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of their social existence; in which case accordingly it is incumbent on the will in the exercise of its independence, to consent to the limitation as wholesome and good, while it expatiates then all the more freely within these bounds as its own lord and master. The two views come in the end to very much the same result. The will has its being in both cases on the outside of the law; the relation between the two is a sort of mercantile contract ; obedience resolves itself into mere prudential calculation and policy. In all this we have no freedom, but spiritual mechanism and bondage. Such is the result, however, into which the fiction of abstract rights and private judgment must ever run, when left to its own course.
In full opposition to every fiction of this sort, the true idea of freedom meets us, only where rights cease to be abstract and merge themselves in the sense of society as a living whole, only where judgment and will lay aside their merely private character and show themselves as universal as the law itself. Liberty is an ethical fact, which stands just in this that the single will, in virtue of that divine autonomy or self-motion which belongs to it by its creation, flows over the boundaries of the individual life in which it has its rise, and makes itself one with the pure ether of truth that surrounds it, the glorious sea of light in which it is carried and borne. In other words, authority, law, truth as something objective and universal, is just as much a constituent of true freedom, as the single will by which in any case it is brought to pass. Will in no union with law, will sundered from the idea of authority and objective necessity, will in this way purely private and not general, can never be free. The one conception is the precise opposite of the other. And yet we hear, on all sides, authority opposed to freedom, as though the one must necessarily exclude the other! Never was there a greater mistake, or one more practically mischievous.
Not only are the two necessarily conjoined in an outward way, so that where the law ends liberty must end at the same time, and in the sense of Voltaire's maxim, if there were no God it would still be necessary to inrent one to keep the world in order; they flow together inwardly also in every free act, and in such union forin but the power of a single indissoluble fact. The law is not simply the measure of liberty, but its very substance and soul. So far is it from being true that authority and independence oppose each other, the last has its very being only in the sense of ihe first. To reverence authority is to be free. To despise it, is to have the mind and heart of a slave.
It has not been without reason then, that Faith and Reverence
have been made to go before Freedom, in the present address. They form in truth its original foundation, and necessary condition, and constant element. All true authority springs from God. To believe in God, is to have the sense of authority, to be embosomed in the consciousness of law. And this consciousness, as we have now seen, constitutes the very substance of freedom. Faith inspires reverence; this is the necessary posture and habit of the will, where such apprehension of the infinite prevails; and the result of all is inward emancipation from the power of what is simply single and finite, whether as in the mind itself or out of it, and willing motion in the orbit of law; such a marriage of the single and universal, in other words, as brings them to be one. This is freedom; while all that falls short of it, is for the spiritual nature of man inglorious servitude and bondage. No man can be free, without reverence. No man can be free, without faith. Atheism, profanity and pride, are always unfree, cowardly and mean. The fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom, the fountain and support of all strength in man, whether it be as light in his understanding or as active force in his will. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear,” says one who was himself full of this divine heroism," but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
The authority which freedom respects and obeys is of course always the will of God. All law, as well as all life, comes from this source alone. It must be well borne in mind however that we have to do with this, not as an abstraction brought nigh to us immediately in the way of mere thought, but as an actual selfmanifestation of God's will in the living world of which we are a part. To believe in God, is as we have seen to discern and apprehend his presence and glory in Nature, in History, in the Bible, and above all in Christ ; not to dream of him simply as an unrevealed essence beyond the clouds, which can only be to sport the semblance of faith with what is at last but the creature of our own brain. So also, we have seen, reverence towards God is the profound homage of the created spirit, rendered to him, not as the incomprehensible Sige or Bythos simply of the Gnostics, but as the omnipresent indwelling Life of the Universe, whose mind and will are perpetually announcing themselves in a real way, as the very word or voice of Jehovah, first in the constitution of Nature, and then far more gloriously still in the constitution of Spirit, both wedded into a single life in the constitution of Man. The order of the world is concrete. The law of creation is in it, not beyond it, either as physical or as moral. Men can never obey it as an abstraction. It is then a grand Satanic delusion, when any pretend to be free by casting off all other forms of authority, to obey simply and exclusively, as they say, the authority of God under any such imaginary purely naked form. God's will touches no man in that
either through the Bible or on the outside of it. It comes to every man in its full force at last, only through the medium of the actually living world, especially the living christian world, the Church ; which for this very reason is proclaimed “the ground and pillar of the truth,” the Body of Christ,“ the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” No man's reason or will is to be trusted who sets out with the assumption that he is the organ, directly and separately, of the Divine Mind, and in this view responsible to God only for his opinions and ways. Rather such assumption marks universally the want of true independence and freedom, as well as the very contrary of all genuine reverence and faith. It is the slang of infidelity itself, and low, coarse, selfish radicalism, in all its forms, thus to make everything of God and self, and nothing of all the world besides. The manly independence of a truly free mind, springs always from the apprehension of God's presence and authority, as something concretely revealed in the actual life of the world, and from this appreliension only. The law which it is urged willingly to obey, as a power more vast than itself, is felt to surround it as an awful spiritual Reality in the the constitution of the universe. There is an homage which true Freedom exercises, under this form, in the presence even of Nature. The man is not free, whose soul is moved to no reverence, no loving though awful sense of dependence, by the sea, by the stars, by the voice of God in the whirlwind and storm. But it is in the presence of Spirit far more under its own form, created mind, the intellectual and moral world, as not only the symbolic shadow or mirror but the very image and substance of the Divine Mind itself, that such homage finds its full value and sense. Freedom, in proportion as it is free, bows down reverentially, and is never so great and strong and glorious as when its obeisance is most complete, to all lawful authority, whether it be political, inoral or religious. The obedience of a little child to the will of a father, or the command of a mother, mvolving such reverence and faith, is something more beautifully grand than the course of a planet round the sun.
