God, the Invisible King | H. G. Wells | *Non-fiction, Religion | Book | English | 1/3
Articles
1



preface of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by william Tomko god the invisible king by hg wells preface this book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer that belief is not Orthodox Christianity it is not indeed Christianity at all its court nevertheless is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God there was nothing in its statements that neat shocked or offend anyone who was prepared for the expression of a faith different from and perhaps in several particulars opposed to his own the writer will be found to be sympathetic with all sincere religious feeling nevertheless it is well to prepare the prospective reader for statements that may jar harshly against deeply rooted mental habits it is well to warn him at the outset that the departure from accepted beliefs is here no vague skepticism but a quite sharply defined objection to dogmas very widely revered let the writer state the most probable occasion of trouble forthwith an issue upon which this book will be found particularly uncompromising is the dogma of the Trinity the writer is of opinion that the Council of Nicaea which forcibly crystallized the controversies of two centuries and formulated the Creed upon which all the existing Christian churches are based was one of the most disastrous and one of the least venerable of all religious gatherings and he holds that the alexandrine speculations which were then conclusively imposed upon Christianity merit only disrespectful attention at the present time there you have a chief possibility of offense he is quite unable to pretend any off or what he considers the spiritual monstrosities established by that undignified gathering he makes no attempt to be obscure or propitiatory in this connection he criticizes the Creed's explicitly and frankly because he believes it is particularly necessary to clear them out of the way of those who are seeking religious consolation at this present time of exceptional religious need he does little to conceal his indignation at the role played by these dogmas in obscuring perverting and preventing the religious life of mankind after this warning such readers from among the various Christian churches and sects as are accessible to storms of theological fear or passion to whom the Trinity is an ineffable mystery and the name of God almost unspeakably awful read on at their own risk this is a religious book written by a believer but so far as their beliefs and religion go it may seem to them more skeptical and more antagonistic than blank atheism that the writer cannot tell he is not simply denying their God he is declaring that there is a living God different altogether from that triune God and nearer to the heart of man the spirit of this book is like that of a missionary who would only to gladly overthrow and smash some polynesian divinity of sharks teeth and painted wood and mother-of-pearl to the writer such elaborations as begotten of the father before all worlds are no better than intellectual sharks teeth and oyster shells his purpose like the purpose of that missionary is not primarily to shock and insult but he is zealous to liberate and he is impatient with a reverence that stands between man and God he gives this fair warning and proceeds with his matter his matter is modern religion as he sees it it is only incidentally and because it is unavoidable that he attacks doctrinal Christianity in the previous book first and last things constable and company he has stated his convictions upon certain general ideas of life and thought as clearly as he could all the philosophy all of metaphor that is seems to him to be a discussion of the relations of class and individual the antagonism of the nominalist and the realist the opposition of the one and the many the contrast of the ideal and the actual all these opposition's express a certain structural and essential duality in the activity of the human mind from an imperfect recognition of that duality ensue great masses of misconception that was a substance of first and last things in this prison book there is no further attack on philosophical or metaphysical questions here we work at a less fundamental level and deal with religious feeling and religious ideas but just as the writer was inclined to attribute a whole world of disputation and inexactitude z– to confused thinking about the exact value of classes and terms so here he is disposed to things that interminable controversies and conflicts arise out of a confusion of intention due to a double meaning of the word God that the word God conveys not one idea or set of ideas but several essentially different ideas incompatible one with another and falling mainly into one or other of two divergent groups and that people slip carelessly from one to the other of these groups of ideas and so get into ultimately inextricable confusions the writer believes that the centuries of fluid religious thought that preceded the violent ultimate crystallization of Nicaea was essentially a struggle obscured of course by many complexities to reconcile and get into a relationship these two separate main series of God ideas putting the leading idea of this book very roughly these two antagonistic typical conceptions of God may be best contrasted by speaking of one of them as God as nature or the Creator and of the other as God as Christ or the Redeemer one is the great outward God the other is the inmost God the first idea was for apps developed most highly and completely in the god of Spinoza it is a conception of God tending to pantheism to an idea of a comprehensive God as ruling with justice rather than affection to a conception of aloofness and our striking worshipfulness the second idea which is opposed to this idea of an absolute God is the God of the human heart the writer would suggest that the great