Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics
by Archibald B. C. Alexander
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[8] See discussion by late W. Wallace in Lectures and Essays, pp. 213 ff.

[9] Ethik, p. 190.

[10] Maccunn, op. cit.; p. 42.

[11] Cf. Eucken, Main Currents of Modern Thought, p. 348.

[12] Hegel, Philosophy of Right, p. 45.

[13] Das Wesen des Christenthums; cf. also Ecce Homo, p. 345.

[14] Adopted in Massachusetts in 1773.—'All men have equal rights to life, liberty, and property.'

[15] Browning, Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau.

[16] Cf. Wheeler Robinson, The Christian Doctrine of Man, pp. 281 f.

[17] Matt. xi. 18; Luke vii. 33.

[18] Ottley, Ideas and Ideals.

[19] Rom. xiii. 7-10.

[20] Col. iii. 9, 10.

[21] See Lecky, Map of Life.

[22] Vor dem Wissenden sich stellen, sicher ist's in allen Faellen.

[23] 1 Cor. xii. 26.

[24] Phil. of Right, pp. 48 ff.; see also Wundt, Ethik, pp. 175 f.

[25] Cf. Ottley, Idem, p. 271.

[26] Green, Proleg., p. 173, quoted by Ottley.

[27] Science of Ethics (trans.), p. 337.

[28] Miss Fowler, Concerning Isabel Carnaby.

[29] Drummond, Via, Veritas, Vita, p. 227.

[30] Matt. viii. 25 f., x. 26; Luke viii. 23 f.

[31] Matt. xxv. 1 f.; Mark xxiv. 42; Luke xii. 36 f.

[32] Chr. Ethics (trans.), vol. ii. p. 221.

[33] Hist. of Europ. Morals, vol. i. p. 36.

[34] Human Personality, vol. ii. p. 313.

[35] Browning, Christmas Eve.

[36] Proleg., p. 198.

[37] Cf. Jones, Browning as Philosophical and Religious Teacher, p. 367.




In last chapter we dealt with the rights and duties of the individual as they are conditioned by his relation to himself, others, and to God. In this chapter it remains to speak more particularly of the organised institutions of society in which the moral life is manifested, and by means of which character is moulded. These are the Family, the State, and the Church. These three types of society, though distinguishable, are closely allied. At first, indeed, they were identical. Human society had its origin, most probably, in a primitive condition in which domestic, political, and religious ends were one. Even in modern life Family, State, and Church do not stand for separate interests. So far from their aims colliding they are mutually helpful. An individual may be a member of all three at one time. From a Christian point of view each is a divine institution invested with a sacred worth and a holy function, and ordained of God for the advancement of His kingdom.


The Family is the fountain-head of all the other social groups, 'the cell of the social organism.' Man enters the world not as an isolated being, but by descent and generation. In the family each is cradled and nurtured, and by the domestic environment character is developed. The family has a profound value for the nation. Citizenship rests on the sanctity of the home. When the fire on the hearth is quenched, the vigour of a people dies.


1. Investigations of great interest and value have been pursued in recent years regarding the origin and evolution of the family. However far back the natural history of the race is carried, it seems scarcely possible to resist the conclusion that some form of family relationship is coeval with human life. Widely as social arrangements differ in detail among savage peoples, arbitrary promiscuity can nowhere be detected. Certain laws of domestication have been invariably found to exist, based upon definite social and moral restrictions universally acknowledged and rigidly enforced. Two primitive conditions are present wherever man is found—the tribe and the family. If the family is never present without the tribe, the tribe is never discovered without 'those intra-tribal distinctions and sexual regulations which lie at the bottom of the institution of the family.'[1] Westermarck indeed says that 'the evidence we possess tends to show that among our earliest human ancestors the family and not the tribe formed the nucleus of every social group, and in many cases was itself perhaps the only social group. The tie that kept together husband and wife, parents and children, was, if not the only, at least the principal factor in the earliest forms of man's social life.'[2] If the family had been an artificial convention called into being by human will and ingenuity, it might conceivably be destroyed by the same factors. But whatever arguments may be adduced for the abolition of marriage and family life to-day, the appeal to primitive history is not one of them. On the contrary the earliest forms of society show that the family is no invention, that it has existed as long as man himself, and that all social evolution has been a struggle for the preservation of its most valuable features.[3]

2. If, even in early times, and especially among the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, the family was an important factor in national development, it has been infinitely more so {222} since the advent of Christianity. Christ did not create this relationship. He found it in existence when He came to the earth. But He invested it with a new ethical value. He laid upon it His consecrating touch, and made it the vehicle of all that is most tender and true in human affection, so that among Christian people to-day no word is fraught with such hallowed associations as the word 'home.' This He did both by example and teaching. As a member of a human family Himself, He participated in its experiences and duties. He spent His early years in the home of Nazareth, and was subject unto His parents. He manifested His glory at a marriage feast. By the grave of Lazarus He mingled His tears with those of the sorrowing sisters of Bethany. He had a tender regard for little children, and when mothers brought their infants to Him He welcomed them with gracious encouragement, and, taking the little ones in His arms, blessed them, thus consecrating for all time both childhood and motherhood. Throughout His life there are indications of His deep reverence and affection for her who was His mother, and with His latest breath he confided her to the care of His beloved disciple.

There are passages indeed which seem to indicate a depreciation of family relationships.[4] The most important of these are the sayings which deal with the home connections of those whom He called to special discipleship.[5] Not only are father and mother to be loved less than He, but even in comparison with Himself are to be hated.[6] Among the sacrifices His servants must be ready to make is the surrender of the home.[7] But these references ought to be taken in conjunction with, and read in the light of, His more general attitude to the claims of kindred. It was not His indifference to, but His profound regard for, home ties that drew from Him these words. He knew that affection may narrow as well as widen the heart, and that our {223} tenderest intimacies may bring our most dangerous temptations. There are moments in the history of the heart when the lesser claim must yield to the greater. For the Son of Man Himself, there were interests higher even than those of the family. Some men, perhaps even most, are able to fulfil their vocation without a surrender of the joys of kinship. But others are called to a wider sphere and a harder task. For the sake of the larger brotherhood of man, Jesus found it necessary to renounce the intimacies of home. What it cost Him to do so we, who cannot fathom the depth of His love, know not. Even such an abandonment did He demand of His first disciples. And for the follower of Christ still there must be the same willingness to make the complete sacrifice of everything, even of home and kindred, if they stand in the way of devotion to the kingdom of God.[8]

(1) Our Lord's direct statements regarding the nature of the family leave us in no doubt as to the high place it holds in His conception of life. Marriage, upon which the family rests, is, according to Jesus, the divinely ordained life-union of a man and woman. In His quotation from Genesis He makes reference to that mysterious attraction, deeply founded in the very nature of man, by which members of the opposite sex are drawn to each other. But while acknowledging the sensuous element in marriage, He lifts it up into the spiritual realm and transmutes it into a symbol of soul-communion. Our Lord does not derive the sanction of wedded life from Mosaic legislation. Still less does He permit it as a concession to human frailty. It has its ground in creation itself, and while therefore it is the most natural of earthly relationships it is of God's making. To the true ideal of marriage there are several features which our Lord regards as indispensable. (a) It must be monogamous, the fusion of two distinct personalities. 'They two shall be one flesh.' Mutual self-impartation demands that the union should be an exclusive one. (b) It is a union of equality. Neither {224} personality is to be suppressed. The wedded are partners who share one another's inmost thoughts and most cherished purposes. But this claim of equality does not exclude but rather include the different functions which, by reason of sex and constitution, each is enabled to exercise. 'Woman is not undeveloped man but diverse.' And it is in diversity that true unity consists. Both will best realise their personality in seeking the perfection of one another. (c) It is a permanent union, indissoluble till the parting of death. The only exception which Christ acknowledges is that form of infidelity which ipso facto has already ruptured the sacred bond.[9] According to Jesus marriage is clearly intended by God to involve sacred and permanent obligations, a covenant with God, as well as with one another, which dare not be set aside at the dictate of a whim or passion. The positive principle underlying this declaration against divorce is the spirit of universal love that forbids that the wife should be treated, as was the case among the dissolute of our Lord's time, as a chattel or slave. Nothing could be more abhorrent to Christian sentiment than the modern doctrine of 'leasehold marriage' advocated by some.[10] It has been ingeniously suggested that the record of marital unrest and divorce in America, shameful as it is, may not be in many cases altogether an evil. The very demand to annul a union in which reverence and affection have been forfeited may spring from a growing desire to realise the true ideal of marriage.[11] (d) Finally, it is a spiritual union. It is something more than a legal contract, or even an ecclesiastical ordinance. The State must indeed safeguard the civil rights of the parties to the compact, and the Church's ceremony ought to be sought as the expression of divine blessing and approval. But of themselves these do not constitute the inner tie which makes the twain one, and binds them together amid all the chances and changes of this earthly life.[12] In the teaching of both Christ and {225} the apostles marriage is presented as a high vocation, ordained by God for the enrichment of character, and invested with a holy symbolism. According to St. Paul it is the emblem of the mystic union of Christ and His Church, and is overshadowed by the presence of God, who is the archetype of those sacred ideas which we associate with the name of fatherhood.

