page 207 ? ?What has wrought the change? Nothing but the death of the Son of God. When it was seen that the smallest child and the lowest slave had a soul of such worth that Christ left his throne and gave up his life to save it, the world?s estimate of values changed, and modern history began.? Lucian, the Greek satirist and humorist, 160 AD, said of the Christians: ?Their first legislator [Jesus] has put it into their heads that they are all brothers.?
It is this spirit of common brotherhood, which has led in most countries to the abolition of cannibalism, infanticide, widow burning, and slavery. Prince Bismarck: ?For social well-being I ask nothing more than Christianity without phrases? ? which means the religion of the deed rather than of the creed. Yet it is only faith in the historic revelation of God in Christ which has made Christian deeds possible. Shaler, Interpretation of Nature, 232-278 ? Aristotle, if he could look over society today, would think modern man a new species, in his going out in sympathy to distant peoples. This cannot be the result of natural selection, for self-sacrifice is not profitable to the individual. Altruistic emotions owe their existence to God. Worship of God has flowed back upon man?s emotions and has made them more sympathetic. Self-consciousness and sympathy, coming into conflict with brute emotions, originate the sense of sin. Then begins the war of the natural and the spiritual. Love of nature and absorption in others is the true Nirvana. Not physical science but the humanities are most needed in education.
H. E. Hersey, Introduction to Browning?s Christmas Eve, 19 ? ?Sidney Lanier tells us that the last twenty centuries have spent their best power upon the development of personality. Literature, education, government, and religion, have learned to recognize the individual as the unit of force. Browning goes a step further. He declares that so powerful is a complete personality that its very touch gives life and courage and potency. He turns to history for the inspiration of enduring virtue and the stimulus for sustained effort, and he finds both in Jesus Christ.? J.P. Cooke, Credentials of Science, 43 ? The change from the ancient philosopher to the modern investigator is the change from self-assertion to self-devotion, and the great revolution can be traced to the influence of Christianity and to the spirit of humility exhibited and inculcated by Christ. Lewes, Hist. Philos., I:408 ? Greek morality never embraced any conception of humanity; no Greek ever attained to the sublimity of such a point of view.
Kidd, Social Evolution, 165, 287 ? It is not intellect that has pushed forward the world of modern times: it is the altruistic feeling that originated in the cross and sacrifice of Christ. The French Revolution was
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?