outline of the theological struggles of that face of civilization and world unity which produced Christianity was a persistent but unsuccessful attempt to get these two different ideas of God into one focus it was an attempt to make the god of nature accessible and the God of the heart invincible to bring the former into a conception of love and to vest the latter with the beauty of stars and flowers and the dignity of inexorable justice there could be no finer metaphor for such a correlation than fatherhood and sonship but the trouble is that it seems impossible to most people to continue to regard the relations of the father to the son as being simply a mystical metaphor presently some materialistic bias swings them in a moment of intellectual carelessness back to the idea of sexual affiliation and then may further be suggested that the extreme aloofness and inhumanity which is logically necessary in the idea of a creator god of an infinite God was the reason so to speak for the invention of a holy spirit as something proceeding from him as something bridging the great gulf a comforter a mediator descending into the sphere of the human understanding that and the suggestive influence of the Egyptian trinity that was then being worshiped at the Serapeum and which had saturated the thought of Alexandria with the conception of a trinity in unity are probably the realities that account for the third person of the Christian Trinity at any rate the present writer believes that the discussions that shape the Christian theology we know were dominated by such natural and fundamental thoughts these discussions were of course complicated from the outset and particularly were they complicated by the identification of the man Jesus with the theological Christ by materialistic expectations of his second coming by materialistic inventions about his miraculous beginning and by the morbid speculations about virginity and the like that arose out of such gross Ness they were still further complicated by the idea of the textual inspiration of the Scriptures which personally swamped thought and textual interpretation that swamp incurring the development of Christianity the writer of st. John's Gospel appears still to be thinking with a considerable freedom but Origen is already hopelessly in the net of the texts the writer of st. John's Gospel was a free man but Origen was a superstitious man he was emasculated mentally as well as bodily through his biblio Latorre he quotes his predecessor thinks but the writer throws out these guesses at the probable intentions of early Christian thought in passing his business here is a definition of a position the writers position here in this book is firstly complete agnosticism in the matter of God the Creator and secondly entire faith in the matter of God the Redeemer that so to speak is the key of his book he cannot bring the two ideas under the same term God he uses the word God therefore for the God in our hearts only and he uses the term the veiled being for the ultimate mysteries of the universe and he declares that we do not know and perhaps cannot know in any comprehensible terms the relation of the veil being to that living reality in our lives who is in his terminology the true God speaking from the point of view of practical religion he is restricting and defining the word God as meaning only the personal God of mankind he is restricting it so as to exclude all cosmogony and ideas of Providence from our religious thought and leave nothing but the essentials of the religious life many people whom one would class as rather liberal Christians of an Aryan or Armenian complexion may find the larger part of this book acceptable to them if they will read the Christ God where the writer has written God they will then differ from him upon little more than the question whether there is an essential identity in aim and quality between the Christ God and the veiled being who answer to their Creator God this is the Orthodox post Nicean Christians assert and many pre nations and many heretics as the Cathars contradicted with its exact contrary the Cathars polish ins alba gen sees and so on held with Manicheans that the god of nature God the Father was evil the Christ God was his antagonist this was the idea of the poet Shelley and passing beyond Christian theology altogether a clue can still be found too many problems in comparative theology in this distinction between the being of nature CF cants starry vault above and the God of the heart cants moral law within the idea of an antagonism seems to have been Cardinal in the thought of the Essenes and the Orphic cult and in the Persian dualism so to Buddhism seems to be antagonistic on the other hand the Moslem teaching and modern Judaism seem absolutely to combine and identify the two God the Creator is all together and without distinction also God the king of mankind Christianity stands somewhere between such complete identification and complete antagonism it admits a difference in attitude between father and son and its distinction between the old dispensation of the Old Testament and the new every possible change is rung in the great religions of the world between identification complete separation equality and disproportion of these beings but it will be found that these two ideas are so to speak the basal elements of all theology in the world the writer is chair of assertion or denial in these matters he believes that they are speculations not at all necessary to salvation he believes that men may differ profoundly in their opinions upon these points and still be in perfect agreement upon the essentials of religion the reality of religion he believes deals wholly and exclusively with the God of the heart he declares as his own opinion and as the opinion which seems most expressive of modern thought that there is no reason to suppose the veil being either benevolent or malignant towards men but if