That is a point which we do not sufficiently seize—that God is not revealed to us by one avenue of truth alone, but by all the avenues of truth working together. With our tendency to keep the Universal in a special compartment of life, we see Him as making Himself known through a line of teachers culminating in a Church or a complex of churches; and we rarely think of Him as making Himself known in any other way. To change the figure, He trickles to us like a brook instead of bathing us round and round like light or air.
But all good things must express the Universal; and all discovery of truth, whether by religion, science, philosophy, or imaginative art, must be discovered in God. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are discoveries in God, but so are the advances in knowledge made by Plato, Aristotle, Roger Bacon, and Thomas Edison. He shows Himself through Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and St. Paul, but also through Homer, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Darwin, George Eliot, William James, and Henry Irving. I take the names at random as illustrating different branches of endeavor, and if I use only great ones it is not that the lesser are excluded. No one department of human effort is specially His, or is His special expression. The Church cannot be so more than the stage, or music more than philosophy. His Holy Spirit can be no more outpoured on the bishop or the elder for his work than on the inventor or the scientist for his work. I say so not to minimize the outpouring on the bishop or the elder, but to magnify that on everyone working for progress. This, I take it, is what St. John means when he says, “God does not give the Spirit with limitations.” He who always gives all to all His children cannot give more.
When our Lord restores sight to a blind man, or Peter and John cause a lame man to walk, we see manifestations of God; but we see equal manifestations of God when one man gives us the telephone, another the motor-car, and another wireless telegraphy. Whatever declares His power declares Him; and whatever declares Him is a means by which we press upward to the perception of His loving almightiness. The advance may be irregular but it is advance; and all advance is advance toward Him.
TO BE CONTINUED….
PHOTO CREDIT : ZETONG LI
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