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same time carries the personal energy of the human being to its highest development.' The parables of Jesus shew how well He understood the common life, and with what loving eyes He regarded it. He taught that the one true connecting link between the spiritual and the moral was right doing.
All this is admirable. Unhappily, when Dr. Bousset comes to speak of Christianity as a Religion of Redemption, the poverty of his view of our Lord's Person and work becomes at once apparent. Of his admiration for our Lord's Personality there can be no doubt : there is a magnificent passage on pp. 235– 237 dealing with the authoritative consciousness of Christ's personality' which seems to bring us to the very verge of the Catholic Faith ; but somehow the step which we long for him to take he never does take, and the result is that he is unable to shew that Christianity is a Religion of Life after all. We are told of our Lord's revelation of the forgiving character of God, that 'when man aspires to God, the old passes away and a new life is born '-would that it were so !-and of the redemption to be accomplished in a future life; but of our Lord as a living and present Redeemer Dr. Bousset seems to know nothing. Though he admits that belief in Christ became the central idea in the very first community of Christians, and that all that was new in St. Paul's teaching was the central position and the importance given to the doctrine of salvation, yet this belief in Christ and His Atonement, together with the whole doctrine of the Sacraments, seems to be regarded as a conception substantially due to St. Paul. The chapter on the 'Future of Christianity' is equally disappointing. We are told that the question of the future of Christianity is the question of the future of religion, and that Christianity is the only living religion that concerns us; but we fear that by the time we have omitted from the Christian faith all that Dr. Bousset is indisposed to accept, and altered its moral ideal so as to accept, as he wishes us to do, Goethe and Bismarck as recognized types of Christian excellence, not much will be left of Christianity to justify our use of the word. The Mystical Element of Religion, as studied in Saint Catherine
of Genoa and her Friends. By Baron FRIEDRICH VON HÜGEL. Two Volumes. (J. M. Dent and Co. 1908.) 215.
net. THIRTY years of reflexion and research, expressed in seven years of writing, entitle the distinguished Roman Catholic author of these spacious volumes to our respectful attention.
They contain a philosophy of religion, combined with the study of a saintly personality. A student of religious philosophy has desired a companion of his pilgrim way with whom he might confer and test his wide-ranging ideas : he has turned from his contemporaries to a period of religious history when the undivided Church of the West moved free from some of the lines which have divided modern Protestantism from post-Reformation Romanism, and has found in Catherine Fiesca Adorna (1447– 1510), now known as St. Catherine of Genoa, a character which can answer many of his questionings and illustrate many of his conclusions. As a published work this is a somewhat notable experiment: a philosophical and religious position is advocated in manifold relations and in many ramifications, and it is frankly brought to the test of tenability by being shewn to have been the vital belief of a distinguished and saintly character. Mysticism is expounded on general lines, and point after point finds illustration in the thought and experience of a noble character.
Baron von Hügel's equipment is of singularly wide range. Philosophy and the most recent psychological science are at his disposal as well as the general course of Church history and Christian thought, and especially the records of inner religious experiences. We know of no treatment of mysticism which is supported by a harvesting so prolonged in fields so varied and extensive.
We would assure our readers at the outset that in this study they are not invited to deal with morbidity either of body or mind: neither in the philosophy of Baron von Hügel nor in the saintliness of Catherine does the extraordinary in the sense of the contra-natural play any part. To this very topic the Baron has given careful attention, and what he contributes upon it is one of the most original and fruitful parts of his work. He has studied psycho-physics in the works of Fechner, Janet, Binet, Boutroux and James : he knows that nervous conditions and subconscious workings account for many phenomena in the way of visions and ecstasies, and holds that such manifestations are not at all confined to religious persons, but accompany high energizings in philosophers and poets, and even in men of action, nearly all of whom have nervous and mental organizations of unusual sensibility. He is clear that we must always estimate such manifestations by their efficacy in furthering the normal life, never for themselves. And he finds that Catherine entirely illustrates this. She had few visions, indeed only three acknowledged as such by herself; her imagery was not of persons and
scenes such as the Passion, nor sentimental fancies, but she thought of God as Light, Fire, Beauty, Truth. She had sometimes periods of psychical or psycho-physical states of a maladif kind, but she well knew their true nature, and neither from these nor from her ecstasies did she draw anything to shape her thought. Readers may therefore be at ease that they are not here invited into regions of morbidity which they would find repellent, and which would beforehand vitiate the force and attraction of the views advocated.