the reader believes that God is almighty and in every way infinite the practical outcome is not very different for the purposes of human relationship it is impossible to deny that God presents himself as finite as struggling and taking apart against evil the writer believes that these dogmas of relationship are not merely extraneous to religion but an impediment to religion his aim in this book is to give a statement of religion which is no longer entangled in such speculations and disputes let him add only one other note of explanation in this preface and that is to remark that except for one incidental passage in chapter 4 1 nowhere does he discuss the question of personal immortality it is discussed in first and last things book 4 for he will miss this question because he does not consider that it has any more bearing upon the essentials of religion than have the theories we may hold about the relation of God and the moral law to the starry universe the latter is a question for the theologian the former for the psychologist whether we are mortal or immortal whether the God in our hearts is the son of or a rebel against the universe the reality of religion the fact of salvation is still our self identification with God irrespective of consequences and the achievement of his kingdom in our hearts and in the world whether we live forever or die tomorrow does not affect righteousness many people seem to find the prospect of a final personal death endurable this impresses me as egotism I have no such appetite for a separate immortality god is my immortality what of me is identified with God is God what is not is of no more permanent value than the snows of yesteryear hgw gunmo May 1917 end of preface recording by William Tomko chapter first parts 1 2 3 of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by william Tomko god the invisible king by hg wells chapter first parts 1 2 3 chapter the first the cosmogony of modern religion 1 modern religion has no founder perhaps all religions unless the flaming onset of Mohammedanism be an exception have dawned imperceptibly upon the world a little while ago and the thing was not and then suddenly it has been found in existence and already in a state of diffusion people have begun to hear of the new belief first here and then there it is interesting for example to trace how christianity drifted into the consciousness of the roman world but when a religion has been interrogated it has always had hitherto a tail of beginnings the name and story of a founder the Renasant religion that is now taking shape it seems had no founder it points to no origins it is the truth its believers declare it has always been here it has always been visible to those who had eyes to see it is perhaps cleaner than it was and to more people that is all it is as if it still did not realize its own difference many of those who hold it still think of it as if it were a kind of Christianity some catching at a phrase of Huxley's speak of it as Christianity without theology they do not know the Creed they are carrying it has as a matter of fact a very fine and subtle theology flatly opposed to any belief that could accept by great stretching of charity and the imagination be called Christianity one might find perhaps a parallelism with the system ascribed to some Gnostics but that is far more probable in accidental rather than a sympathetic coincidence of that the reader shall presently have an opportunity of judging this indefiniteness of statement and relationship is probably only the opening phase of the new faith Christianity also began with an extremely glint of definition it was not at first anything more than a sect of Judaism it was only after three centuries amidst the uproar and emotions of the Council of Nicaea when the more enthusiastic Trinitarians stuffed their fingers in their ears in affected horror at the arguments of low-larious that the Cardinal of mystery of the Trinity was established as the essential fact of Christianity throughout those three centuries the centuries of its greatest achievements and noblest martyrdoms Christianity had not defined its God and even today it has to be noted that a large majority of those who possess and repeat the Christian Creed's have come into the practice soin sensibly from unthinking childhood that only in the slightest way do they realize the nature of the statements to which they subscribe they will speak and think of both Christ and God in ways flatly incompatible with a doctrine of the triune deity upon which theoretically the entire fabric of all the churches rests they will show themselves as frankly Aryans as though that damnable heresies had not been washed out of the world forever after centuries of persecution and torrents of blood but whatever the present state of Christendom in these matters may be there can be no doubt of the enormous pains taken in the past just to give Christian beliefs the exact dist ambiguous statement possible Christianity knew itself clearly for what it was in its maturity whatever the in decisions of his childhood or the confusions of its decay the Wren asset religion that one finds now a thing active and sufficient in many minds has still scarcely come to self-consciousness but it is so coming and this present book is very largely an attempt to state the shape it is assuming and to compare it with the beliefs and imperatives and usages of the various Christian pseudo Christian philosophical and agnostic cults amidst which it has appeared the writers sympathies and convictions are entirely with this that he speaks of Azran acent or modern religion he is neither atheist nor Buddhist normal Hamedan nor Christian he will make no pretense therefore to impartiality and detachment he will do his best to be as fair as possible and as candid as possible but the reader must reckon with this bias he has found this faith growing up in himself he has found it or something very