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Preaching and Paganism   By:

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PREACHING AND PAGANISM

BY

ALBERT PARKER FITCH

PROFESSOR OF THE HISTORY OF RELIGION IN AMHERST COLLEGE

WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE COLLEGE COURSE AND THE PREPARATION FOR LIFE

CAN THE CHURCH SURVIVE IN THE CHANGING ORDER?

PUBLISHED ON THE FOUNDATION ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF JAMES WESLEY COOPER OF THE CLASS OF 1865, YALE COLLEGE

THE FORTY SIXTH SERIES OF THE LYMAN BEECHER LECTURESHIP ON PREACHING IN YALE UNIVERSITY

NEW HAVEN YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS MDCCCCXX

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS

FIRST PUBLISHED, 1920

THE JAMES WESLEY COOPER MEMORIAL PUBLICATION FUND

The present volume is the fourth work published by the Yale University Press on the James Wesley Cooper Memorial Publication Fund. This Foundation was established March 30, 1918, by a gift to Yale University from Mrs. Ellen H. Cooper in memory of her husband, Rev. James Wesley Cooper, D.D., who died in New York City, March 16, 1916. Dr. Cooper was a member of the Class of 1865, Yale College, and for twenty five years pastor of the South Congregational Church of New Britain, Connecticut. For thirty years he was a corporate member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and from 1885 until the time of his death was a Fellow of Yale University, serving on the Corporation as one of the Successors of the Original Trustees.

TO MY WIFE

PREFACE

The chief, perhaps the only, commendation of these chapters is that they pretend to no final solution of the problem which they discuss. How to assert the eternal and objective reality of that Presence, the consciousness of Whom is alike the beginning and the end, the motive and the reward, of the religious experience, is not altogether clear in an age that, for over two centuries, has more and more rejected the transcendental ideas of the human understanding. Yet the consequences of that rejection, in the increasing individualism of conduct which has kept pace with the growing subjectivism of thought, are now sufficiently apparent and the present plight of our civilization is already leading its more characteristic members, the political scientists and the economists, to reëxamine and reappraise the concepts upon which it is founded. It is a similar attempt to scrutinize and evaluate the significant aspects of the interdependent thought and conduct of our day from the standpoint of religion which is here attempted. Its sole and modest purpose is to endeavor to restore some neglected emphases, to recall to spiritually minded men and women certain half forgotten values in the religious experience and to add such observations regarding them as may, by good fortune, contribute something to that future reconciling of the thought currents and value judgments of our day to these central and precious facts of the religious life.

Many men and minds have contributed to these pages. Such sources of suggestion and insight have been indicated wherever they could be identified. In especial I must record my grateful sense of obligation to Professor Irving Babbitt's Rousseau and Romanticism . The chapter on Naturalism owes much to its brilliant and provocative discussions.

CONTENTS

PAGE

Preface 11

I. The Learner, the Doer and the Seer 15

II. The Children of Zion and the Sons of Greece 40

III. Eating, Drinking and Being Merry 72

IV. The Unmeasured Gulf 102

V. Grace, Knowledge, Virtue 131

VI. The Almighty and Everlasting God 157

VII. Worship as the Chief Approach to Transcendence 184

VIII. Worship and the Discipline of Doctrine 209

CHAPTER ONE

THE LEARNER, THE DOER AND THE SEER

The first difficulty which confronts the incumbent of the Lyman Beecher Foundation, after he has accepted the appalling fact that he must hitch his modest wagon, not merely to a star, but rather to an entire constellation, is the delimitation of his subject. There are many inquiries, none of them without significance, with which he might appropriately concern himself... Continue reading book >>




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