(c) It rests upon an incomplete induction of facts, taking account of sin solely in its aspect of self-degradation but ignoring the worst aspect of it as self-exaltation. Avarice, envy, pride, ambition, malice, cruelty, revenge, self-righteousness, unbelief, enmity to God, are none of them fleshly sins and, upon this principle, are incapable of explanation.
Two historical examples may suffice to show the insufficiency of the sensuous theory of sin. Goethe was not a markedly sensual man yet the spiritual vivisection, which he practiced on Friederike Brion. His perfidious misrepresentation of his relations with Kestner?s wife in the ?Sorrows of Werther? and his flattery of Napoleon when a patriot would have scorned the advances of the invader of his country, show Goethe to have been a very incarnation of heartlessness and selfishness. The patriot Boerne said of him: ?Not once has he ever advanced a poor solitary word in his country?s cause ? he who from the lofty height he has attained might speak out what none other but himself would dare pronounce.? It has been said that Goethe?s first commandment to genius was: ?Thou shalt love thy neighbor and thy neighbor?s wife.? His biographers? count up sixteen women to whom he made love and who reciprocated his affection, though it is doubtful whether he contented himself with the doctrine of 16 to 1. As Sainte-Beuve said of Ch?teaubriand?s attachments, ?They are like the stars in the sky, the longer you look, the more of them you discover.? Christiane Vulpius, after being for seventeen years his mistress, became at last his wife. But the wife was so slighted that she was driven to intemperance and Goethe?s only son inherited her passion and died of drink. Goethe was the great heathen of modem Christendom, deriding self-denial, extolling self-confidence, attention to the present, the seeking of enjoyment and the submission of one?s self to the decrees of fate. Hutton calls Goethe ?a Narcissus in love with himself.? Like George Eliot?s ?Dinah,? in Adam Bede, Goethe?s ?Confessions of a Beautiful Soul,? in Wilhelm Meister, are the purely artistic delineation of a character with which he had no inner sympathy. On Goethe, see Hutton, Essays, 2:1-79; Shedd, Dogm. Theology, 1:490; A. H. Strong, Great Poets, 279-331 Principal Shairp, Culture and Religion, 16 ? ?Goethe, the high priest of culture, loathes Luther, the preacher of righteousness?;
S. Law Wilson, Theology of Modem Literature, 149-156.
Napoleon was not a markedly sensual man, but ?his self-sufficiency surpassed the self-sufficiency of common men as the great Sahara desert surpasses an ordinary sand patch.? He wantonly divulged his amours to Josephine, with all the details of his ill-conduct, and when she revolted from them, he only replied: ?I have the right to meet all your complaints
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