(2) Though marriage is the most personal of all forms of social intercourse, there are many varied and intricate interests involved which require legal recognition and adjustment. Questions as to the legitimacy of offspring, the inheritance of property, the status and rights of the contracting parties, come within the domain of law. The State punishes bigamy, and forbids marriage within certain degrees of consanguinity. Many contend that the State should go further, and prevent all unions which endanger the physical vigour and efficiency of the coming generation. It is undoubtedly true that the government has a right to protect its people against actions which tend to the deterioration of the race. To permit those to marry who are suffering from certain maladies of mind or body is to commit a grave crime against society. But care must be taken lest we unduly interfere with the deeper spiritual sympathies and affections upon which a true union is founded. In agitating for State control in the mating of the physically fit, the champions of eugenics are apt to exaggerate the materialistic side of marriage, and overlook those qualities of heart and mind which are not less important for the well-being of the race. In the discipline of humanity weakness and suffering are assets which the world could ill afford to lose.[13]

(3) In modern times the institution of marriage is menaced by two opposite forces; on the one hand, by a revolutionary type of socialism, and on the other, by the reactionary influence of self-interested individualism. (a) It is contended by some advanced socialists that among {226} the poor and the toiling home life is practically non-existent; indeed, under present industrial conditions, impossible. Marriage and separate family life are insuperable barriers, it is said, to corporate unity and social progress. It is but fair to add that this extreme view is now largely repudiated by the most enlightened advocates of a new social order, who are contending, they tell us, not for the abolition, but for the betterment, of domestic conditions.[14] (b) The stability of social life is being threatened even more seriously by a self-centred individualism. Marriage is considered as a merely temporary arrangement which may be terminated at will. It is contended that divorce should be granted on the easiest terms, and the most trifling reasons are seriously put forward as legitimate grounds for the annulling of the holiest of vows. Without discussing these disintegrating influences, it is enough to say that the trend of history is against any radical tampering with the institution of marriage, and any attempt to disparage the sanctity of the home or belittle domestic obligations would be to poison at its springs the moral life of man.

3. The duties of the various members of the family are explicitly, if briefly, stated in the apostolic epistles. They are valid for all times and conditions. Though they may be easily elaborated they cannot well be improved. All home obligations are to be fulfilled in and unto the Lord. The fear of God is to inspire the nurture of children, and to sanctify the lowliest services of the household. Authority is to be blended with affection. (1) Parents are not to provoke their children by harsh and despotic rule, nor yet to spoil them by soft indulgence. Children are to render obedience, and, when able, to contribute to the support of their parents.[15] Masters are to treat their servants with equity and respect. Servants are exhorted to show fidelity. In short all the relationships of the household are to be hallowed by the spirit of Christian love.

Many questions relative to the family arise, over which {227} we may not linger. One might speak of the effect of industrial conditions upon domestic life, the employment of women and children in factories, the evil of sweating, the problem of our city slums, and, generally, of the need of improved environment in order that our labouring classes may have a chance of a healthier and purer home existence. Legislation can do much. But even law is ineffective to achieve the highest ends if it is not backed by the public conscience. The final solution of the problem of the family rests not in conditions but in character, not in environment but in education, in the kind of men we are rearing.

(2) This century has been called the woman's century. And certainly there is an obvious trend to-day towards acknowledgment, in all departments of life, of women's equality with men. There is, however, a difference of opinion as to what that equality should mean; and there seems to be a danger in some quarters of overlooking the essential difference of the sexes. No people can achieve what it ought while its wives and mothers are degraded or denied their rights. For her own sake, as well as for the weal of the race, whatever is needful to enable woman to attain to her noblest womanhood must be unhesitatingly granted.[16]

(3) But this is even more the children's era. A new sense of reverence for the child is one of the most promising notes of our age, and the problems arising out of the care and education of the young have created the new sciences of pedagogy and child-psychology. Regard for child-life owes its inspiration directly to the teaching of Christ. The child in the simplicity of its nature and innocence of its dependence is, according to the Master, the perfect pattern of those who seek after God. It is true that in the art of antiquity child-life was frequently represented. But as Burckhardt says it was the drollery and playfulness, even the quarrelsomeness and stealth, and above all the lusty health and animal vigour of young life that was depicted. Ancient art did not behold in the child the prophecy of a new and purer world. Moreover, it was aesthetic {228} feeling and not real sympathy with childhood which animated this movement. As time went on the teaching of Christ on this subject was strangely neglected, and the history of the treatment of the young is a tragic tale of neglect and suffering. Only now are we recovering the lost message of Jesus in regard to the child, and we are beginning to realise that infancy and youth have their rights, and demand of the world both care and affection. Ours sons and daughters are the nation's assets. Yet it is a parent's question even more than the State's. In a deeper sense than we imagine children are the creation of their parents. It is the effect of soul upon soul, the mother's touch and look, the father's words and ways, that kindle into flame the dull material of humanity, and begin that second birth which should be the anxiety and glory of parenthood. But if the parent makes the child, scarcely less true is it that the child makes the parent. In the give and take of home life a new world is created. When a father really looks into his child's eye he is not as he was before.[17] Indispensable as is the State's education of the young, there is an important part which the community cannot undertake, and there is a danger in curbing individuality by a stereotyped method of instruction. 'All social enactments,' says Harnack, 'have a tendency to circumscribe the activities of the individual. If we unduly fetter the free play of individual effort we break the mainspring of progress and enterprise, and create a state of social immobility which is the antecedent of national decay.'[18] Youth ought to be taught self-reliance and strenuousness of will; and this is a work which can only be done in the home by the firm yet kindly influence of the parents. But there is another aspect of the home problem not less pressing. The want of training in working-class families is largely answerable for the waifs and strays with which our cities team. Even in middle-class households there are indications of a lack not only of discipline, but of {229} that kindly sympathy and affectionate counsel on the part of parents, and of reverence and frankness in the children; with the result that the young people, missing the attachment and interest which the home should supply, seek their satisfaction outside the domestic circle, often with the most disastrous results. The problem of the family is thus the problem of nurturing the very seeds of the moral life. Within the precincts of the nation's homes the future of the commonwealth is being determined.


1. The State is the supreme controller of social relationships. As distinguished from the family and the Church, it is the realm of organised force working for social ends. Its purpose is to secure the conditions of life essential to order and progress, and it can fulfil its function only as it is endowed with power to enforce its authority. The interference of the State with the liberty of the individual has created a reaction in two opposite quarters towards complete abrogation of all State compulsion. On the one side Tolstoy pleads for the removal of force, because it violates the principle of love and subverts the teaching of Jesus—'Resist not evil.' Militant anarchism as the other extreme demands the abrogation of authority, because it believes that restraint hinders progress and happiness, and that if governmental force were abolished individuals would be best able to take care of themselves. The aim of anarchism is to destroy force by force; the aim of Tolstoy is to allow force to do its worst. Such a spirit of non-resistance would mean the overthrow of all security, and the reversion to wild lawlessness. It is an utter travesty of Christ's teaching. Extremes meet. Violence and servility join hands. Anarchism and Tolstoyism reveal the total bankruptcy of unrestricted individualism.

The social order for which the State stands is not so much an interference with the freedom of the subject as the condition under which alone individual liberty can be preserved. {230} The view, however, that the State is an artificial relationship into which men voluntarily enter in order to limit their selfish instincts and to secure their mutual advantages—the theory of the 'social contract'—has been discarded in modern times as a fiction of the imagination. It is not of his own choice that the individual becomes a member of society. He is born into it. Man is not a whole in himself. He is only complete in his fellows. As he serves others he serves himself. But men are not the unconscious functions of a mechanical system. They are free, living personalities, united by a sense of human obligation and kindredship. The State is more than a physical organism. It is a community of moral aims and ideals. Even law, which is the soul of the State, is itself the embodiment of a moral principle; and the commonwealth stands for a great ethical idea, to the fulfilment of which all its citizens are called upon to contribute.