Mysticism is taken by Baron von Hügel as one of three elements’ in religion, and not as the whole. It is the name for the deep region of the intuitions and the inner experiences of the soul. The other elements are Institutionalism—the religious life as expressed in the beliefs and practices of historical churches--and Rationalism, the beliefs arrived at by conscious reflexion. This threefold division is of course of long standing : Varro enunciated it in his distinction of religion as held by poets, by magistrates, and by philosophers; and though it must not be pressed everywheree.g. it is not parallel with feeling, will, and reason, as Baron von Hügel follows so many in thinking -it is the best classificatory instrument for religious history that has been found. Our author applies it over tracts of philosophy and of historical religion ; within Christianity, in the New Testament, in the early Church, in the Middle Ages, and at the Reformation; and since the Reformation he sees it breaking forth in the Jesuits, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans in the Roman Communion, in the High, the Broad, and the Evangelical in the Anglican Church. As illustrations in individuals, he offers Bossuet, Richard Simon, and Fénelon-with whom we would compare our Caroline divines, Tillotson, and the Cambridge Platonists. As instances of the combination of all three elements he suggests Newman and Rosmini, with whom we venture to associate Maurice, Church, and Hort, and for Scotland, Chalmers.
After a preliminary statement occupying some eighty pages, the portraiture of Catherine follows in great detail, with an exposition of her principal 'doctrines.' The scale of this part of the work is too extensive : we cannot but think that the author judged ill in attaching to his presentation of Mysticism so great a weight as this highly worked biography together with the critical apparatus of materials by which he has constructed it. And for Catherine herself, we doubt whether his hope will be justified that many of us will be able to raise her to one of the liighest places in our calendar of the geniuses of religion. Baron von Hügel himself finds her more congenial than even St. Teresa : at this first reading at any rate that experience is far from being our own, nor is it, we think, likely to be common. Still, she is a noble character, and we must quote what is, we think, her greatest thought: 'I cannot find words to appropriate so great a love. But this I can say with truth, that if of what my heart feels one drop were to fall into Hell, Hell itself would altogether turn into Eternal Life. For this saying alone she is entitled to our respectful salutations, and to a permanent place among the personalities who inspire those who come after them.
After the biography and the exposition of Catherine's doctrines we resume the general treatment of mysticism, and it is this part of the work which will give the book a high place in the philosophy of religion. Space wholly fails for a discussion of the many problems raised. We can only say that Baron von Hügel has faced the task of setting the mystical element into complete articulation with the other constituents of religion, and not only with those but with the whole range of human life. He is perfectly aware of the force of the charges brought against it that it makes for detachment and isolation and individualism: he grapples with these as objections, and he turns round and restates mysticism as a positive feature of the life of the soul which can be associated with its other features in a single unity. He does this with reference to the moral life, to the problem of evil, to the ordinary interests, occupations, and affections of humanity, to the social life, to science, and to the life beyond the grave. To all of these problems for mysticism he applies his great learning, and more than that, certain great principles which animate his thought. Especially powerful are his treatment of the problem of evil, which he candidly acknowledges to remain unsolved but which he boldly regards as positive and treats not by reference to substance and accident, but as lying in the region of the will ; and his treatment of science, as to which he contends that all its legitimate claims are consistent with what is due to a true mysticism. In his highly condensed but comprehensive treatment of the future life he finds a significant confirmation in Catherine's thought of the necessity of Purgatory both in this life and in the next : her welcome of it as a cleansing fire, because it is addressed to the soul in its true nature as partaking of the Divine nature, the fire itself being no other than the Divine love. In this, which Baron von Hügel rightly adjudges to be the noblest legacy' of her thought, Catherine has won a recognition in the general literature of
religion, as it is her view which is expressed in Newman's Dream of Gerontius. By the critical work in this last section, and still more by the constructive principles which are employed, we have a presentation of the mystical element in religion such as is nowhere else to be found, in English literature at least. No one can fairly demand our attention on the subject of mysticism, either as its defender or its opponent, who has not made his account with Baron von Hügel's apologia.
It is not, we trust, ungracious on the part of an English review to express a wish that a writer who has sojourned among us so long and has so sympathetically watched our own religious life and thought had added a few more months to his already prolonged labour in order to smooth out the expression of his thought in our language. There are passages which suggest that the underlying thought was first formulated in German, and some of these will give trouble to unravel. They are, however, all within the reader's power to recast for himself, and when this is done progress can be resumed. This said, we have pleasure in adding that over long ranges complete success is attained both as to lucidity and vigour, and we have marked not a few passages in which a high level of expository and critical expression is attained. Full as the volumes are of biographical material, of philosophical argument, and of historical review, it is no small achievement that they vibrate so often with a noble, dignified, and persuasive eloquence.
The Seeming Unreality of the Spiritual Life. By HENRY
CHURCHILL KING, President of Oberlin College. (New York:
The Macmillan Company. 1908.) 6s. 6d. net. DR. KING's lectures before the Divinity School of Yale University, printed here in somewhat different form, are both useful in themselves and typical of the present current of apologetics. He deals with the reasons for the apparent unreality of the spiritual life, differentiating between causes of this unreality which can be removed and causes which are necessary and intrinsic, but lose their force when recognized as such. The standpoint adopted is that of a moderate follower of Professor James in philosophy, and of the Ritschlians, especially Herrmann, in theology. Dr. King deals effectively with many current misconceptions, he exposes the absurdity of much that he characterizes as “ biological thinking on spiritual themes,' and has a useful chapter on the necessary restrictions of metaphysics due to the absence from its scope VOL. LXVIII.-NO. CXXXVI.