If there has ever been a time when organised Christianity was a concrete embodiment of the pure principles of the Gospel, we must look for it in the era of the persecutions, when the Church had already gained coherence and discipline and a corporate self-consciousness, and was still preserved from the corrupting influence of secularity by the danger which attended the profession of an illicit creed.
Its old resentment against the oppression of Rome, the moral revolt in its more religious minds against the secularity and corruption of the Church, the disgust of the New Learning at the superstition which the Papacy now formally protected, combined to secure for Luther a widespread popularity and the protection of the northern princes of the Empire.
Geology has initiated us into the secularity of nature, and taught us to disuse our dame-school measures, and exchange our Mosaic and Ptolemaic schemes for her large style. We knew nothing rightly, for want of perspective.
An unnatural and unhealthy mode of life, cut off from the sweet and humanising influences of nature, has produced an unnatural and unhealthy mentality, to which we shall find no parallels in the past. Its chief characteristic is profound secularity or materialism. The typical town artisan has no religion and no superstitions: he has no ideals beyond the visible and tangible world of the senses."
There is an accepted secularity today about the organization. Church and preacher have, to a large degree, relinquished their essential message, dropped their religious values. We are pretty largely today playing our game the world's way. We are adopting the methods and accepting the standards of the market.
"Nothing he hates and dreads like seeing us monks at our orisons up to our chins in cold water. For corpus domat aqua. So now go confess thy little trumpery sins, pardonable in youth and secularity, and leave me to mine, sweet to me as honey, and to be expiated in proportion." Gerard bowed his head, but could not help saying, "Where shall I find a confessor more holy and clement?"
If anything further were needed, therefore, to indicate the secularity of this age, its substitutes for worship and its characteristic type of preaching would, in themselves, reveal the situation. So we venture to devote these closing discussions to some observations on the present state of Protestant public worship and the prevailing type of Protestant preaching.
It is probably true that the ordinary man to-day is not worrying about his sins: but if so, the fact proves nothing except the secularity of his ideals and the shallowness of his sense of spiritual issues. It means, in short, that he has not taken seriously the standard of Christ.
Geology has initiated us into the secularity of nature, and taught us to disuse our dame-school measures, and exchange our Mosaic and Ptolemaic schemes for her large style. We know nothing rightly, for want of perspective.
He believed that the principle of strict secularity in State education is sound and must ultimately prevail.