2. The reciprocal duties of the State and its citizens receive comparatively little prominence in the New Testament. But they are never treated with disparagement or contempt. During our Lord's earthly life the supreme power belonged to the Roman Empire. Though Jesus had to suffer much at the hands of those in authority, His habitual attitude was one of respect. He lived in obedience to the government of the country, and acknowledged the right of Caesar to legislate and levy taxes in his own province. While giving all deference to the State officials before whom He was brought, He did not hesitate to remind them of the ideal of truth and justice of which they were the chosen representatives.[19] St. Paul's teaching is in harmony with his Master's, and is indeed an expansion of it.[20] 'The powers that be are ordained of God. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute.' Beyond, however, enjoining the necessity of work as a means of independence, and recommending that each should remain in the sphere in which he has been placed, and perform conscientiously the duties of his calling, we {231} find little direct reference in the Epistles to the matter of citizenship. But as has been truly said 'the citizen has but to stand in his station, and perform its duties, in order to fulfil the demands of citizenship.'[21] St. Paul's insistence therefore upon the personal fidelity of every man to the duties of his sphere goes far to recognise that spirit of reciprocal service which is the fundamental idea of the commonwealth.

3. Of the two extreme views as to the meaning of the State between which the verdict of history has wavered—that of Augustine, who regarded the State as the result of man's sinful condition and as the direct antithesis of the kingdom of God; and that of Hegel, who saw in it the highest ethical form of society, the realisation of the moral ideal—the view of St. Paul may be said to have approximated more nearly to the latter. Writing to the Christians at Rome Paul does not suggest that it was merely for prudence' sake that they should give to the Imperial Power unquestioning obedience. He appeals to the loftiest motives. All authority is of God in its origin and ultimate purpose. What does it matter to him whether Nero be a devil or a saint? He is the prince upon the throne. He is the symbol of divine authority, 'the minister of God to thee for good.' As a Christian Paul looks beyond the temporal world-power as actually existing. Whatever particular form it may assume, he sees in the State and its rulers only the expression of God's will. Rome is His agent, oppressive, and, it may be, unjust, but still the channel through which for the moment the Almighty works for the furtherance of His purposes.[22]

The conception of the State as thus formulated involves a twofold obligation—of the State towards its citizens, and of its citizens towards the State.

(1) As the embodiment of public right the State owes protection to its subjects, guarding individual privileges and prohibiting such actions as interfere with the general {232} good. Its functions, however, are not confined to restrictive measures. Its duty is not only to protect the rights of the individual, but to create and maintain such conditions of life as are essential to the development of personality. In its own interests it is bound to foster the growth of character, and to promote culture and social well-being. In modern times we look to the State not only to protect life and property, but to secure for each individual and for all classes of men that basis of material well-being on which alone life in its truest sense can be built up. The government must therefore strike some kind of balance between the extremes of individualism and socialism. While the old theory of laissez-faire, which would permit every man to follow his own individual bent without regard to the interests of others, has been generally repudiated, there is still a class of politicians who ridicule the 'night watchman' idea of the State as Lassalle calls it. 'Let there be as little State as possible,' exclaims Nietzsche. According to such thinkers the State has only negative functions. The best government is that which governs least, and allows the utmost scope to untrammelled individual enterprise. But if there is a tendency on the part of some to return to the individualistic principle, the 'paternal' idea as espoused by others is being carried to the verge of socialism. The function of the State is stretched almost to breaking point when it is conceived as the 'guardian angel' who accompanies and guards with perpetual oversight the whole life of the individual from the cradle to the grave. Many of the more cautious writers[23] of the day are exposing the dangers which lurk in the bureaucratic system of government. This tendency is apt to crush individual enterprise, and cause men to place entire reliance upon external aid and centralised power. It is indeed difficult to draw a fast line of demarcation between purely individual and social ends. There are obviously primary interests belonging to society as a whole which the State, if it is to be the instrument of the common good, ought to control; certain {233} activities which, if permitted as monopolies, become a menace to the community, and which can be satisfactorily conducted only as departments of the State. National life is a unity, and it can only maintain its integrity as it secures for all its constituents, justice, equity before the law, and freedom of each to be himself. The State ought to protect those who in the competitive struggle of the modern industrial system find themselves at a hopeless disadvantage. It is the duty of the commonwealth to secure for each the opportunity to become what he is capable of being, and to fulfil the functions for which he is best fitted. The State cannot make men moral, but it can interfere with existing conditions so as to make the moral life easier for its citizens. Criminal law cannot create saints, but it can punish evil-doers and counteract the forces of lawlessness which threaten the social order. It cannot legislate within the domain of motive, but it can encourage self-restraint and thrift, honesty and temperance. It cannot actually intermeddle with the sanctity of the home, or assume the role of paternal authority, but it can insist upon the fulfilment of the conditions of decency and propriety; it can condemn insanitary dwellings, suppress traffic in vice, supervise unhealthy trades, protect the life and health of workmen, and, generally, devise means for the culture and the advancement, intellectually and morally, of the people. The State in some degree embodies the public conscience, and as such it has the prerogative of awakening and stimulating the consciences of individuals. As a divine institution it is one of the channels through which God makes His will known to man. Law has an ethical import, and the State which is founded upon just and beneficent laws moulds the customs and forms the characters of its citizens.

(2) But if the State is to fulfil its ideal function it must rely upon the general co-operation of its citizens. The measure of its success or failure will depend upon the extent to which an enlightened sense of moral obligation prevails in the community. Men must rise above their {234} own immediate interests and realise their corporate being. Government makes its will dominant through the voice of the people. It cannot legislate beyond the sympathies of its constituents. As the individuals are, so the commonwealth will be. Civil duties vary according to the qualifications and opportunities of individuals. But certain general obligations rest upon all.

(a) It is the duty of all to take an interest in public affairs. What concerns us collectively is the concern of each. Everything that touches the public good should be made a matter of intelligent and watchful interest by all. (b) It is the duty of all to conform to the laws of the country. It is possible that a particular enactment may conflict with the dictates of conscience, and it may be necessary to protest against what seems to be an injustice. No rule can be laid down for exceptional cases. Generally it will be best to submit to the wrong, while at the same time using all legitimate means to secure the repeal of the obnoxious law. And if they will revolt, martyrs must not complain nor be unready to submit to the penalties involved. (c) It is the further duty of all to take some personal part in the government—if not by active service, at least by the conscientious recording of one's vote. Christians must not leave the direction of the nation's affairs to non-Christians. The spirit of Christ forbids moral indifference to anything human. All are not fitted for, or called upon to take, public office; but it is incumbent upon every man to maintain an intelligent public spirit, and to exercise all the duties of good citizenship. It has been truly said that they who give most to the State get most from the State. It is the men who play their part as active citizens working for the nation's cause who enrich their own lives and reap the harvest of a full existence. Not by withdrawal from social service, but in untiring labour for their country's weal, shall men win for themselves and their brethren the fruits of liberty and peace. For nations as for men emancipation may come with a stroke, but freedom can be earned only by strenuous and united toil.


(3) Already these ideals have begun to take shape. The most significant feature of modern times is the growing spirit of democracy. Men of all classes are awakening to their rights, and are accepting their share in the task of social reconstruction. 'We know how the masses,' says Eucken, 'are determined to form a mere dependent body of the so-called higher classes no longer, but to take the problem of life independently into their own hands.'[24] But while the modern democratic movement is not without its hopeful aspects, it is fraught also with grave perils. It is well that the people should awake to their obligations, and realise the meaning of life, especially in its social implications. But there is a danger that culture may not advance with emancipation, and while the masses demand their rights they may not at the same time discern their duties. For rights involve duties, and emancipation, as we have seen, is not liberty. The appeal of the socialistic party is to the equality of all who bear human features. It sounds plausible. But there never has been, nor never can be, such equality. Nature and experience alike reveal a pronounced and insuperable inequality among men. The law of diversity strikes deep down into the very origin and constitution of mankind. The equality proclaimed by the French Revolutionists is now regarded as an idle dream. Not equality of nature but equity before the law, justice for all, the opportunity for every man to realise himself and make the most of the life and the gifts which God has given him—that is the only claim which can be truly made. 'The only idea,' says Eucken, 'which can give to equality any meaning is the conviction that humanity has spiritual relations, that each individual has a value for himself and for the whole because he is a part of a larger spiritual world.' Hence if democracy is truly to come to its own and fulfil its high vocation, the Pauline figure of the reciprocal influence of the body and its members must be proclaimed anew as the ideal of the body politic—a unity fulfilling itself in difference—an organic life in which the unit finds its {236} place of security-and-service in the whole, and the whole lives in and acts through the individual parts.

