Varied Types eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Varied Types.
would never have had the text upon which he founds his theory.  In a pamphlet in which plain printed words cannot be left alone, it is not surprising if there are mis-statements upon larger matters.  Here is a statement clearly and philosophically laid down which we can only content ourselves with flatly denying:  “The fifth rule of our Lord is that we should take special pains to cultivate the same kind of regard for people of foreign countries, and for those generally who do not belong to us, or even have an antipathy to us, which we already entertain towards our own people, and those who are in sympathy with us.”  I should very much like to know where in the whole of the New Testament the author finds this violent, unnatural, and immoral proposition.  Christ did not have the same kind of regard for one person as for another.  We are specifically told that there were certain persons whom He specially loved.  It is most improbable that He thought of other nations as He thought of His own.  The sight of His national city moved Him to tears, and the highest compliment He paid was, “Behold an Israelite indeed.”  The author has simply confused two entirely distinct things.  Christ commanded us to have love for all men, but even if we had equal love for all men, to speak of having the same love for all men is merely bewildering nonsense.  If we love a man at all, the impression he produces on us must be vitally different to the impression produced by another man whom we love.  To speak of having the same kind of regard for both is about as sensible as asking a man whether he prefers chrysanthemums or billiards.  Christ did not love humanity; He never said He loved humanity; He loved men.  Neither He nor anyone else can love humanity; it is like loving a gigantic centipede.  And the reason that the Tolstoians can even endure to think of an equally distributed affection is that their love of humanity is a logical love, a love into which they are coerced by their own theories, a love which would be an insult to a tom-cat.

But the greatest error of all lies in the mere act of cutting up the teaching of the New Testament into five rules.  It precisely and ingeniously misses the most dominant characteristic of the teaching—­its absolute spontaneity.  The abyss between Christ and all His modern interpreters is that we have no record that He ever wrote a word, except with His finger in the sand.  The whole is the history of one continuous and sublime conversation.  Thousands of rules have been deduced from it before these Tolstoian rules were made, and thousands will be deduced afterwards.  It was not for any pompous proclamation, it was not for any elaborate output of printed volumes; it was for a few splendid and idle words that the cross was set up on Calvary, and the earth gaped, and the sun was darkened at noonday.


Savonarola is a man whom we shall probably never understand until we know what horror may lie at the heart of civilisation.  This we shall not know until we are civilised.  It may be hoped, in one sense, that we may never understand Savonarola.

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Varied Types from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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