difficult to distinguish from it growing independently in the minds of men and women he has met they have been people of very various origins English Americans Bengalis Russians French people brought up in a Catholic atmosphere positivists Baptists Sikhs Mohammedans their diversity of source is as remarkable as their convergence of tendency a miscellany of minds thinking about parallel lines has come out to the same light the new teaching is also traceable and many professor Lee Christian religious books and it is to be heard from Christian pulpits the phase of definition is manifestly at hand to modern religion has a finite God perhaps the most fundamental difference between this new faith and any recognized form of Christianity is that knowingly or unknowingly it worships a finite God directly the believer is fairly confronted with the plain questions of the case the identifications that are still carelessly made with one or all of the persons of the Trinity dissolve away he will admit that his God is neither all-wise nor all-powerful nor omnipresent that he is neither the maker of heaven nor earth and that he has little to identify him with that hereditary God of the Jews who became the father in the Christian system on the other hand he will assert that his God is a God of salvation that he is a spirit a person a strongly marked and knowable personality loving inspiring and lovable who exists or strives to exist in every human soul he will be much less certain in his denials that his God has a close resemblance to the Pauline as distinguished from the Trinitarian Christ the modern religious man will almost certainly profess a kind of universalism he will assert that whensoever men have called upon any God and have found fellowship and comfort and courage and that sense of God within them that inner light which is the quintessence of the religious experience it was the true God that answered them for the true God is a generous God not a jealous God the very antithesis of that bickering monopolist who will have none other gods but me and when a human heart cries out to a name it matters not for a larger spirit and a stronger help than the visible things of life can give straight away the nameless helper is with it and the god of man answers to the call the true God has no scorn nor hate for those who have accepted the many handed symbols of the Hindu or the lacquered idols of China where there is faith where there is need there is the true God ready to clasp the hands that stretch out seeking for him into the darkness behind the ivory and gold the fact that God is finite is one upon which those who think clearly among the new believers are very insistent he is above everything else a personality and to be a personality is to have characteristics to be limited by characteristics he is a being not us but dealing with us and through us he has an aim and that means he has a past and future he is within time and not outside it and they point out that this is really what everyone who prays sincerely to God or gets help from God feels and believes our practice with God is better than our Theory none of us really pray to that fantastic unqualified dance at wha the Trinity which the wranglings and disputes of the worthies of Alexandria and Syria declared to be God we pray to one single understanding person but so far the tactics of those Trinitarians at Nicaea who stuck their fingers in their ears have prevailed in this world this was no matter for discussion they declared it was a holy mystery full of magical terror and few religious people have thought it worthwhile to revive these terrors by a definite contradiction the true religious have been content to lapse quietly into the comparative sanity of a nun formulated Arianism they have left it to the scoffing atheist to mock at the patent absurdities of the official Creed but one magnificent protest against this theological fantasy must have been the work of a sincerely religious man the cold superb humour of that burlesque creed ascribed at first no doubt facetiously and then quite seriously to st. Athanasius the great witch by an irony far beyond its original intention has become at last the accepted Creed of the church the long Truths and the criticism of Trinitarian theology is drawing to its end it is when men most urgently need God did they become least patient with foolish presentations and dogmas the new believers are very definitely set upon a thorough analysis of the nature and growth of the Christian Creed's and ideas there has grown up a practice of assuming that when God has spoken of the Hebrew Christian God of Nicaea is meant but that God trails with him a thousand misconceptions and bad associations his alleged infinite nature his jealousy his strange preferences his vindictive Old Testament past these things did not even make a caricature of the true God they compose and altogether different and antagonistic figure it is a very childish and unfollow Safa chol set of impulses that has led the theologians of nearly every faith to claim infinite qualities for their deity one has to remember the poorness of the mental and moral quality of the churchmen of the 3rd 4th and 5th centuries who saddle Christendom with its characteristic dogmas and the extreme poverty and confusion of the circle of ideas within which they thought many of these makers of Christianity like st. Ambrose of Milan who had even to be baptized after his election to his bishopric had been pitchforked into the church from civil life they lived in a time of pitiless factions and personal feuds they had to conduct their disputations amidst the struggles of would-be Emperor's court eunuchs and favorites swayed their councils and popular rioting clinched their decisions there was less freedom of discussion than in the Christian world than there is at present 1916 in Belgium and the whole audience of educated opinion by which a theory could be judged