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Oliver Chase Quick

Chapter V


We have sketched the general meaning of two of the three great doctrines of Redemption, the opportunity of the Atonement, the warning of the Judgement. We come last to the hope of the Resurrection, and at once we find ourselves in the presence of Death, the last enemy that shall be destroyed, and of the multifarious brood of mental and physical sufferings, of which death may be taken as the parent or the type. We have already said something about the connection that exists between pain and death and evil in general. The essential nature of evil is sin, and it is because of their apparently sinful nature that pain and death seem to be so evil. This is especially the case where the innocent suffer, inasmuch as such suffering appears to be peculiarly cruel. Yet pain and death are the lot of all earthly life, without distinction. How can we begin to reconcile their existence with the love of God?

Clearly we must start with sin as the source of all evil. Sin we have defined as the rejection of the communion of God’s love. Its fruit is separation from that fellowship, and in pain and death that separation manifests itself. “God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” To be dead is to be cut off from God who is the Life of the world. Again, “Thou shalt shew me the path of life; in Thy presence is the fulness of joy: and at Thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore.” To dwell in the perfect communion of God’s love is to be free from pain; pain is the mark of a separation. If then pain and death be ultimate and final, they mark an eternal separation from God, and they become synonymous with Hell. And if sin has really separated this world from the love of God, we shall expect to find in the world pain and death as the very real marks of that separation. But if the separation be not ultimate nor final, neither are the pain and death which are its manifestation. And if we may thus look on pain and death, we may understand how, though they be the consequence of evil, they cannot on that account be themselves treated simply as evil - that is, as things only to be fled from or destroyed. Just as a tract of difficult country may mark for a traveller his distance from the goal of his journey, and yet point the way towards it, so pain and death may mark our separation from the heavenly fellowship of God, and yet show us the path by which it is to be attained. If sin had never removed the world from the communion of God’s Spirit, the rough and sombre road of return would never have had to be trodden. If the world had not sinned and gone astray, Christ Himself would never have had to suffer and to die, to show us the way back. Yet, granted the fact and the meaning of sin, suffering and death, however evil they appear, may be simply a terrible tract of experience which must be traversed by those who would reach home, a tract not simply to be shunned as evil, but boldly and cheerfully faced as leading to the good, if only there be a way through it.

We should then, speaking more strictly, amend the metaphor which we used in saying that evil represented two enemies, sin the first, and pain and death the second. Sin is the real and living enemy, pain and death resemble rather the barriers wherein the enemy has confined us. The problem of sin is the problem how to destroy or escape from the Evil One. The problem of pain and death is the problem how to find a way through and out of the alien, terrible land in which he holds us captive. That journey can only be accomplished when the power of the enemy is destroyed: the victory over sin must come first. Yet to encourage our efforts in the struggle, we do need to see that there is a way through and out of his dominions. Where is that way? Pain and death on earth do seem to us so terribly final that we begin to doubt whether, even if sin were vanquished, the victory would be worth while.

To such questionings the Christian gospel alone can bring a satisfying answer, just because it is a gospel of life through death, not simply of a deathless life. It is a gospel of resurrection, not of mere immortality. It is perfectly and utterly sincere. It does not ask us to pretend that pain and death are really unimportant or can safely be ignored. Nor again does it confound the distinction between good and evil by seeking to persuade us that the cause of pain and death is to be found anywhere but in the malignant power of sin. But it does insist that pain and death are not necessarily ultimate or final; they are not the last words for human life. They are real and terrible and, in a sinful world, necessary; but for the believer their power of final destruction is abolished. For the Christian who faces and enters them boldly, they become the gateway of perfect life and joy.

That is the central truth which the recorded facts of the death and resurrection of Jesus are designed to teach. The bodily appearances after the resurrection assure us that nothing of our Lord’s personal manhood had been lost or destroyed. It was He Himself, the same Christ Whom the disciples had known. But the record is equally designed to show us that our Lord thus triumphed over death, not because death seemed to Him unimportant or unreal, but because, in obedience to the Will of God, He was content to undergo all the tremendously real suffering and horror which His death involved. The death of the Cross is not an incident in a life of self‑conscious majesty: it is the culmination of a completed life of sacrifice. Our Lord’s victory is not a heedless, careless exhibition of His own power - it is a victory won through and because of a complete submission. And therefore His resurrection‑body was not merely the same which His disciples had known: it bore the clear marks of His passion. That suffering and death had not been without significance even for Him. They were the very ground of His triumph; and therefore for all eternity they left their mark upon Him.

