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The Scientific Outlook and Hope.

The Scientific Outlook and Hope.

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Published by glennpease
BY HOWARD AGNEW JOHNSTON


One of the most distinctive statements in the New
Testament is that in Paul's second letter to Timo-
thy, (2 Tim. 1 : 10) : "Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath
abolished death, and hath brought life and immor-
tality to light through the Gospel." It must be
apparent to every thoughtful man that it would be
a superficial interpretation of this statement which
would count it as having particular, not to say ex-
clusive reference to the continued existence of the
soul beyond this earthly life.
BY HOWARD AGNEW JOHNSTON


One of the most distinctive statements in the New
Testament is that in Paul's second letter to Timo-
thy, (2 Tim. 1 : 10) : "Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath
abolished death, and hath brought life and immor-
tality to light through the Gospel." It must be
apparent to every thoughtful man that it would be
a superficial interpretation of this statement which
would count it as having particular, not to say ex-
clusive reference to the continued existence of the
soul beyond this earthly life.

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Published by: glennpease on May 06, 2014
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THE SCIETIFIC OUTLOOK AD HOPE. BY HOWARD AGEW JOHSTO One of the most distinctive statements in the ew Testament is that in Paul's second letter to Timo- thy, (2 Tim. 1 : 10) : "Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immor- tality to light through the Gospel." It must be apparent to every thoughtful man that it would be a superficial interpretation of this statement which would count it as having particular, not to say ex- clusive reference to the continued existence of the soul beyond this earthly life. But many have thus applied it. Yet a scientific investigation into the significance of immortality must base such inquiry upon the character of the 2 1 * 1 ** t J^ a life whose continuance is considered. life and Unless the character of the life be itytollght worth while, its continued existence is not worth while. A prodigal aristocrat came to Tal- leyrand for assistance, exclaiming: "I inust live, you know!" But Talleyrand quietly replied: "I do not see the necessity." In fact there are evidences to show that just because this life was not counted a blessing, men have not only not wished to continue  jit, but have hastened their death. Aristophanes 259 260 SCIETIFIC FAITH. pictures such a man for us in one of his plays. The Buddhistic doctrine of irvana is just this emphasis of the bliss of ceasing to have a conscious existence. The Jews divided into Pharisees and Sadducees be- cause the latter denied the resurrection, and that
 
was because they did not see the desirability of a continued life. Therefore it is profoundly important to realize that in bringing life to light Christ's first work was to give men to see that life here is to be made worth while. Unless that be done, there is no promise for a life to come. Unless redeeming power can win here, in the realm of human experience, there can be no such assurance as will justify a scientific faith in a power able to make life desirable anywhere else in the future years. The logic of our thought is therefore clear. It is our outlook for life here which f must be our ground for a hope for a first pur- life forever. The character of that Ehowthe outlook, determined by the facts, must value of inevitably put quality into the hope of this Ufa « ™ . . . men. Suppose Christianity were not making good its claim t Suppose men could not see the light shining in the pathway of human progress ! Then no joy would be quickened in millions of souls ut the thought of dragging on wearily through end- less years of such existence as they know here and now. Hence it was that Christ brought life to light, and counted it His primary task to make effective THE SCIETIFIC OUTLOOK AD HOPE. 261 His redemptive forces for this' earth in point of time.
 
It is suggestive that Christ In His teaching did not dwell at great length upon the subject of the fu- ture life. He was first concerned to have the King- dom of Heaven begin in men's hearts at once. The naturalness of its continuance would appear in the nature of things. It is the character of Christ's life which makes it easy and natural and reasonable to believe His statement that He will continue to live. All the historic material which points to the fact of His resurrection on the third day after His crucifix- ion is valuable and important; but it would have little effect upon men unless the actual power of the living Christ continued Our faith to quicken men out of the death of sin tality rests and self into the new life of sonship JSesent* with God. What would it signify that power of He arose, if we had no token that His Christ, victory was meant to be avaUable for us victoriously ? But His power is here. It is the power which men beheld in Him, as He lived among them in the flesh, still shining out, manifesting the life of the eternal God as our loving Father. It is because of this that we have come to know that we are not the children of the dust, but are the children of the King immortal and eternal, and heirs of "an inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away." 868 SCIETIFIC FAITH. When we speak of the scientific outlook and hope, we are still in the realm of scientific faith. Hope is simply the flowering of faith. There are certain facts which contribute to the strengthening of the Christian's faith in the continued life of men, to which we will refer. But let us remember that we are talking about faith as something different from knowledge. Many fail to discriminate here. Faith

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