If we are to awaken to the high vocation of the Christian state, to realise the possibilities of our membership one with another, a new feeling of manhood and of national brotherhood, a new pride in the community of life, must take possession of our hearts. We need, as one has said, a baptism of religious feeling in our corporate consciousness, a new sense that we are serving God in serving our fellows, which will hallow and hearten the crusade for health and social happiness, and give to every citizen a sense of spiritual service.


Unlike the family and State the Church is the creation of Jesus Christ. It is the witness of His Presence in the world. In its ideal form it is world-wide. The Redemption for which it stands is a good for all men. Though in practice many do not acknowledge its blessing, the Church regards no man beyond its pale of grace. It is set in the midst of the world as the symbol and pledge of God's universal love.

1. The Relation of Church and State is a difficult question with a long history, and involving much controversy. Whatever view may be held as to their legal connection, their interests can never be regarded as inimical. The Church cannot be indifferent to the action of the State, nor can the State ignore the work of the Church. But since their spheres are not identical nor their aims entirely similar, the trend of modern opinion seems to indicate that, while working in harmony, it is more satisfactory that they should pursue independent paths. There are spiritual ends committed to the Church by its Head over which the civil power has no jurisdiction. On the other hand there are temporal concerns with which ecclesiastical courts have neither the vocation nor the qualifications to deal. Still, the Church, as the organ of Christian thought {237} and activity, has responsibilities with regard to civil matters. While religion is the chief agent in the regeneration of man, religion itself is dependent upon all social means, and the Church must regard with sympathy every effort made by the community for moral improvement. The main function of the Church in this connection is to keep before its members a high ideal of social life, to create a spirit of fidelity in every sphere of activity, and, particularly, to educate men for the tasks of citizenship. The State, on the other hand, as the instrument of civic life, has obligations towards the Church. Its duty is hardly exhausted by observing an attitude of non-interference. In its own interests it is bound, not merely to protect, but encourage the Church in the fulfilment of its immediate aims. Parliament, however, must concede to ecclesiastical bodies complete liberty to govern themselves. The Church, as the institution of Christ, claims full autonomy; and the State goes beyond its province when it imposes hampering restrictions which interfere with the exercise of its authority and discipline within its own sphere.

2. As a religious institution the Church exists for three main purposes: (1) the Worship of God and the Edification of its members; (2) the Witness of Christ to Mankind; (3) the Evangelisation of the World.

(1) The first of these objects has already been dealt with when treating of the duties to God. It is only needful to add here that the Church is more than a centre of worship; it is the home of kindred souls knit together by a common devotion to Christ. It is the school of character which seeks the mutual edification of its members 'by provoking one another to love and to good works.' Hence among Protestants the duty of Church Discipline is acknowledged, which deals with such sins or lapses from rectitude as constitute 'offences' or 'scandals,' and tend to bring into disrepute the Christian name and profession. In the Roman Church, the Confessional, through which moral error is avowed, with its system of penances, has in view the same object—viz., to reprove, correct, and reclaim {238} those who have lapsed into sin—thus seeking to fulfil Christ's ideal 'to despair of no man.'

(2) But the Church is also a rallying place of service. Both in its corporate capacity, and through the lives of its individual members, the Church seeks to bear constant witness to the mind of Christ. It proclaims His living example. It reiterates His will and embodies His judgment, approving of what is good, condemning what is evil, and ever more confronting the world with the high ideal of the divine Life and Word. Not all who bear the name of Christ are consistent witnesses. But still the aim of the Church is to harmonise the profession and practice of its members, and generally to spiritualise secular life by the education of public opinion. Before, however, Christians can hope to make a profound impression upon the outside world, it is not unnatural to expect that they should exhibit a spirit of concord, among themselves, seeking to heal the unhappy schisms by which the Church is rent. But while our separations are deplorable—and we ought not to cease our endeavour for the reunion of Christendom—we must not forget that there may be harmony of spirit even amid diversity of operation, and that where there is true brotherly sympathy between Christians, there already is essential unity.[25]

(3) The special work of the Church to which it is constrained by the express terms of its Master's commission, is to preach the Gospel to every creature and to bring all men into obedience to Christ. A distinction is commonly made between Home and Foreign Missions. While the distinction is useful, it is scarcely valid. The work of the Church at home and abroad is one. The claims of the ignorant and hapless of our own land do not exempt us from responsibilities to the heathen world. The Lord's Prayer for the coming of the Kingdom requires of Christian men that they shall consecrate their gifts along every line of effort to the fulfilment of the divine will upon the earth.

3. While all sections of the Church are convinced that {239} an honest application of the principles of Jesus to the practical affairs of life would speedily transform society, there is considerable diversity of opinion as to the proper attitude of Christianity to social problems. The outward reconstruction of social order was not, it must be admitted, the primary aim of Jesus: it was rather the spiritual regeneration of the individual. But such could only become a reality as it transformed the entire fabric of life. (1) Christ's teaching could not but affect the organisation of industry as well as every other section of the social structure. Though Jesus has many warnings as to the perils of riches, there is no depreciation of wealth (in its truest sense). It is true He refuses to interfere in a dispute between two brothers as to worldly property, and repudiates generally the office of arbiter. It is true also that He warns His disciples against covetousness, and lays down the principle that 'a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.' But these sayings, so far from implying disapproval of earthly possessions, imply rather that property and trading are the indispensable basis upon which the outward fabric of the social order is built. Christ does not counsel withdrawal from the activities of the world. He honours work. He recognises the legitimacy of trading. Many of His parables would have no meaning if His attitude to the industrial system of His day had been one of uncompromising hostility. He has no grudge against riches in themselves. In the parable of the talents it is the comparatively poor man who is censured while the rich is commended. To sum up what Jesus thought about wealth is not easy. Many have thought that He condemned the holding of property altogether. But such a conclusion cannot be drawn from His teaching. Possessions, both outward and inward, are rather to be brought to the test of His judgment. His influence would rather bring property and commerce under the control of righteousness and brotherhood. His ideal of life is to be attained through learning the right use of wealth rather than through the abolition of it. Wealth {240} can be used for the kingdom of God, and it is a necessary instrument in the Church's work. It may be consecrated like every other gift to the service of Christ. But there are mighty forces enlisted against its best usefulness, and only through the fullness of Christian grace can its good work be done. What Jesus does condemn however is the predatory instinct, that greed of gain which embodies itself everywhere in the spirit of plunder, exploitation, and the impulse to gambling. He can have nothing but condemnation for that great wave of money-love which has swept over Christendom in our time, affecting all classes. It has fostered self-indulgence, stimulated depraved appetites, corrupted business and politics, oppressed the poor, materialised our ideals, and weakened religious influences. 'From this craze of the love of money the voice of Jesus calls the people back to the sane life in Ethics and religion in which He is leader.'[26] What then ought to be the attitude of the Church to the industrial questions of our day? While some contend that the social question is really a religious question, and that the Church is untrue to its mission when it holds itself aloof from the economical problems which are agitating men's minds, others view with suspicion, if not with hostility, the deflection of religion from its traditional path of worship, and deem it a mistake for the Church to interfere in industrial movements.

A recent writer[27] narrates that in his boyhood he actually heard an old minister of the Church of Scotland declare in the General Assembly, 'We are not here to make the world better: we have only to pass through it on the way to glory.' 'No grosser travesty,' adds the author, 'was ever uttered. We are here to make the world better. We have a commission to stamp out evil and to prevent men from falling into it. If this is not Christian work, what is?'

At the same time a portion of the clergy have gone to the opposite extreme, identifying the kingdom of God with social propaganda, and thus losing sight of its spiritual {241} and eternal, as well as its personal, significance. There has been moreover a tendency on the part of some to associate themselves with a political party, and to claim for the Church the office of judge and arbitrator in industrial strife. But surely it is one thing to degrade the Church to the level of a secular society, and another, by witness and by effort, to make the law of Christ dominant over all the relationships of life. Men are impatiently asking, 'Has the Church no message to the new demands of the age? Are Christians to stand apart from the coming battle, and preach only the great salvation to individual souls? That the Christian minister must never cease to do; but the Gospel, if it is to meet the needs of men, must be read in the light of history and experience, and interpreted by the signs of the times.

(2) The ground idea of Jesus' teaching was, as Troeltsch has pointed out,[28] the declaration of the kingdom of God. Everything indeed is relative to union with God, but in God man's earthly life is involved. Two notes were therefore struck by Jesus, a note of individualism and a note of universalism—love to God and love to man. These notes do not really conflict, but they became the two opposite voices of the Church, and gave rise to different ethical tendencies. The first religious communities consisted of the poor and the enslaved. It never occurred to them that they had civic rights: all they desired was freedom to worship Christ. Not how to transform the social world, but how to maintain their own religious faith without molestation in the world of unbelief and evil was their problem.

