reminiscence of former religious moments, partakes in the idea of Revelation, because in such a moment an influence of the living God is implied. In every true act of worship, veils so to speak are removed between God and man; God reveals Himself to the good man, the latter becomes conscious of God. Thus, all real religion subsists by the imparting of divine revelation and the reception of the same. But in this broad sense nothing more definite is expressed by the term revelation than is involved in what has been already said, where God's action in originating religion was under consideration. The conception needs to be more precisely marked off from other fields; for even in art and science, for example, when a new, grand idea dawns for the first time on the spirit, one may speak of Revelation, such ideas being given to man. For were his will supposed to have produced them, in order to be capable of being objects of will, they must have been in existence already, at least for thought; for nothing can be willed without being an object of thought. Such ideas, therefore, cannot originally be products of will. Mere exhibition of subjective energy does not suffice to explain them, as the most distinguished and original minds are the first to confess.
1 Rom. i. 20.
2. Here, then, we expressly claim the word for the religious domain. By this we imply that religious Revelation is subjective and central in nature, and is related to man's entire nature or the heart, while pointing to the objective, absolute centre-God-and revealing the latter. Often, indeed, Revelation is applied to the mere communication of higher truths, as in the old Supranaturalism. But revelation, being related to man's entire nature, is meant to impart to him a share in the divine life in general, not merely in the divine knowledge.The idea of revelation at once limits itself still more narrowly, when we consider that it is not every divine activity in producing a religious moment that deserves to be called Revelation in the full sense, but that here an analogy obtains with the ideas of creation and conservation. Divine activity, if it is to be called Revelation, must impart something analogous to the product of creation, something new, not previously existent in the spirit. So far, therefore, as the divine activity has already operated in the spirit, and is not absolutely new in it, we are referred back to a first moment distinguished above all others by this feature, that by it the spirit was elevated to a new stage; and to this creative moment in the life of the individual is therefore pre-eminently due the name of Revelation." The succeeding moments stand in the same relation to this first one as the preserving, cultivating, and manufacturing operations of man's subordinate labour. But finally, a still narrower limitation is suggested by the consideration, that if Revelation denotes not merely the introduction of something new to the individual, whereas perhaps it was living long ago in other individuals, but its introduction by God's action to the race as a whole for the first time ; then certainly the idea of Revelation belongs in the fullest sense to that divine activity which first made over to mankind what is new in the sphere of religion, even if at first in the person of one individual. If through Revelation something new has been instituted, even in but one place, among mankind, by this very fact, although in the first instance the Revelation was imparted to but one individual--the founder ($ 49something is instituted for the good of mankind; and this new thing becomes at once the object of conservation, although it is so transmitted to others as to be new to them, nor is divine activity wanting in the process.
$ 51.--Notes of Revelation.
A Revelation destined for mankind has four fundamental
notes :1. Originality or Novelty; 2. Continuity in itself and with the world-whole, or Permanence and Universality; 3. Positivity; 4. Gradual Development.
1. The first pair-Novelty or Originality and Continuity. -The first two predicates seem mutually exclusive, and yet unless they co-exist, the idea of revelation is not rightly
1 This is the application of the word in Gal. i. 16 ; Matt. xvi. 17, xi. 27.