It is in the light of this faith alone that we can without despair interpret the facts of our world and the conditions under which life in it is passed. We are now confronted by what has from time immemorial been the tritest of commonplaces among all those who think and feel at all, viz., the universality of suffering and death. There is the clearest of all realities, the most obviously universal of all laws. In a well‑known passage in the “Republic” Plato speaks of a man who, being sick of a mortal disease which he could not cure, nevertheless by extreme care and elaborate systems of diet contrived to survive as long as most of his friends. Plato tries to express his sense of the futility of such a proceeding by remarking that the man only succeeded in “dying hard” (δυσθαvατo_v), a word in which the heathen philosopher voices his contempt. But the same word might be applied with almost equal force to all life whatsoever upon this earth. It is all engaged simply in resisting death for so long as it can, in waging a losing battle which is bound sooner or later to end in apparent defeat. That is the truth which gives to books like “Ecclesiastes” and poems like those of Omar Khayyám their strange and irresistible appeal. There is the fact of which all explanations of the meaning of life are bound to take account. The religions and philosophies of the world fall into two ultimate groups, according as they have met it squarely face to face, or sought with the shallow poetry of sentiment or the shallower dialectic of subterfuge to palliate its grimness and to belittle its force. Many philosophies and religions, notably those of the East, have faced it, and found their courage rewarded with despair. Many again, notably those which draw their inspiration from our Western gospel of evolution, have shirked the issue with such skill that they have invested their evasion with all the trappings of a victory. Christianity, and Christianity alone, has met the full shock of the reality, and retained its hope.

Christianity has faced the facts of suffering and death. It has not denied or palliated or belittled them. It has given them their fullest importance. But in so doing it has found a meaning for them and in that meaning a promise. Looking at the life of his Lord, the Christian maintains that suffering and death are for him almost a sacrament. They are the outward and visible signs to him of the complete self‑surrender and self‑sacrifice that are needed before this mortal can put on immortality, before earthly life can pass the threshold of eternity.

The road through pain and death is the narrow way of self‑sacrifice. It is as pointing to self‑sacrifice that pain and death on earth lose for the Christian their repulsive aspect of sinful, hopeless evil, and become transformed into stern tutors of an immortal happiness.

To perceive this central truth is to find a new light shed on much of the obscure and mystical language about death and life with which our New Testament has made us a good deal too familiar. St. Paul declares that the Christian in baptism shares the death of Christ, that as Christ was raised from the dead, so he too may walk in the newness of the resurrection-life. We have already considered how St. Paul believed that this partaking of Christ’s death and resurrection frees the believer from sin. We have now to ask what light it throws on the meaning of death.

It must be remembered that during the earlier part of his missionary career, St. Paul believed that the majority of Christian converts would not undergo physical death, before the second coming of our Lord finally brought the Kingdom of God to earth. In the providence of God this very error enabled him to grasp more firmly the central truth, that physical death is only an outward symbol of the great fact that through self‑sacrifice alone can the human personality enter upon life eternal. Self‑sacrifice in its deepest sense means a giving away of all we are and all we have. And so to St. Paul the true death, which is the very gateway of heaven, is not simply the death of the body but the complete self‑sacrifice, the need for which physical death is meant to teach. The death of Christ was only the culminating act of a life of self-sacrifice in obedience to the will of God. And in proportion as the Christian surrenders himself to serve Christ and to follow in His steps, he too by the death of self‑sacrifice shares the Christ-life which physical death has no power to destroy. The whole earthly life and death of the Christian thus becomes a dying to live. The act of dying is not to be found in the death of the body alone, but is the continuous expression of the whole self‑sacrifice which is the keynote of the Christian life from baptism onwards. No doubt in very early times there was a danger lest the Pauline theology should be used to belittle the importance of the outward fact of physical death. This danger arose from the very clearness with which that theology had grasped the spiritual reality for which the outward fact stood. Early orthodoxy had often to contend against Gnostic speculations which, regarding matter as unreal and unimportant, alleged that even before physical death the human spirit could in the detachment of the mystic vision possess the full fruition of its final blessedness.[1] These Gnostic doctrines naturally issued in a most dangerous assumption of esoteric pride among those who felt or fancied themselves to be spiritually elect. The Church, with a sanity which is characteristically Christian, saw in these doctrines an attempt to separate the inward from the outward, which is false to the whole spirit of the Incarnation. In this controversy the chief orthodox weapon was found in the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, to which St. Paul had given a new and deeper meaning. The doctrine of bodily resurrection, springing from the resurrection of the body of Christ, was of supreme importance alike in what it asserted and in what it therefore denied. It asserted that in any final consummation the bodily life of man must find a place, no less than the spiritual. It therefore denied that while the bodily life was still under the bondage of decay and death the whole life of man could possibly reach the blessedness of heaven.[2] Thus out of the confusion of contrary errors the truth more and more clearly emerged, that the death of the body is needed to complete the Christian’s sacrifice of himself, and that, before that sacrifice is fulfilled, the Christian can only claim in his spiritual experience to enjoy a dim foretaste or, in Pauline language, the “first‑fruits” of his heavenly inheritance on which he will one day enter through the grave. Perhaps we may now feel inclined to go even further and to maintain that for our sinful personalities the process of self‑sacrifice, the need of dying to live, may even continue beyond the grave before it is finally complete.

