BLTC Press Titles


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The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Divine personality and human life

by Clement Charles Julian Webb

Excerpt:

According to the conclusions reached in the preceding course of lectures, by the expression a ' Personal God' is meant a God with whom his worshippers may enjoy a personal intercourse. An emotion not well describable except in terms suggestive of such intercourse is associated with the higher forms of Religious Experience, even where there is no such explicit assertion of Personally in God as is made by Christianity alone among the great historic religions, and by Christianity only in connexion with a doctrine which denies God to be a single Person. This doctrine is found to avoid certain difficulties frequently felt to beset the doctrine of the Personality of God.

In the second course of lectures we are to examine Personality in Man in the light of these conclusions, and to discuss their bearing upon the problem of the 'value and destiny' of finite individual persons. An apology is offered for neglect—due to the lecturer's incompetence in them—of certain subjects relevant to these inquiries, namely Physiology, Psychology, and 'Psychical Research.' But attention is called to the fact that many of the processes which make up the psychical life of human beings seem to be carried on 'below the threshold of consciousness'; and an attempt is made to arrive at some understanding of what is meant by this and similar phrases. While it is observed that it would be hard to conceive of Personality under our conditions of time and space without such a 'subliminal region' of psychical life, the opposite ,*, , ,",

"may" be' said of *t*He" DiVihe Personality whereof (as was contended in the former course of lectures) we have experience in Religion. The task of the lectures immediately following will be that of investigating the manner in which a recognition of such Personality in God will affect our view of the various spheres of activity in which Human Personality is found to manifest itself.

LECTURE II

Divine Personality And The Economic Life ... 45

The greater part of waking human life is devoted to
what may be called an 'economic ' activity, intended
to secure the satisfaction of the appetites which serve
for the maintenance of the individual and the continu-
ance of the species. This activity, involving as it does
the use of Reason, must be reckoned, along with the
higher activities, scientific, aesthetic, moral, political,
and religious, as an expression of Personality. These
higher activities indeed first appear in its service, although
it is perhaps not possible to find a stage of human devel-
opment in which none of them is associated with it.
Between the economic and the religious interest in human
life there exists an obvious antagonism; yet the economic
activity is the indispensable basis of the religious as of
all the other higher activities. The religious and ethical
activities more conspicuously exhibit this double relation,
at once positive and negative, to the economic ; and in this
as in other respects the political activity is closely akin to
the ethical. In the case of the scientific activity, and even
more in that of the aesthetic, the negative relation is not
so prominent, but it is notwithstanding present in these
also. The man in whose life the economic activity
greatly predominates is apt to feel a religion which
emphasizes its negative relation to the economic life to be
hostile to his interests; but he often has himself a religion,
though one which minimizes this negative relation. Such a
Religion (which will usually be vaguely anthropomorphic,
thereby pointing forward to a doctrine of Divine Person-
ality), though common as a state of mind in indi-
viduals, does not easily assume the form of a religious
institution.

LECTURE III


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