(3) In the early Catholic Church the spirit of individualism ruled. With the Reformation a new type of life was developed, and a new attitude to the social world was established. But while Lutheranism sought to exercise its influence upon social life through state regulation, Calvinism was more individualistic, and sought rather to {242} enforce its teaching by means of the personal life. The attitude of the various sects—Baptists, Pietists, Puritans—has been largely individualistic, and instead of endeavouring to rectify the abuses of industrial life they have been disposed rather to suffer the ills of this evil world, finding in faith alone their compensation and solace.

In modern times the tendency of the Church, Romanist and Protestant alike, has been toward social regeneration; and a form of Christian Socialism has even appeared which however lacks unity of principle and uniformity of action. The mediaeval idea of a Holy Roman Empire, in which all nations and classes were to be consolidated, is now admitted to be a dream incapable of realisation, partly because the idea itself is illusory, but principally because the hold of the Papacy upon the people has been weakened. The agitation, 'Los von Rom' on the one hand, and the 'Modernist' movement on the other, have tended to dissipate the unity and energy of Catholicism. Nevertheless the Church, which is really the society of Christian people, is coming to see that it cannot close its eyes to questions which concern the daily life of man, nor hold aloof from efforts which are working for the social betterment of the world. To bring in the kingdom of God is the Church's work, and it is becoming increasingly evident that the kingdom, if it is to come in any real and living sense, must come where Jesus Himself founded it—upon the plane of this present life.

There are two considerations which make this work on the part of the Church at once imperative and hopeful. The first is that the Church is specially called upon by the command and example of its Founder to range itself on the side of the weak and helpless. It is commanded to bring the principles of brotherly love to bear upon the conditions of life which press most heavily upon the handicapped. It is called on in the spirit of its Master to rebuke the greed of gain and the callous selfishness which uses the toil, and even the degradation of others, for its own personal enjoyment. The Church only fulfils its function when {243} it is not only the consoler of the suffering but also the champion of the oppressed. And the other consideration is that in virtue of its nature and charter the Church is enabled to appeal to motives which the State cannot supply. It brings all social obligation under the comprehensive law of love. It exalts the principle of brotherhood. It lifts up the sacrifice of Christ, and seeks to make it potent over the hearts of men. It preaches the doctrine of humanity, and strives to win a response in all who are willing to acknowledge their common kinship and equality before God. It appeals to masters and servants, to employers and labourers, to rich and poor, and bids them remember that they are sharers alike of the Divine Mercy, pensioners together upon their Heavenly Father's love.

4. Whatever shape the obligation of the Church may take in regard to the social problems of the homeland, the duty of Christianity to the larger world of Humanity admits of no question. The ethical significance of the missionary movement of last century has been pronounced by Wundt,[29] the distinguished historian of morals, as the mightiest factor in modern civilisation. Speaking of humanity in its highest sense as having been brought into the world by Christianity, he mentions as its first manifestation the care of the sick, and then adds, 'the second great expression of Christian humanity is the establishment of missions.' It is unnecessary to dwell upon this modern form of unselfish enthusiasm. It has its roots in the simple necessity, on the part of the morally awakened, of sharing their best with other people. 'Man grows with the greatness of his purposes,' and no greater ideal task has ever presented itself to the imagination of man than this mighty attempt to conquer the world for Christ, and give to his brother men throughout the earth that which has raised and enriched himself.[30]

'The two great forming agencies in the world's history,' says a prominent political economist, 'have been the {244} religious and the economic.'[31] On the one hand the economic is required as the basis of civilisation, but on the other the supreme factor is religion. The commercial impulse, carried on independently of any higher motive than self-interest, has however not infrequently reacted favourably on the moral life of the race. Mutual understanding, the sense of a common humanity, the virtues of honesty, fairness, and confidence upon which all legitimate commerce is founded, have paved the way in no small degree for the message of brotherhood and mercy. The present hour is the Church's opportunity. Already the world has been opened up, the nations of the earth are awakening to the greatness of life's possibilities. The danger is that the Oriental peoples should become satisfied with the mere externals of civilisation, and miss that which will assure their complete emancipation. Christianity was born in the East, though it has become the inheritance of the West. It is adapted by its genius to all men. And undoubtedly the West has no better boon to confer on the East than that on which its own life and hope are founded—the religion of Jesus Christ. If we do not give that, we are unfaithful to our Master's call; we falsify our own history, and wholly miss the purpose for which we have been entrusted with divine enlightenment and power.

[1] Lofthouse, Ethics of the Family, p. 77.

[2] Hist. of Human Marriage, p. 538.

[3] The literature on this subject is enormous. See specially works of Westermarck, M'Lennan, Frazer, Hobhouse, Andrew Lang, and Ihering.

[4] See chap. vii. in Garvie's Studies in Inner Life of Jesus.

[5] Matt. viii. 21, 22; Luke ix. 59-62.

[6] Luke xiv. 26; Matt. x. 37.

[7] Mark x. 29, 30.

[8] Matt. xix. 12.

[9] Matt. v. 32, xix. 3-10; Mark x. 11, 12.

[10] See Forsyth, Marriage: its Ethics and Religion.

[11] King, Ethics of Jesus, p. 69.

[12] Stalker, Ethics of Jesus, p. 336.

[13] Though Nietzsche does not use the word he may be regarded as the father of modern eugenics.

[14] Cf. Ramsay Macdonald, Socialism.

[15] Mark vii. 9-13.

[16] Cf. King, The Moral and Religious Challenge of our Times, pp. 42 f.

[17] Cf. W. Wallace, Lects. and Addresses, p. 114.

[18] Aus Leben und Wissenschaft.

[19] Matt. xii. 18-22; John xviii. 23, xix. 10 f.

[20] Rom. xiii.

[21] Sir H. Jones, Idealism as a Practical Creed, p. 123.

[22] Some sentences are here borrowed from author's Ethics of St. Paul.

[23] E.g. Eucken, Kindermann, Mallock, and earlier H. Spencer.

[24] Life's Ideal and Life's Basis.

[25] Eph. iv. 3.

[26] Clarke, Ideal of Jesus, p. 258.

[27] Watson, Social Advance.

[28] Die Soziallehren der Christlichen Kirchen und Gruppen, a recent work on social ethics of great erudition and importance.

[29] Ethik, vol. ii.

[30] King, The Moral and Religious Challenge of our Times, pp. 44 and 346.

[31] Marshall, Principles of Economics.




In bringing to a close our study of Christian Ethics, we repeat that the three dominant notes of the Christian Ideal are—Absoluteness, Inwardness, and Universality. The Gospel claims to be supreme in life and morals. The uniqueness and originality of the Ethics of Christianity are to be sought, however, not so much in the range of its practical application as in the unfolding of an ideal which is at once the power and pattern of the new life. That ideal is Christ in whom the perfect life is disclosed, and through whom the power for its realisation is communicated. Life is a force, and character a growth arising in and expanding from a hidden seed. Hence in Christian Ethics apathy and passivity, and even asceticism and quietism, which occupy an important place in the moral systems of Buddha and Neo-Platonism, in mediaeval Catholicism and the teaching of Tolstoy, play only a subsidiary part, and are but preparatory stages towards the realisation of a fuller life. On the contrary all is life, energy, and unceasing endeavour. 'I am come that ye may have life, and that ye may have it more abundantly.'

There is no finality in Christian Ethics. It is not a mechanical and completed code. The Ethic of the New Testament, just because it has its spring in the living Christ, is an inexhaustible fountain of life. 'True Christianity,' says Edward Caird, 'is not something which was published in Palestine, and which has been handed down by a dead tradition ever since; it is a living and growing {246} spirit, and learns the lessons of history, and is ever manifesting new powers and leading on to new truths.'

The teaching of Jesus is not merely temporary or local. It is an utter perversion of the Gospels to make the eschatology present in them the master-key to their meaning, or to derive the ethical ideal from the utterances which anticipate an abrupt and immediate end. Jesus spoke indeed the language of His time and race, and often clothed His spiritual purpose in the form of national expectation. But to base His moral maxims on an 'Interim-Ethic' adapted to a transitory world is to 'distort the perspective of His teaching, and to rob it of its unity and insight.' On the contrary, the Ethics of Jesus are everywhere characterised by adaptability, universality, and permanence, and in His attitude to the great problems of life there is a serenity and sympathy which has nothing in common with the nervous and excited expectation of sudden catastrophe.