But nothing can upset the central fact that St. Paul’s interpretation of the death and resurrection of our Lord has found a meaning for the universal suffering and death which form the supreme characteristic of our earthly world. The facts compel us to recognise that all earthly life is a process of dying. The Christian answers that this must needs be so, since, in a sinful world, it is only through dying that life eternal can be won. The solution is in principle as universal as the problem which it meets. The universality of suffering and death is the outward and visible sign of the spiritual truth that only through self‑sacrifice does the eternal life of humanity stand sure. The Christian’s full acceptance of the facts of this world is the very ground of his unshaken faith in the world to come. The joy of earth is true and justified just because it is always more than earthly; it is the foretaste of the heavenly experience which the completion of sacrifice will bring to fulfilment beyond the grave.

Having thus sketched the general bearing upon our world of the Christian hope of immortality through sacrifice, let us try to discuss it rather more closely in connection with the facts of our own experience. We shall perhaps gain a clearer idea of the implications of the Christian doctrine and of the support which experience affords it, if we consider it in connection with certain false views of self‑sacrifice, which at first sight seem to rise to greater heights of unselfishness than the Christian view can legitimately claim to reach.

We are sometimes told that the Christian teaching about self‑sacrifice is tainted with selfishness because it claims an eternal life for the person who sacrifices himself. If a man were trying to sacrifice himself entirely, it is urged, he would in effect be endeavouring to annihilate himself; his aim, so far as he himself is concerned, would be simply self destruction. But surely a little reflection enables us to detect in this view a radical confusion of thought. According to it, complete self‑sacrifice becomes in principle a form of suicide. Not all suicide would be self‑sacrifice; yet all complete self‑sacrifice would issue in suicide. But this conclusion has only to be stated to be condemned. For all suicide is essentially a supreme act of selfishness. It is the act of a man who finds life so unpleasant that he determines at all costs to be rid of it. It is his final declaration that he has nothing left to live for, that there is no one he cares sufficiently about to go on endeavouring to do him service, that, in short, he cares for no life but his own, and as that life has wholly ceased to be desirable he refuses to continue it on any terms at all. Selfishness could go no further. Clearly self‑sacrifice, the supreme act of unselfishness, must have a meaning utterly distinct from self‑destruction, which is its very opposite.

And when we have carried our argument so far, the true antagonism between self‑sacrifice and self‑destruction immediately becomes plain. Suicide, in so far as it is in any sense a real motive for action, must be selfish; it cannot possibly enter into any act of self‑sacrifice. Self‑sacrifice springs not at all from the desire to destroy oneself, but from the desire to give oneself - which is an entirely different thing. The man who wills to sacrifice himself for any cause or person means not at all to put an end to anything he has or is, but simply to give it all in the service he has chosen. If he dies in that service, death is not for him simply death - the destruction of his life - it is the giving of his life, so that in some way it may be of help. And is it conceivable or reasonable that two acts which are so radically opposed to each other in their whole motive and intention as the death of self‑sacrifice and the death of suicide could possibly have the same result for the agent? If there is any sense or reason in the world at all, the answer must be No. No self‑sacrifice can end in the destruction of him who makes it.

