Christianity Featured

80 YEARS AGO

44 80 YEARS AGO ( An extract from Review of Religions dated December 1908) We are glad to notice that Christianity is changing its attitude towards other religions. There was a time when the Christians looked upon all the religions of the world, with the exception of their own religion and that professed by the ancestors of the founder of Christianity, as the outcome of the Devil’s designs, but of late years it has gradually come to be believed that there is some truth in other religions. The New Theology advances a step further still and looks upon all religions as revealed in the same sense in which Christianity is a revealed religion. And now we meet with articles in orthodox Christians magazines in which the truth first proclaimed Islam thate very nation has had its seer is openly recognised. Thus writing in the London Quarterly Review, Brailsford says: “There have certainly been most valuable additions to the Christian consciousness within the last half century, enriching its thought and energy and feeling. Our idea of God, the Builder of the infinitely great and infinitesimally little, has immensely expanded. We have realized also, that His methods of working in the realms of the natural and supernatural are identical; that each is governed by law, and not by arbitrary action or caprice. We have learned ·that in His manifestation of Himself to the religious instinct He has been no respecter of nationalities. That the torch of inquiry has been kindled in all lands, and that every race has had its seer. That while a creed or dogma is a necessity of our limitation, it can never contain the whole of truth. That the revelation of the Divine mind has been so broad and full and free, that no section of the Church, or, indeed, of the human family, can monopolize, any more than Moses, Elias, or the Christ could be contained within three tabernacles. That the development of truth has been ceaselessly progressive. Malachi was not the last of the Prophets, nor John the last of the Apostles. That the Bible is not the final word and God is not dumb, That He should speak no more.” “God is not dumb that He should speak no more. ” That sentence deserves the attention of all religionists who claim that God spoke to REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 45 their ancestors but not to those of other people or that God spoke in a particular age but that He has ceased to speak now. The attributes of God cannot change, and if He still sees as the followers of every religion hold, He must also speak now if He ever spoke ni the time past. It was the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement who first proclaimed this mighty truth in this age, viz, that God has not become dumb that He should cease to speak after a particular time, and it was he who forcibly and incessantly preached -this truth until the hearts of men were drawn to it and filled with conviction. It is indeed a happy sign of the times that even the Christians whose religion is based on exclusiveness have found it possible to believe in the Divine origin of other religions; and in the great truth, which is subversive of all exclusive doctrines, that before as well as after the revelation of the Bible God has been speaking to His righteous servants among all people. REQUISITE FOR PREACIDNG He who desires to preach to others with fruit must first preach to himself, treasuring up lessons of true piety in his own mind, imprinting deeply in his heart the sentiments of all virtues and learning to practise first what he would afterwards teach others. The gift of true spiritual knowledge cannot be obtained but by sincere humility and purity of heart, which is freed from vices and earthly affections, and by holy meditation, which alone can give heavenly tincture and frame to the mind. As our food is assimilated to our flesh by dig~s.tion,.. so spiritual affections pass, as it were, pious meditation and the exercises of holy compunction, divine love, and all other interior values, which he will be able to teach others who is possessed of them himself. (Lives of the Saints. p 1289)

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