In like manner it is a misinterpretation of the teaching of Jesus to represent asceticism as the last word of Christian Ethics. Renunciation and unworldliness are undoubtedly frequently commended in the New Testament, but they are urged not as ends in themselves but as means to a fuller self-realisation. Such was not the habitual temper and tone of Jesus in His relations to the world, nor was the ultimate purpose of His mission to create a type of manhood whose perfection lay in withdrawal from the interests and obligations of life. 'To single out a teaching of non-resistance as the core of the Gospels, to retreat from social obligations in the name of one who gladly shared them and was called a friend of wine-bibbers and publicans—all this, however heroic it may be, is not only an impracticable discipleship but a historical perversion. It mistakes the occasionalism of the Gospels for universalism.'[1]

Finally, there are many details of modern social well-being with which the New Testament does not deal, questions of present-day ethics and economics which cannot be decided by a direct reference to chapter and {247} verse, either of the Gospels or Epistles. The problems of life shift with the shifting years, but the nature of life remains unchanged, and responds to the life and the spirit of Him who was, and remains down the ages, the Light of men. The individual virtues of humility, purity of heart, and self-sacrifice are not evanescent, but are now and always the pillars of Christian Ethics; while the great principles of human solidarity, of brotherhood and equality in Christ, of freedom, of love, and service; the New Testament teachings concerning the family, the State, and the kingdom of God; our Lord's precepts with regard to the sacredness of the body and the soul, the duty of work, the stewardship of wealth, and the accountability to God for life with its variety of gifts and tasks—contain the germ and potency of all personal and social transformation and renewal.

[1] Prof. Peabody, Harvard Theological Review, May 1913.





1. Early Idealism and Intuitionalism.

Hobbes, 1650; Mandeville, 1714; Cudworth, 1688; Cumberland, 1672; Sam. Clarke, 1704; Shaftesbury, 1713; Butler, 1729; Hutchison, 1756; Adam Smith, 1759; R. Price, 1757; Thom. Reid, 1793; Dugald Stewart, 1793; W. Whewell, 1848; H. Calderwood, Handbook of Mor. Phil., 1872; Martineau, Types of Ethical Theory, 1886; Laurie, Ethics, 1885; N. Porter, Elements of Moral Science, 1885.

2. Utilitarianism.

Locke, Concerning Human Understanding, 1690; Hartley, Observations on Man, 1748; Hume, Enquiry Concerning Principles of Morals, 1751; Essays, 1742; Paley, Principles of Mor. and Political Phil., 1785; Bentham, Introd. to Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1789; Jas. Mill, Analysis of the Human Mind, 1829; J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism, 1863; A. Bain, Mental and Moral Science, 1868; Mind and Body, 1876; H. Sidgwick, Methods of Ethics (6th ed.), 1901; Shadworth Hodgson, Theory of Practice, 1870; T. Fowler, Progressive Morality, 1884; Grote, Examination of Utilitarian Ethics, 1870.

3. Evolutionary Ethics.

Chas. Darwin, Descent of Man, 1871; Herbert Spencer, Principles of Ethics and Data of Ethics, 1879; W. K. Clifford, Lectures and Essays, 1879; Leslie Stephen, Science of Ethics, 1882; S. Alexander, Moral Order and Progress, 1889; Shurman, Ethical Import of Darwinism; Huxley, Evolution and Ethics; Hobhouse, Morals in Evolution (2 vols.), 1906; Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, 1909.

4. Modern Idealism.

T. H. Green, Proleg. to Ethics, 1883; F. H. Bradley, Ethical Studies, 1876; Appearance and Reality, 1893; E. Caird, Crit. Phil. of Kant, 1890; Evolution of Religion, 1903; W. R. Sorley, Ethics of Naturalism, 1885; Recent Tendencies in Ethics, 1904; The Moral Life, 1912; W. L. Courtney, Constructive Ethics, 1886; J. S. Mackenzie, Introd. to Social Philos., 1890; Manual of Ethics (4th ed.), 1900; W. Wallace, Lectures and Essays, 1898; Muirhead, Elements of Ethics, 1892; Rashdall, Theory of Good and Evil; Boyce Gibson, A Philos. Introd. to Ethics, 1904; Ward, Kingdom of Ends (Gifford Lect.), 1910; Bosanquet, Principles of Individuality and Value, 1912; Value and Destiny of the Individual (Gifford Lects.), 1913; Psychology of the Moral Self; D'Arcy, Short Study of Ethics; W. Arthur, Physical and Moral Law; Jas. Seth, Study of Ethical Principles (11th ed.), 1910; Ryland, Manual of Ethics; G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica, 1903; Ethics (Home Univ. Lib.), 1912; MacCunn, Making of Character, 1905; Ethics of Citizenship, 1907; Six Radical Thinkers, 1907; Bowne, Principles of Ethics; Immanence of God, 1906; Dewey, Outlines of a Crit. Theory of Ethics, 1891; Harris, Moral Evolution; Hyslop, Elements of Ethics, 1895; Mezes, Ethics, Descriptive and Explanatory, 1901; Royce, Religious Aspects of Philosophy; Philosophy of Loyalty, 1908; Taylor, Problem of Conduct; Rand, The Classical Moralists (Selections), 1910.


Kant's works, specially Metaphysics of Ethics, trans. by T. K. Abbott, under title, Kant's Theory of Ethics (3rd ed.), 1883; Fichte, Science of Ethics (trans.), 1907; Science of Rights (trans.); Popular Works (2 vols.); Vocation of Man, etc.; Hegel, Philosophy of Right, trans. by S. W. Dyde, 1896; Lotze, Practical Philosophy, 1890; Paulsen, System of Ethics, trans. by Tufts; Wundt, Ethics, An Investigation of the Facts and Laws of the Moral Life (3 vols.), trans. from 2nd German ed., 1892; Dubois, The Culture of Justice; Guyot, La Morale; Janet, Theory of Morals (trans.); Nietzsche's Works, translated by Oscar Levy (18 vols.); Eucken, The Problem of Human Life, 1912; Life's Basis and Life's Ideal, 1912; Meaning and Value of Life, 1912; Main Current of Modern Thought, 1912; The Life of the Spirit, 1909; Hensel, Hauptproblem der Ethik, 1903; Lipps, Die Ethischen Grundfragen, 1899; Natorp, Social-paedagogik; Schuppe, Grundzuege der Ethik; Wentscher, Ethik; Schwarz, Das Sittliche Leben; L. Levy-Bruhl, Ethics and Moral Science, trans. by Eliz. Lee, 1905; Windelband, Praeludien. ueber Willensfreiheit; Bauch, Glueckseligkeit und Persoenlichkeit in der krit. Ethik; {250} Sittlichkeit und Kuttur; Cohen, Ethik des Reinen Willens, 1904; Dilthey, Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften; Ihering, Der Zweck im Recht (2 Bde.), 1886; Cathrein, Moral. Philosophie (2 Bde.), 1904; Tonnies, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, 1887.



Harless, Christl. Ethik, 1842 (trans.), 1868; Schleiermacher, Die Christl. Sitte, 1843; Marheineke, System d. Christl. Moral, 1847; Bothe, Theol. Ethik, 1845; De Wette, Lehrbuch d. Christl. Sittenlehre, 1853; Ch. F. Schmid, Christl. Sittenlehre, 1861; A. Wuttke, Handbuch d. Christl. Sittenlehre, 1861 (trans., 2 vols., J. P. Lacroix, 1873); F. P. Cobbe, Religious Duty, 1864; Studies Ethical and Social, 1865; Seeley, Ecce Homo, 1886; Maurice, Social Morality, 1872; Conscience, 1872; Wade, Christianity and Morality, 1876; Hofmann, Theol. Ethik, 1878; Lange, Grundriss d. Christl. Ethik, 1878; Martensen, Christl. Ethik (trans., 3 vols.), 1878; Gregory Smith, Characteristics of Christian Morality, 1876; O. Pfleiderer, Grundriss d. Glaubens und Sittenlehre, 1880; Luthardt, Vortraege ueber die Moral d. Christenthums, 1882; S. Leathes, Foundations of Morality, 1882; Frank, System d. Christl. Sittenlehre, 1885; Westcott, Social Aspects of Christianity, 1887; W. T. Davidson, The Christian Conscience, 1888; Balfour, The Religion of Humanity, 1888; Maccoll, Christianity in Relation to Science and Morals, 1889; Stanton, Province of Christian Ethics, 1890; Hughes, Principles of Natural and Supernatural Morals, 1890; W. G. Lilly, Right and Wrong, 1890; Bright, Morality in Doctrine, 1892; Schultz, Grundriss d. Evangelischen Ethik, 1891; Newman Smyth, Christian Ethics, 1892; Dowden, Relation of Christian Ethics to Philos. Ethics, 1892; Jas. Drummond, Via, Veritas, Vita (Hib. Lect.), 1894; Jacoby, Neukstamentliche Ethik, 1889; Salwitz, Das Problem d. Ethik, 1891; Knight, The Christian Ethic, 1893; Jas. Kidd, Morality and Religion, 1895; Strong, Christian Ethics, 1897; Troeltsch, Die Christl. Ethik und die heutige Gesellschaft, 1904; Die Sociallehren d. Christl. Kirchen u. Gruppen (2 vols.), 1912; Protestantism and Progress, 1912; Lemme, Christl. Ethik. (2 vols.), 1908; Kirn, Grundriss d. Theol. Ethik, 1909; Sitlliche Lebenanschauungen d. Geigenwart, 1911; Nash, Ethics and Revelation; Dobschuetz, The Christian Life in the Primitive Church; Clark, The Church and the Changing Order; Ottley, Christian Ideas and Ideals, 1909; Clark Murray, Handbook of Christian Ethics, 1908; Henry W. Clark, The Christian Method of Ethics, 1908; Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis, 1908; Geo. Matheson, Landmarks of New Testament Morality, 1888; J. Smith, Christian Character and Social Power; Gladden, Applied Christianity; J. R. Campbell, Christianity and the Social Order; Coe, Education in Religion and Morals; Peile, The Reproach of the Gospel; Gottschick, Ethik, 1907; W. Schmidt, Der Kampf um die Sittliche Welt, 1906; Herrmann, Ethik, 1909; Faith and Morals, Communion of the Christian with God; A. E. Balch, Introduction to the Study of Christian Ethics; Kirkpatrick, Christian Character and Conduct; Church, Outlines of Christian Character; Paget, Christian Character; Illingworth, Christian Character; Personality, Human and Divine; R. Mackintosh, Christian Ethics, 1909; Haering, The Ethics of the Christian Life (trans.), 1909; Barbour, A Philos. Study of Christian Ethics, 1911; Stubbs, Christ and Economics; W. S. Bruce, Social Aspects of Christian Morality, 1905; Formation of Christian Character; Harper, Christian Ethics and Social Progress, 1912; T. C. Hall, Social Solutions in the Light of Christian Ethics, 1911.


1. Ethics of Jesus.

Briggs, Ethical Teaching of Jesus; P. Brooks, Influence of Jesus; Dale, Laws of Christ for Common Life; Feddersen, Jesus und die Socialen Dinge; Gardner, Exploratio Evangelica; Ehrhardt, Der Grundcharacter d. Ethik Jesu, 1895; Grimm, Die Ethik Jesu, 1903; Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Christian Character, 1905; Jesus Christ and the Social Question, 1902; The Approach to the Social Question, 1909; King, The Ethics of Jesus, 1910; Moral and Social Challenge of our Times, 1912; Rau, Die Ethik Jesu; Stalker, Imago Christi, 1888; The Ethic of Jesus, 1909; Mathews, The Social Teaching of Jesus; Horton, The Commandments of Jesus; W. N. Clarke, The Ideal of Jesus, 1911.

2. Teaching of Jesus and Apostles.

Works of A. B. Bruce; Gilbert, Revelation of Jesus; Harnack, What is Christianity? (Das Wesen); Sayings of Jesus; Juelicher, Gleichnissreden Jesu; Denney, Jesus and the Gospel, 1909; Latham, Pastor Pastorum; Moorhouse, Pullan, Ross, Von Schrenck, Stevens, Swete; Tolstoy, My Religion; Wendt, Lehre Jesu (2 ed.), 1901; Weizsaecker, The Apostolic Age; Hausrath, History of N. T. Times; Fairbairn, Christ in Modern Thought; D. La Touche, The Person of Christ in Modern Thought, 1911; Pfanmueller, Jesus im Urtheil d. Jahrhunderte; Bacon, Jesus, the Son of God; Dalman, Words of Jesus; Baur, Paulinismus; Bosworth, Teaching of Jesus and Apostles; Pfleiderer, Paulinismus; Primitive Christianity; Johan-Weiss, Paul and Jesus; Gardner, Relig. Experience of St. Paul; Alexander, Ethics of St. Paul.



See Histories of Philosophy: Ueberweg, Erdmann, Windelband, Schwegler, Maurice, Rogers; Alexander, A Short History of Philosophy (2nd ed.), 1908; Lecky, Hist. of Europ. Morals; Luthardt, History of Ethics; Rogers, A Short History of Ethics, 1912; Thoma, Geschichte d. Christl. Sittenlehre in der Zeit d. N. T., 1879; Wundt (Vol. II. of Ethics); Wuttke (Vol. I. of Ethics); Sidgwick, History of Ethics; Ziegler, Gesch. d. Ethik; Jodl, Gesch. d. Ethik in d. Neueren Philosophie; T. C. Hall, History of Ethics within Organized Christianity, 1910. See also Relevant Articles in Bible Dictionaries, especially Hastings' Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.



Activism, 117, 122, 179. Adiaphora, 201. Aestheticism, 15 f., 108. Alquin, 2. Apocalyptic teaching of Christ, 133. Aquinas, Thomas, 2, 196. Aristotle, 10, 17 f., 40 f., 66, 70, 87, 107, 187. Arnold, Matthew, 1, 107. Asceticism, 129, 150, 192, 245. Assimilation to Christ, 179. Atonement, 166. Augustine, 30, 57 f., 66, 140, 231. Aurelius, Marcus, 43, 70. Avenarius, 86.

Balch, 132, 133. Barbour, 41, 135, 157, 159, 161. Baur, 39. Beatitudes, 129, 136, 188. Beneficence, 213. Bentham, 103, 204. Bergson, 64, 91 f., 117 f. Bernard, 218. Blewett, Christian view of God, 170. Bosanquet, 16, 27, 64, 92, 113, 114. Bousset, 134, 135. Brotherhood, 145, 210, 243, 247. Browning, 3, 16, 60, 63, 77, 119, 131, 132, 138, 206, 218. Bunsen, 69. Burckhardt, 227. Burke, 204. Burkitt, 32. Burnet, 41. Burns, Robert, 204. Butcher, 41. Butler, Bishop, 166.

Caird, E., 44, 60, 64, 245. —— J., 63. Cairns, 135. Calixtas, G., 2. Calvinism, 2, 57, 241. Cambridge Platonists, 39. Campbell, 69. Chamberlain, Houston, 48. Character, 6, 10, 14, 15, 24, 186; making of, 208. Childhood, children, 226 f. Christ, 1, 4, 5, 11 f., 124; as example, 146 f.; character of, 148 f., 150. Christianity, 123 f. Church, 4, 209, 236 ff. Citizenship, 39, 151, 233 f. Clarke, 240. Clement, 2, 39. Coleridge, 3. Collectivism, 106. Compassion, 212. Conduct, 1, 6, 13, 15, 183 f. Conscience, 68 f. Conversion, 171. Courage, 38, 186, 187, 190. Cousin, 16. Creative Evolution, 117. Croce, Benedetto, 117. Culture, 16, 99, 108, 130, 148, 156, 207, 208.

Daemon of Socrates, 69. Danaeus, 2. Dante, 125, 138. Darwin, 74. David, Psalms, 48 f., 70. Davidson, 69, 81. Death of Christ, 166. Decalogue, 2, 45, 72. Deissmann, 162. Democracy, 235. Denney on Forgiveness, 163. Descartes, 204. Determinism, 88 f. Dewey, Professor, 64. Disinterestedness of motive, 156 f. Divorce, 224. Dobschuetz, 134. Dogmatics, 3, 24 f. Dorner, 25 f. Drew, 31. Duty, Duties, 8, 21, 52, 196 ff. Dynamic of new life, 164 f.

'Ecce Homo,' 152, 205. Ecclesiasticism, 3, 49. Economics, 17, 239. Ehrhardt, 151. Emerson on Example, 151. Empire, Roman, 43; 'Holy,' 242. Engels, 105. Epictetus, 43, 70. Epicureans, 42. Erinnyes of Aeschylus, 69. Eschatology, 133 f. Eternal life, 131. Ethics, Christian, 1 f., 5, 6, 10 ff; Philos., 22, 35 f., 168; permanence of, 245. —— of Israel, 44 ff. Eucken, 86, 93, 108, 115, 117, 121 f., 179, 203, 207, 235. Eugenics, 110, 255. Euripides, 69. Evil, 57 f., 62, 118. Evolutionalism, 74 f., 103 f. Example, human, 151, 214 f.; of Jesus, 140, 222 f. Externalism, 142 f.