do not equal either in numbers or accuracy of information the present population of Constantinople to these conditions we owe the claim that the Christian God is a magic God very great medicine in battle in hook Signo Vinces and the arguments so natural to the minds of those days and so absurd to ours that since he had all power all knowledge and existed for ever and ever it was no use whatever to set up any other God against him by the fifth century Christianity had adopted as its fundamental belief without which everyone was to be damned everlastingly a conception of God and of Christ's relation to God of which even by the Christian account of his teaching Jesus was either totally unaware or so negligent and careless of the future comfort of his disciples as scarcely to make mention the doctrine of the Trinity so as the relationship of the third person goes hangs almost entirely upon one ambiguous and disputed utterance in st. John's gospel 15:26 most of the teachings of Christian orthodoxy resolved themselves to the attentive student into assertions of the nature of contradiction and repartee someone floats an opinion in some matter that has been hitherto vague in regard for example to the sonship of Christ or to the method of his birth the new opinion arouses the hostility and alarm of minds on accustomed to so definite a statement and in the zeal of their recoil they fly to a contrary proposition the Christians would neither admit that they worshiped more gods than one because of the Greeks nor deny the divinity of Christ because of the Jews they dreaded to be polytheistic equally they dread the least apparent attraction from the power and importance of their Saviour they were forced into the theory of the Trinity by the necessity of those contrary assertions and they had to make it a mystery protected by curses to save it from a reductio ad absurdum the entire history of the growth of the Christian doctrine in those disordered early centuries is a history of theology by committee a history of furious wrangling of hasty compromises and still more hasty attempts to clinch matters by anathema when the muddle was at its very worst the church was confronted by enormous political opportunities in order that it should seize these one chief thing appeared imperative doctrinal uniformity the Emperor himself albeit unbaptized and very ignorant of greek came and seated himself in the midst of Christian thought upon a golden throne at the end of it all Eusebius that supreme trimmer was prepared to dam everlastingly all those who doubted that can substantiate a he himself had doubted at the beginning of the conference it is quite clear that Constantine did not care who was damned or for what period so long as the Christians ceased to wrangle among themselves the practical unanimity of Nicaea was by threats and then turning upon the victors he sought by threats to restore areas to communion the Imperial aim was a common faith to unite the Empire the crushing out of the Aryans and of the polish ins and suchlike heretics and more particularly the systematic destruction by the Orthodox of all heretical writings had about it none of that quality of honest conviction which comes to those who have a real knowledge of God it was a bawling down of dissensions that left to work themselves out would have spoiled good business it was the first of Nicholas of Myra over again except that after the days of Ambrose the sword of the executioner and the fires of the book burner were added to the weapon of the human voice priscilly in' was the first human sacrifice formally offered up under these improved conditions to the greater glory of the reinforced trinity thereafter the blood of the heretics was the cement of christian unity it is with these things in mind that those who profess the new faith are becoming so markedly anxious to distinguish God from the Trinitarians deity at present if anyone who has left the Christian Communion declares himself a believer in God priest ad parson swell with self complacency there is no reason why they should do so that many of us have gone from them and found God is no concern of theirs it is not that we who went out into the wilderness which we thought to be a desert away from their creeds and dogmas have turned back and are returning it is that we have gone on still further and are beyond that desolation Nevermore shall we return to those who gather under the cross by faith we disbelieved and denied by faith we said of that stuffed scarecrow of divinity that incoherent accumulation of antique theological notions the Nicene deity this is certainly no God and by faith we have found God 3 the infinite being is not God there has always been a demand upon the theological teacher that he should supply a cosmogony it has always been an effective propagandist thing to say our God made the whole universe don't you think that it would be wise to abandon your deity who did not as you admit do anything of the sort the attentive reader of the lives of the Saints will find that this style of argument did in the past bring many tribes and nations into the Christian fold it was second only to the claim of magic advantages demonstrated by a free use of miracles only one great religious system the Buddhist seems to have resisted the temptation to secure for its divinity the honor and title of creator modern religion is like Buddhism in that respect it offers no theory whatever about the origin of the universe it does not reach behind the appearances of space and time it sees only a featureless presumption in that playing with superlatives which has entertained so many minds from plot in us to the Hegelian z– with the delusion that such negative terms as the absolute or the unconditioned can assert anything at all at the back of all known things there is an impenetrable curtain the ultimate of existence is a veiled being which seems to know nothing of life or death or good