THE presence and power of divine Truth may be thought of as having been demonstrated in the past, or as capable of being demonstrated in the future; nevertheless, one may have a deep conviction of the truth of both these propositions and yet have no tangible or saving hold on spiritual things, and for the reason that the truth is redemptively effective for each of us only in the "now" of consciousness. Here alone is its energy kinetic, its salvation achieved. As St. Paul says, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Christian belief has ever been at serious fault in its habit of thinking great truths so persistently in the wrong tense as practically to limit all faith in their efficiency to that tense. Take for instance its teaching respecting the divine nature and ordering. Christian theology has always been trying to make it clear that God has been just and good in the past, and that He is going to be in the future; but that He is now just and good in His every manifestation, and hence that all injustice and evil are not of Him,—this, theology has practically denied in so far as it has imputed the earthquakes, etc., and the suffering of innocence through hereditary disease, to the determination of "an inscrutable Providence."

So, too, with respect to God's creative activity, the creeds have taught that in the beginning all things were made by Him, and were therefore good, and that some day all things are again to be the harmonious expression of the divine law and government; but that all being, all reality, is ideal because it is the immediate and continuous manifestation of the activity of omnipresent Mind,—this has been foreign to Christian thought. In Christian no less than in general belief, secondary causes have practically ruled God out of the universe of today.

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August 7, 1909

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