Fairbairn, A. M., 147. Faith, 65, 67, 174 f., 196, 216; Pauline doct., 177. Faithfulness, 200, 203, 216, 224, 231. Faith healing, 90. Family, 220 f.; relationships, 222, 226. Fatherhood of God, 141, 145, 153, 216. Feuerbach, 101. Fichte, 65, 112, 204. Forgiveness, divine, 153; human, 214. Forsyth, 224. 'Foundations,' 173. Frazer, 29, 221.

Garvie, 222. God, idea of, 26; sovereignty of, 27; fatherhood of, 27; love of, 28; recognition of, 215; obedience to, 216; worship of, 217. Godlikeness, 141, 218. Goethe, 58, 81, 107, 130, 212. Grace, means of, 209. Graces, 188. Grant, Sir A., on 'Mean,' 185. Greece, Ancient, 11, 35. Greeks, 16, 28, 69. Green, T. H., 18, 75, 77, 88, 187, 218.

Haeckel, 86, 101. Haering, 21, 25, 156, 201. Harnack, 176, 205, 228. Hebrew, 35, 44. Hedonism, 104. Hegel, 9, 19, 55, 65, 112 f., 124, 204, 213, 231. Heraclitus, 37. Hermann, E., 125. Herrmann, 202. Hobbes, 57, 102. Hobhouse, 221. Holiness, 141; of Jesus, 149. Hope, 47, 197 f. Huegel, von, 126. Hume, 18. Hypnotism, 90. Hyslop, 14.

Ideals, 6, 12; idealism, 107, 127 f. Ihering, 221. Immanence of God, 43, 93. Immortality, 155. Incarnation, 165 f. Indeterminism, 88. Individualism, 107, 204, 205. Inge, 16. Intellect and Intuition, 65, 118. Intellectualism, 64, 65, 114, 118. Intensity of life, 129 f. Interimsethik, 134 f., 246. Intuitionalism, 72. Irenaeus, 166. Israel, 35, 44, 70.

Jacoby, 25, 142, 157. James, St., 29. —— W., 56, 65, 66, 89 f., 114 f., 172. Jones, Sir H., 132, 219, 231. Judaeism, Ethics of, 45. Judgment, final, 140; just judgment, 212. Justice, 32, 38, 172, 187 f., 210, 233. Justification by faith, 177.

Kant, 13, 65 f., 74, 111 f., 152, 158, 162, 185, 204. Keim, 151. King, 134, 224, 227, 243. Kingdom of God, 132 f. Kirkup, 105. Knight, 36.

Lassalle, 232. Law, Mosaic, 45 f., 70. Lecky, 43, 66, 211, 217. Lemme, 25, 79 f. Leonardo, 92. Lidgett, 27. Life, 12, 118; as ideal, 128; as vocation, 200; regard for, 207; as Godlikeness, 141; sacredness of, 142; Christ as standard of, 147; brevity of, 154; 'eternal,' 131. Lodge, Sir O., 172. Lofthouse, 221. Logic, 15, 118. Lotze, 88. Love, supremacy of, 28, 196 f; divine, 144, 153. Luetgert, 108.

Maccabean age, 48. MacCunn, 203. Macdonald, Ramsay, 220. Mach, 85 f. Machiavelli, 70. Mackenzie, 13, 14, 19. Mackintosh, 26, 199. Macmillan, 112. Mallock, 232. Man, estimate of, 55 ff.; primitive, 57. Mark, St., 32. Marriage, 223, 225. Marshall, 224. Martensen, 25. Marx, 105. Massachusetts, 'Declaration of Rights,' 205. Matheson, Geo., 194. Mazzini on Rights, 203. 'Mean' of Aristotle, 40, 185. Metaphysics, 3, 10, 17 f., 25, 37. Meyers, St. Paul, 168, 217. Micah, 47. Mill, J. S., 32, 103. Millar, Hugh, 56. Milton, 58. Mission of Jesus, 149. Missionary movement, 243. Moffatt, 134. Morality, 10, 37 f. Morals, 24. See Ethics. Morris, 92. Motives, 6, 10; Christian, 152 f. Muirhead, 14. Murray, 55, 58. Mueller, Max, 58.

Nativism, 72. Naturalism, 100 ff. Nemesis, 69. Neo-Platonism, 39 f., 40, 44, 245. 'New Ethic,' 108. Nietzsche, 58, 109, 225, 232. Nine Foundation Pillars of Schmiedel, 31. Norm, Normative, 12, 146. Novalis, 16, 25.

Obedience, 178. Old Dispensation, 45. Origin, 39. Orr, J., 142. Oswald, 86. Ottley, 59, 61, 209, 213. 'Ought,' 12, 21, 80.

Paine, 204. Parables of the kingdom, 137. Parents, 226. Parker, Theodore, 56. Pascal, 57, 59. Passions, 41, 58, 191. Paul, St., 22, 26, 30 f., 43, 47, 57 f., 66, 70, 77, 94 f., 162, 173, 177. Paulsen, 10, 151, 199. Peabody, 148, 150, 246. Pelagius, 56. Penalty, 162. Pensees, 59. Perfection, spiritual, 27, 141. Permissible, 202. Personality, 6, 55 f., 61, 112, 113, 122, 209, 213. Pfleiderer, 44. Pharisaism, 143. Philosophy, 4, 5, 9, 35 f. Plato, 18 f., 37 ff., 66, 107, 184, 187. Pluralism, 116. Poetry of Old Testament, 45 f., 48. Politics, 15 f. Postulates, 6, 18, 22, 25, 29. Power, divine, 164 f. Pragmatism, 63, 114 f. Prayer, 217. Pringle-Pattison, 103. Property, 213.

Rashdall, 27. Realisation of self, 128. Reformation, 2, 11, 47. Regeneration, 171. Regret, 171. Renewal, 171. Renunciation of Gospel, 156. Repentance, 171. Response, human, 169. Responsibility of man, 29. See Will. Resurrection of Christ, 167. Revolution, French, 56, 235. Rewards, 157 f. Richter, Jean Paul, 155. Righteousness, 46 f., 52, 142, 192. Risen life, 167. Ritschlian school, 63, 90. Romanticism, 107. Rome, 35; Romanist, 243. Rousseau, 56 f., 100. Ruskin, 16.

Sabatier, 66. Sacrifice of Christ, 166; self, 131, 191, 194, 209. Sanday, Professor, 139, 157. Schelling, 65. Schiller, 16, 107. Schleiermacher, 3, 25, 39, 201. Schmidt, 86. Schmiedel, 31. Schopenhauer, 109. Schultz on copying Christ, 152. Schweitzer, 134. Science, 13 f., 83. Scott, E., 134, 140. Seeley, 16. Self-regard, 207. Self-restraint of Jesus, 150. Self-sufficiency, 130. Seneca, 43, 70. Sermon on (the) Mount, 32. Seth, Jas., 103. Sin, 28 f., 140. Sinlessness of Jesus, 149. Smith, Adam, 103. Smyth, Newman, 17, 26, 132. Socialism, 105; social problems, 225 f., 239. Society. Social institutions, 220 ff. Socrates, 9, 36 f., 39, 69, 186. Sonship, 153. Sophists, 11, 36, 37. Sophocles, 69. Soul, 61, 119. Sovereignty of God, 27, 93, 144. Specialisation, 207. Spencer, 74 f., 103, 232. Spinoza, 18. Sport, 207. Stalker, 176, 224. Standard of New Life, 146 f. State, 229 ff. Stephen, Leslie, 17. Stoics, 42, 56, 70, 185, 194. Strauss, 151. Strong, 193. Sudermann, 110. Suffering, 202, 208. Summum bonum, 11. See Ideal. Symonds, 69. Sympathy of Jesus, 149. Synoptic Gospels, 33.

Tasso, 81. Temperance, 38, 187, 191. Temptation, 208. Tennyson, 3, 39; wages, 161. Testament, New, 28, 30 f., 35, 57, 71. —— Old, 26, 45. Thanksgiving, 218. Theologia Moralis, 2. Titius, 134. Touche, E. D. La, 145. Troeltsch, 135, 151, 241. Truthfulness, 211.

Utilitarianism, 103 f., 114.

Virtue. Virtues, 69, 21, 38 ff., 183 ff. Vitalism, 117, 120. Vocation, 154, 199 f.

Wages, 161. Watson, 240. Wealth, 239. Weiss, Johannus, 134, 170. Welt-Anschauung, 19, 31. Wenley, 44. Wernle, 58, 134. Westcott, Bishop, 39. Westermarck, 221. Will, 12 ff., 82 f. Wisdom, 38, 43, 49, 187, 192. Wordsworth, 3, 39. Work, 208, 239. Worship, 217, 237. Wundt, 73, 78 f., 186, 213, 243. Wuttke, 13, 25, 217.


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