The signs of the times cease to alarm me, and seem as natural as to a mother the teething of her seventh baby. I take great comfort in God. I think that he is considerably amused with us sometimes, and that he likes us on the whole, and would not let us get at the matchbox so carelessly as he does, unless he knew that the frame of his universe was fireproof.?
Compare with all this the hopeless pessimism of Omar Khayy-m. Rub-iy-t, stanza 99 ? ?Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire, Would not we shatter it to bits ? and then Remold it nearer to the heart?s desire?? Royce, Studies of Good and Evil, 14, in discussing the Problem of Job, suggests the following solution: ?When you suffer, your sufferings are God?s sufferings, not his external work, not his external penalty, not the fruit of his neglect, but identically his own personal woe. In you God himself suffers, precisely as you do, and has all your concern in overcoming this grief.? F. H. Johnson, What is Reality. ?349, 505 ? ?The Christian ideal is not maintainable, if we assume that God could as easily develop his creation without conflict? Happiness is only one of his ends; the evolution of moral character is another.? A. E. Waffle, Uses of Moral Evil:
? (1) It aids development of holy character by opposition,
(2) affords opportunity for ministering,
(3) makes known to us some of the chief attributes of God and
(4) enhances the blessedness of heaven.?
Christianity is essentially a scheme of supernatural love and power. It conceives of God as above the world, as well as in it, able to manifest himself, and actually manifesting himself, in ways unknown to mere nature.
But this absolute sovereignty and transcendence, which are manifested in providence and redemption, are inseparable from creator-ship. If the world is eternal, like God, it must be an efflux from the substance of God and must be absolutely equal with God. Only a proper doctrine of creation can secure God?s absolute distinctness from the world and his sovereignty over it.
The logical alternative of creation is therefore a system of pantheism, in which God is an impersonal and necessary force. Hence the pantheistic dicta of Fichte: ?The assumption of a creation is the fundamental error of all false metaphysics and false theology?; of Hegel: ?God evolves the world out of himself, in order to take it back into himself again in the Spirit?; and
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