So far our argument has had a very easy task. But the moral objection to the Christian doctrine of individual immortality through self‑sacrifice often takes a subtler and more plausible form. Granted that the sacrifice by which a man gives his life cannot be simply the end of his existence, it may nevertheless, we are told, be the end of his distinct individual existence. And facts of human experience are often adduced in support of this conclusion. It is urged that when a man loves very intensely and wholly lives for any cause or person, his distinct self tends to be merged and lost in the life of that for which he gives himself. His entire being is absorbed in a larger life, like a drop of water lost in a stream which it enters. And when the process of absorption is complete, we must suppose that the man’s distinct individuality comes to an end. His eternity is nothing more than the permanent value of the contribution he once made through his death to that for which he died.

The reasoning is plausible, but further reflection on the facts by which it is supported shows it to be profoundly unsatisfactory and unconvincing. We have to consider the connection which human experience shows us to exist between self‑sacrifice and the sense of individual distinction.

The savage has but little sense of his own personal individuality. That sense is almost entirely merged in the wider whole of the family or tribe which at this stage of development is the true unit of existence. In reading the Old Testament most people must at times have wondered why it was that the Jews, without believing in a life after death for the individual, were nevertheless so profoundly influenced by the prediction of rewards or penalties which in consequence of their own action were to be brought upon their remote descendants long after they themselves had passed into the oblivion of Sheol. The explanation of this striking fact cannot be found in any attempt to make out that the main body of the Jewish race was capable of a higher unselfishness than the members of a modern community. No one would urge such a contention except for the sake of argument. The obvious truth is that the Jews had still hardly emerged from the savage condition of society where the family or tribe is everything, the individual nothing. Their sense of individuality was still undeveloped. The distinct personality of the individual begins to be realised by the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, with all the shock of a new discovery. “They shall no more use this proverb in Israel: The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

The primitive state of society in which the individual is lost in the family or the tribe cannot produce and is not produced by the highest kind of self‑sacrifice. In such a state the highest form of self‑sacrifice is impossible, exactly because the intense personal distinctness of the individual is not felt.[3] True self‑sacrifice can only be found where the individual is intensely conscious of his own absolute distinctness, and, being so conscious, nevertheless determines to give his distinct self to serve another.

And the strange truth is - explain it how we will - that the development of self‑sacrifice and the development of the sense of personal distinctness go together. That is one of the deepest truths of our experience. Just in proportion as we succeed in giving ourselves, giving our time and trouble, our brains and bodies, to the service of others, we find not that we lose our sense of distinct being, but rather that we become more fully and distinctly ourselves; our self becomes deeper and more real, so that we have ever more to give in the service we have chosen. The closest and truest possible union between two persons involves as its condition and consequence that each will sacrifice and give himself to the other. But that does not mean that the distinction between the two persons is blurred, rather it is increasingly accentuated. The evidence which at first sight seems to contradict this view really furnishes its strongest support. Take what is really a crucial instance - St. Paul’s sacrifice of himself in the service of Christ, and the wonderful sense of union with the Lord which was its result. St. Paul is actually able to say, “Not I live, but Christ liveth in me.” At first sight the words might appear to mean that St. Paul felt himself altogether merged in the life of Him he served. There is no doubt one sense in which such an inference would be justified. But the exact opposite is equally true, equally important, and far more often ignored. St. Paul’s words declare plainly that his sacrifice of himself to his Master and his sense of union with Him had made him more, not less, conscious of his own personal distinction from the Master. It is precisely the sense of that distinctness which alone enables him to say, “Not I live.” It is exactly the sense of the distinctness which gives point and meaning to the emphasis of the unity. This implication of the whole phase of human experience which St. Paul’s words represent has been disastrously ignored by all those imposing theories of personality, which see in the distinctness of the human individual the mere mark of a transitory impotence.[4]

If then it is true that, so far as our experience on this earth has gone, self‑sacrifice springs from and issues in an ever completer sense of personal distinctness, what are we to say of the greatest act of self‑sacrifice which, in involving physical death, passes beyond the range of our earthly experience altogether? Surely if the giving of the physical life is the true culmination of sacrifice at all, it cannot be thought to issue in any loss of distinct personality for him by whom the sacrifice is made. Rather, when he has given himself most truly and most fully in the act by which he gives his life, then will he become most truly and distinctly himself. He will in the truest sense have died to live.