Such a child too is at once a more glorious spectacle of freedom and strength, than a whole army of Titans piling Ossa upon Pelion to take the heavens by storm.
I pity the man, who supposes that Freedom can begin, only where Authority ends. There may be indeed a slavish and ab
ject sense of power, that brings with it only degradation and weakness. So in regard to Nature. It is the sign of an unfree mind to bestow upon it superstitious worship, or to cower tremblingly at its feet. But what then? Is the fool free, on the other hand, who can bring himself to mock and brave its terrors, or who can gaze upon its glories with the apathy of an ox? No! Even in this relation, freedom supposes and requires, not an abstract separation of the subjective from the objective, but the free loving acknowledgment rather of this last on the part of the first, as the measure and mirror of truth under its own outward form. When God rides upon the wings of the wind, or utters his voice in the majesty of the rolling thunder, true superiority to nature consists not in overlooking the awful fact, but in meeting it promptly with the reverence of an awe-struck spirit. And why then may not the same relation between the subjective and the objective, liberty and authority, extend itself also in all its force over into the moral world? It is indeed something base to crouch to authority here, in a merely outward way; just as all fetichism is base, when directed towards nature. But we ask again, what then? Is the remedy for such baseness, to be found in deriding and casting off all such authority, in the exercise of mere wanton self-will? Can it be less fool-hardy to despise parental gov. ernment, civil government, church government, than it is to mock the lightning or brave the lion in his den? Am I bound to reverence God, and feel his law, in the constitution of the planets ; and am I not bound to reverence him also, and feel his law, in the far more glorious constitution of Human Society and Histo
The question surely answers itself. Strange that those who take Freedom to be the simple opposite of Authority, should not reflect that this must hold, if it be true, in regard to the highest form of authority, that which it carries in the Divine Mind itself, as well as in all inferior relations.' What is gained for the independence of the subject, by
'It is always a false and injurious conception of God's will, when it is thought of as arbitrary, and so as outward and foreign altogether, in its relation to men. God is not out of the world and beyond it, however truly different from it in his nature, but enters into its actual order as the ground and support continually of all its laws and powers. In the moral world accordingly he does not make reason and right, as something on the outside of himself, which created intelligences are then required to acknowledge out of regard simply to his absolute authority; but he is both reason and right under their most universal form; they subsist, wherever found, only in and by the living activity of his intelligence and will. Men are rational and free in God. His Personality is the absolute ground of all personality besides.
merely transferring the authority he is called to obey, from created will up to that which is uncreated and eternal, if the one is to remain at last wholly out of the other, each bound forever to its own sphere? It should be remembered, that there may be a craven spirit of submission towards God himself, as well as towards mere nature or mere human power. Indeed all submission is so, in which the will of the creature is not brought to enter into the will of the Creator as its own free life. But now if Freedom and Authority do not exclude each other in this highest relation, but on the contrary are required to flow together in this inward way, why should it be imagined that they are incompatible in any lower relation, legitimately belonging to the moral world? Why may not the man who disowns private judgment and private will, be just as free in the reverent use of established law and tradition, to say the least, as the man who scoms every such limitation ; limiting himself in fact at the same time in order to be thus privately and narrowly free? Why should the traveller, who has learned to respect the universal civilized world, be less truly independent than the rude shepherd or farmer, to whom his native valley still stands for the measure of the earth entire? Why should the scholar at home in the broad empire of science, not be full as great when he bends to its vast. objective laws, as the self-willed sciolist or pedant who sets them all at defiance? Why should the man who honors the Past, with large knowledge of iis life, and bows down before History as a divine revelation, be less prepared to think and act safely, or less likely to be onesided and bound in his views, than his hardminded veighbor, who tries all ages by his own century, and finds no sense or meaning in any, beyond this most unhistorical rule? Why should one who believes that Christ has been always present in the course of Christianity, according to his own promise, from the beginning, and who counts it a duty accordingly to study with reverent homage the footsteps of his majesty and grace through all ages, be less qualitied to reach the true mind of Christ in the Bible; than another, whose extreme individualism makes light of the Creed, looks down upon the Fathers, sees chaos only in the Middle Ages, and finds universal Christianity thus at last reflected through the Bible, from the small and insignificant Mantua of his own untravelled mind? Or yet once more, why should faith in the Holy Catholic Church, and reverence and sympathy for her voice, he held to be a less