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came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." With such a general outpouring of the Holy Ghost, with such an outburst of apostolical enthusiasm, like “a rushing mighty wind," a handful of God's devoted servants will certainly work_won. ders in India. Will not our Heavenly Father vouchsafe unto our country a Pentecostal shower of His saving grace ?
Lord, Bless Thy work here, and strengthen Thy servants, that truth may triumph in this land. Teach us to love each other in spite of differences of opinion. Gather all races and tribes, Kind God, in Thy fold, wherever it may be.
And now, my brethren, I commend you to my God and your God. May He bless you all for ever !
TOUR thousand years ago the burden of India's
song was Meditation. To-day the war-cry of educated India, in its aggressive crusade against prevalent superstition and error, is Civilization. The cry of the first century was Madness; but the watchword of modern Christian Europe is Philosophy. There is thus apparently a wide difference between ancient and modern faith. Is it possible, I ask you in all seriousness, to reconcile the difference and harmonize these two contending principles, madness and philosophy, meditation and civilization ? Are these substances heterogeneous or homogeneous ? Do they repel all attempts at reconciliation, or is it possible to place them under such favorable conditions as might gradually lead to their cherical fusion ? Must the war between apostolical faith and modern civilization last for ever, or is peace practicable? It is certainly high time we should put forth our best efforts to settle this long pending suitMadness versus Philosophy. But it would be hopeless, gentlemen, to expect justice if we pút either of the litigants upon the bench. The settlement of the dispute is only possible by arbitration. Let us ask the saint and the philosopher to sit together, and, in solemn conclave, discuss both sides of the controversy, and so arrange and settle the mutual differences of the two parties that the rightful claims of each may be recognised, and its errors and absurdities proscribed. You cannot wholly destroy either philosophy or madness through blind partizanship. Whatever is true in each let us
PHILOSOPHY AND MADNESS IN RELIGION. 221
vindicate and accept. Do I mean Eclecticism ? Yes. I believe it is possible to form an eclectic union of these two elements of religion in actual life, so that they may form one harmonious and indivisible unity, and not a mere combination of ill-assorted theological ideas. There is a strong and general feeling against that sort of eclecticism which affects to love and admire all systems of philosophy and religion, and proudly glories in latitudinarianism. I, too, share this feeling. I am a hater of theological eclecticism quite as much as you are.
It is not theological, but religious eclecticism that I
a cold intellectual recognition of all things and every thing true, but the deep spiritual assimilation of all forms of truth and goodness in life. That man who, having nothing of his own, only puts on “ shreds and patches of all kinds of theologies, must make himself as ridiculous as the man who would attempt to put himself forward as a citizen of the world, by adding to a genuine English coat and trousers a huge Madras turban, a Lucknow wrapper, and a pair of Bengal slippers! This would be a monstrous caricature of eclecticism, an absurd mixture of anomalous varieties of dress a miscellaneous warehouse, a proud array of incongruous nationalities. We want something more reasonable and consistent. The man who holds the Bible in one hand and the Koran in the other, may be praised and admired as an unbiassed latitudinarian, but surely he would not command respect among really thoughtful believers. We must go into the depths of his heart, and see whether the essential truths of these scriptures are blended in his character. True eclecticism assimilates, and not merely admires and approves. It denotes nothing but many-sided
truth. In it all truths are as one truth, True eclecticism means unity of character, that solid unity in which all the elements of truth and goodness, as represented in different creeds and nationalities, are blended together and harmonized. The great secret of pure eclecticism is the reduction of many types and schools of thought to one truth, and apparent diversities of sentiment into harmony of character. The question is not, whether we commend both madness and philosophy, but whether they are susceptible of being so blended in the natural and normal condition of humanity, that there must always be madness in philosophy and philosophy in madness. I positively affirm that such is the case. The true believer, in whom all the elements of divine life have undergone a natural and healthy development, is at all times and in all circumstances a mad philosopher and a philosophical mad man. But what is madness after all ? Am I not using an objectionable term-a term which to many a refined critic would certainly seem not altogether unexceptionable in this civilized age? By madness I mean heavenly enthusiasm, the highest and most intense spirituality of character, in which faith rules supreme over all the sentiments and faculties of the mind. By madness I mean that wild enthusiasm which defies all the opposition of the world and the antagonism of the flesh, and careers boldly in the path of everlasting and eternal progress. The difference between philosophy and madness is the difference between science and faith, between cold dialectics and fiery earnestness, between the logical deductions of the human understanding and the living force of inspiration, such as that which cometh direct from heaven. Mark the difference, gentlemen, and say whether it is such as
be reconciled, I believe that both are divine, Philosophy is divine, and madness too is divine. If madness means inspiration, and that holy and heavenly fire which animated the martyrs, prophets and great men in all ages, then spiritual madness has as much right to be regarded as a divine force as philosophy. I do not stand before you this evening as an apologist for either school. I advocate the claims of both. What I contend for is, that no dern Philosophy must be, in matters spiritual, more enthusiastic and mad than it at present is, and that ancient madness and asceticism should be thoroughly combined with modern science and philosophy. This is all that I insist upon. Now, in adrocating this spiritual union, I stand far above the charge of exclusiveness. I disclaim exclusiveness. What I advocate is not an exclusive, but an all-inclusive. system of religious philosophy, which embraces the highest truths of science and the deepest sentiments of absorbing devotion, and excludes neither. I do not call upon you to abandon philosophy, but to add to it the madness of faith and sentiment. The alleged harmony of philosophy and madness may seem plausible as an abstract theory. But its chief value lies in its practical application to life and character. Let us, my friends, try to bring it home to our bosoms and business, by applying it to some of the great and prevailing questions of the day, in which we are all most deeply interested.
Let us take first of all that universally acknowledged truth about the three realities cognizable by
True and uneophisticated philosophy recognizes a trinity of real objects,-Self, the World, and God ; or, to speak more philosophically, Ego, NonEgo, and the Infinite. It is the denial of one or other of these three realities that has, as you are