Let us sum up the argument. Self‑sacrifice does not spring from the desire to be merged and lost oneself. It is the result of a tension between an intense feeling of personal distinctness on the one hand, and an invincible determination on the other to give the whole of that distinct self in an unselfish service. The desire to be merged and lost is only the cry of the weakling who cannot stand the strain which the highest self‑sacrifice demands. And as self‑sacrifice can never spring from the desire to be merged, so when it is fulfilled it cannot have that result. That result does not follow in the lesser instances of self‑sacrifice the issue of which we cannot judge, and we argue, a fortiori, that it does not follow in the greatest instances the issue of which passes beyond our ken. The man who dies in self‑sacrifice, dies to live still as a distinct self, both in intention and in result. The argument from experience reinforces and supports the truth of Revelation.

And yet does not our conclusion compel us to acknowledge that some taint of selfishness must rest upon even our highest self‑sacrifice? If self‑sacrifice is in the full sense a dying to live, the self‑sacrificing person seems to claim something for himself and thereby to be selfish.

The true answer to this deepest of problems lies in a right theory of personal individuality itself, what it consists in, and how it is to be realised. Much confusion has arisen from the persistence of the popular superstition that our individuality is a complete possession which our life carries with it from the start, and not rather a dim and far‑seen goal to which it strives. Once we understand that our personalities are only in process of formation, it becomes evident that our argument is leading towards two possible conceptions of individuality representing two contrasted and mutually antagonistic ideals. The false conception makes individuality depend on the exclusive possession of something no one else can have; the true conception makes individuality depend on the unique contribution of something which no one else can give. It follows that the claim of the individual to eternal life is only selfish in so far as it implies the false view of individuality. So long as our claim to immortality is a claim to have for ourselves, it is selfish; so long as it is a claim to give to others, it remains, in the highest, purest sense of the word, unselfish and self‑sacrificing. Evidently the claim to give eternally must involve a claim to an eternal distinction for the personality that gives. For it is on the personal distinctness of the giver that the very possibility of giving depends. On the other hand, the claim to have for oneself involves a claim to separation for the personality that has. For in so far as I have something exclusively for myself, I cut myself off from my fellows. But personal distinction and personal separation, so far from implying each other, are set in a radical opposition of mutual antagonism. It is from the confusion between the two that there spring all attempts to cast the slur of selfishness on the Christian gospel of eternal life.

Let us again draw support for our argument from the facts of life. Selfishness, the desire to have things for oneself, invariably leads to the isolation of the selfish individual. In proportion to his selfishness he is cut off from the reality of fellowship. When people pride themselves on the possession of gifts and experiences which no one else can share, when they are plunged in gloom through feeling they have nothing to give, when they develop a sense of superiority on the one hand, or a despair of possible usefulness on the other, just when in fact they feel their own separation from others, whether that sense gives them pleasure or pain, just then they are selfish or at least self‑centred. But the selfishness which issues in separation hinders and kills the development of distinct individual personality. It is the inexorable law of the spiritual world that the selfish man’s character will cease to grow and to develop; he will gain, not a progressive individuality deepening into distinction as it gives, but a diseased spiritual life dragged down on to the dead level of nonentity by the very weight of its uncommunicated possessions. There is certainly some ground for thinking that a personality wholly submitted to the slavery of selfishness will in the end cease to be distinctly individual at all. For selfishness is essentially commonplace, and it does seem as if the selfish man through his very separation tends to return to the lower forms of individual distinction which we recognise in the savage and the brute. On the other hand, the unselfish personality which seeks to give all it has and is in the service of God and its fellows, thereby striving after union with the perfect humanity of Christ, finds in the realisation of its ideal its complete and true individual distinction.

Let us try to recapitulate the conclusions to which the argument has led. We have seen from the example of Christ, reinforced by the interpretation of our own experience, that only through self‑sacrifice does the eternal life of humanity stand sure. The universality of suffering and death upon the earth finds a new meaning as the outward sign of this all‑embracing spiritual truth. But from the beginning all self‑sacrifice on earth is a process of dying to live; this dying to live is not confined in its manifestation to the death of the body. Physical death is but the outward sign of the need for spiritual sacrifice and marks the culmination of the process of sacrifice upon earth. Further, on examining the implications of self‑sacrifice, we have found that it tends to abolish, indeed, the separation of individualities, but to emphasise and accentuate their distinctness.

What further light then can our discussion throw on the relation between this world and the next?

On this earth our personalities are always to a very high degree separate one from another. Our sympathy with each other is still very much obstructed, very tentative and incomplete. Often we feel the tragic truth of the most melancholy of all proverbs, “The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger is not partaker in its joys.” Therefore it is that the death of our separate selves is needed before we can emerge into the truly distinct individuality of eternal life. Physical death is needed before the great change can be complete; its realisation belongs to another world than this. But the beginnings and the earnest of the change are to be found in everything that tends here on earth to overcome the barriers of our separation - all love, sympathy and service, all those activities which 1,900 years of experience have sealed as characteristically Christian. And according to the measure of our success in breaking down those barriers in the strength of Christ we do here and now begin to enter upon life eternal. For life eternal is the realisation in complete individual distinctness of our union with Christ and with each other. Because Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on earth was at every stage complete, nothing of His complete Person was lost in death. He was and is through all eternity the same. And we have our share, each of us; in that eternal sameness which death cannot impair, in so far as we follow in His steps. Our distinct individuality is present with us in part. It lives and abides just in proportion as our separate self dies and disappears. Here we find the philosophic aspect of the great Christian mystery of victorious life through death. If we ask for a metaphysical definition of self‑sacrifice as it appears on our sinful and tortured earth, we might describe it as the passage, through suffering, of the individual life from the separation which is transitory to the distinction which is eternal.

And what of the world beyond the grave? The giving up of this earthly life, in so far as it represents the greatest sacrifice we know, cannot issue in any loss of distinct individuality. It is a great step by which our imperfect separate personalities realise their distinct selfhood through the greatest of all acts of giving. We cannot tell how far the mere fact of bodily death can make perfect at once the still sinful life, or how far further discipline and higher forms of spiritual training may open out in the beyond. But surely the highest activity of earth by which the self is given must abide and continue in a more perfect form. When the final heaven is reached each individual will eternally find the completion of his selfhood in making his own distinct contribution to the fulness of Christ. The activity of giving will abide when the terrible barriers and limitations, which make our giving here so painful and imperfect, will survive only as a memory that has lost its sting. The self‑sacrifice which shows itself on earth only as a dying to live will remain in heaven as the joyful giving of a deathless life.

Has our creed something more to teach us in its doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies? The deepest tragedy of earth has always been found in the dreadful irrevocability of the past. Memory of bygone joy and goodness is an attempt to defeat the laws of temporal existence, but by its very nature the attempt never achieves complete success. Memory of things and persons only exists because the things and persons themselves are no longer really present with us. For all the pleasure that it brings, it remains in the end a striving after something unattainable. It is the presence of the past for which we long, and memory is but the spell of Orpheus’s lyre, which almost draws up again for him a lost Eurydice from the land of shadows, only that she may vanish through the very act by which he endeavours to hold her living form. In these circumstances promises of a merely new and better life in the future become as vain a comfort as the provision of a new and different set of children for the bereaved and reconciled Job. But the doctrine of Resurrection stands for the gospel of recovery; and the resurrection of the body may surely be held to symbolise the true restoration in eternity of all that is real in the good which this world is perpetually burying under the sands of time. The joy of the resurrection of our Lord was the joy of a restoration full and complete. “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself.” The meaning of salvation is the safekeeping of all good in the eternity of God. Eternity is the experience won through death, in which the past continues into the present without the loss of one jot of its reality. Immortality without resurrection, a heaven in which the good of earth is not recovered, can only be a mockery of our deepest desires. The doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies teaches us under the least inadequate of symbols the true relation of eternity to time.


[1]This is an inference from the general character of Gnostic mysticism. Our information as to the teaching of the Christian Gnostics is lacking in precision.

[2]Cf. especially Rom. 8:22-23; 1 Cor. 15:50 ff.; 2 Cor. 5:1‑4. The two aspects, positive and negative, of the doctrine of bodily resurrection provide the key to St. Paul’s rather ambiguous teaching about the body.

[3]In the same way, the savage is incapable of the worst form of suicide. Suicide is most real and most evil when it means the refusal to give in the service of others an intensely realised selfhood.

[4]I refer especially to Dr. Bernard Bosanquet’s profoundly interesting Value and Destiny of the Individual.


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