unconscious intelligence. Morell and F. W. Newman in England, and Theodore Parker in America, are representatives of this theory. See Morell, Philos. of Religion, 127-179, ?Inspiration is only a higher potency of what every man possesses in some degree.? See also Francis W. Newman (brother of John Henry Newman), Phases of Faith ( = phases of unbelief); Theodore Parker, Discourses of Religion, and Experiences as a Minister: ?God is infinite; therefore he is immanent in nature, yet transcending it; immanent in spirit, yet transcending that. He must fill each point of spirit, as of space; matter must unconsciously obey; man, conscious and free, has power to a certain extent to disobey, but obeying, the immanent God acts in man as much as in nature? ? quoted in Chadwick, Theodore Parker, 271. Hence Parker?s view of Inspiration: If the conditions are fulfilled, inspiration comes in proportion to man?s gifts and to his use of those gifts. Chadwick himself, in his Old and New Unitarianism, 68, says, ?the Scriptures are inspired just so far as They are inspiring, and no more.?

W.C. Gannett, Life of Ezra Stiles Gannett, 196 ? ?Parker?s spiritualism affirmed, as the grand truth of religion, the immanence of an infinitely perfect God in matter and mind, and his activity in both spheres.? Martineau, Study of Religion, 2:178-180 ? ?Theodore Parker treats the regular results of the human faculties as an immediate working of God, and regards the Principia of Newton as inspired? What then becomes of the human personality? He calls God not only omnipresent, but omniactive. Is then Shakespeare only by courtesy author of Macbeth? If this were more than rhetorical, it would be unconditional pantheism.? Both nature and man were other names for God. Martineau is willing to grant that our intuitions and ideals are expressions of the Deity in us, but our personal reasoning and striving, he thinks, cannot be attributed to God. The word nou~v has no plural: intellect, in whatever subject manifested, being all one, just as a truth is one and the same, in however many persons? consciousness it may present itself; see Martineau, Seat of Authority, 403. Palmer, Studies in Theological Definition, 27 ? ?We can draw no sharp distinction between the human mind discovering truth, and the divine mind imparting revelation.? Kuenen belongs to this school.

With regard to this theory we remark:

(a) Man has, indeed, a certain natural insight into truth, and we grant that inspiration uses this, so far as it will go, and makes it an instrument in discovering and recording facts of nature or history.

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment