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Eternal Life

Eternal Life

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Published by glennpease



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Published by: glennpease on Mar 19, 2013
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ETERNAL LIFE A STUDY OF ITS IMPLICATIONS AND APPLICATIONS BY BARON FRIEDRICH VON HUGEL MEMBER OF THE CAMBRIDGE PHILOLOGICAL SOCIETY AUTHOR OF " THE MYSTICAL ELEMENT OF RELIGION, AS STUDIED IN SAINT CATHERINE OF GENOA AND HER FRIENDS " EDINBURGH : T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET 1912 I WAS as a beast before Thee. Nevertheless I am continually with Thee : Thou holdest me fast by my right hand. Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? And beside Thee I desire naught upon earth. Though my flesh and my heart fail : Thou, God, abidest my rock and my portion for ever. PS. Ixxiii. 22, 23, 25, 26. HEREIN is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us. We love, because He first loved us. i JOHN iv. 10, 19. THOU hast created us unto Thyself, O Lord ; and our heart finds no rest until it rests in Thee. ST. AUGUSTINE, Confessions, i. i. i. PREFACE THE history of the following book is indeed simple yet somewhat unusual. The Rev. Dr. James Hastings invited me to contribute to his Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics ; and his instructions concerning " Eternal Life," the first of the articles thus undertaken by me, were to make the paper as long as the subject-matter might seem to deserve or require. He was, in this, doubtless thinking primarily of his Encyclopaedia
as a whole ; whereas I myself became so engrossed in my subject that I allowed my composition to grow as long as its great subject-matter pressed it to become. The result, anyhow, was that the article, when sent in, was found to be far too long for the scope of the Encyclopaedia; and Dr. Hastings kindly arranged with Messrs. T. & T. Clark, the publishers of the Encyclopaedia, to issue my article as a separate book the present volume. Both Dr. Hastings and Messrs. Clark have been very patient and truly generous in vi Preface their dealings with me throughout these agree ments ; and I now beg to thank them cordially. This little private history is recounted here in order to explain how any writer possessed of even average modesty could venture on so be- wilderingly vast a subject. I sincerely doubt whether I would ever have dared directly to undertake a volume upon this subject-matter. Yet this task, thus originally undertaken as but one of several articles, did not, somehow, appear preposterously ambitious ; the work, once it was started, seemed to grow under my hands; and nothing as yet attempted by me has flown so readily from my pen. The subject had doubt less been occupying my mind and life for many a year; and thus there is some reason to hope that these pages may, in their turn, live for a while and that they may, here and there, help some religious students and strugglers. This is presumably the right place for saying a few words about certain peculiarities of the book, in the order of their appearance within its pages. The Method is very deliberately an analysis of more or less advanced states of soul of con siderable spiritual experience and of considerable articulation of such experience ; it is not a history Preface vii claiming to begin with the beginnings, or at least with the really early experiences and utter ances of mankind. Much is now made of the savage, the supposedly brute-like beginnings of man ; and a purely historical, an entirely genetic method and account is now often demanded. Yet, as a matter of simple fact, we really know man only as man ; and the interior significance
of his earlier and earliest acts and utterances we understand, where we understand them at all, only from analyses of his more advanced and more articulate condition. I am, of course, fully aware that Buddhism and the Dionysiac Cult appeared late in the history of man. Yet at this, comparatively late, stage we are offered an amount of experience, and of articulation of this experience, sufficient, when explained in the light of still later experiences and articula tions, for us to arrive at some sober, reasonably certain conclusions ; whereas much further back we do not get such volume and such clearness of material. I have striven hard throughout the book never to lose sight of the very important element of truth embodied, even, I think, exaggerated, in the attempts at a "purely genetic method," and in such Naturalism in Anthropology. Hence I have endeavoured to remain continuously viii Preface alive to the profound need and continuous action of the body, of the senses, of sensible objects and of the physical environment, within and for man's mental, spiritual, religious life. And I have attempted, on reaching at last the very late period at which this fundamental fact has been systematically recognized even to excess, sincerely to appraise the strength and the weakness of this Method and Naturalism. A strong insistence will be found throughout these pages upon the Parousia, the Proximate Second Coming upon the Eschatological Ele ment operative in the life and teaching of Our Lord and in all genuine and fruitful Christianity. The problem involved is so delicate and so far- reaching that we cannot wonder if the great majority of believers have, ever since the first enthusiastic age, turned away from it with instinctive fear or sickening dismay. Yet no repudiation of historico-critical scholars, however audacious or one-sided they may be in part of their conclusions, will prevent the battle con cerning Christianity the testing of its claim abidingly to supply the full sanity and truth of religion and of life from turning, more and more, in this and the next two or three genera tions, around the precise significance, place, Preface ix

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