or ill of that being whether it is simple or complex or divine we know nothing to us it is no more than the limit of understanding the unknown Beyond and maybe of practically limitless intricacy and possibility the new religion does not pretend that the God of its life is that being or that he has any relation of control or association with that being it is not even assert that God knows all or much more than we do about that ultimate being for us life is a matter of our personalities in space and time human analysis probing with philosophy and science toward the veil being reveals nothing of God reveals space and time only as necessary forms of consciousness glimpses a dance of atoms of worlds in the ether someday in the endless future there may be an an understanding of relationship a power add courage that will pierce into those black wrappings to that it may be our God the captain of mankind will take us that now is a mere speculation the veil of the unknown is set with the Stars it's outer texture as ether and atom and crystal the veil being enigmatical and incomprehensible broods over the mirror upon which the busy shapes of life are moving it is as if it waited in a great stillness our lives do not deal with it and cannot deal with it it may be that they may never be able to deal with it end of chapter first parts 1 2 3 recording by William Tomko chapter 1 part 4 5 & 6 of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org god the invisible King why hg wells chapter 1 part 4 so it is that comprehensive setting of the universe presents itself to the modern mind it is altogether outside of good and evil and love and hate it is outside God who is love and goodness and coming out of this veiled being proceeding out of it in a manner altogether inconceivable is another lesser being an impulse thrusting through matter and clothing itself in continuing changing material forms the maker of our world life the will to be it comes out of that inscrutable being as a wave comes rolling to us from beyond the horizon it is as it were a great wave rushing through matter and possessed by a spirit it is a breeding fighting thing it pants through the jungle track as the tiger and lifts itself toward heaven as the tree it is the rabbit bolting for its life and the Dove calling to her mate it crawls it flies it dives it lusts and devours it pursues and eats itself in order to live still more eagerly and hastily it is every living thing of it are our passions and desires and fears and it is aware of itself not as a whole but dispersed idli as individual self-consciousness starting out this personally from every one of the sentient creatures it has called into being they look out for their little moments red-eyed and fierce full of greed full of the passions of acquisition and assimilation and reproduction submitting only to brief fellowships of defense or aggression they are beings of strain and conflict and competition they are living substance still mingled painfully with a dust the forms in which this being clothes itself bears thorns and fangs and claws are soaked with poison and bright with threats or allurements they prey slyly or openly on one another hold their own for a little while breed savagely and resentfully and pass this second being men have called the life force the will to live the struggle for existence they have figured it too is mother nature we may speculate whether it is not what the wiser among the Gnostics meant by Demiurge but since the Christians destroyed all the gnostic books that must remain a mere curious guess we may speculate whether this heat and haste and wrath of life above us is the dark of the many cheese the evil spirit of a Sun worshipers but in contemporary thought there is no conviction apparent that this Demiurge is either good or evil it is conceived of as both good and evil if it gives all the pain and conflict of life it also gives the joy of a sunshine but delight and hope of youth the pleasures if it has elaborated a hundred thousand sorts of parasite it has also molded the beautiful limbs of man and woman it has shaped the slug and the flower and in it as part of it taking its rewards responding to its gauds struggling against the final abandonment to death do we all live as the beasts live glad angry sorrow revengeful hopeful weary disgusted forgetful lustful happy excited bored in pain mood after mood but always fearing death with no certainty and no coherence within us until we find God and God comes to us neither out of the Stars nor out of the pride of life but as a still small voice within part five God is within God comes we know not whence into the conflict of life he works in men and through men he is a spirit a single spirit and a single person he has begun and he will never end he is the immortal part and leader of mankind he has motives he has characteristics he has a name he is by our poor scales of measurement boundless love boundless courage boundless generosity he is thought and a steadfast will he is our friend and brother and the light of the world that briefly is the belief of the modern mind with regard to God there is no very novel idea about this God unless it be the idea that he had a beginning this is the God that men have sought and found in all ages as God or the Messiah or the Savior the finding of him is salvation from the purposelessness of life the new religion has but disentangled the idea of him from the absolutes and infinities and mysteries of the Christian theologians from mythological virgin birth and because marginese and intellectual pretentiousness of a vanished age modern religion appeals to no revelation no authoritative teaching no mystery the statement it makes is it declares a mere statement of what we all may perceive and experience we all live in the storm of life we all find our understandings limited by the veiled being if we seek salvation and search within for God presently we find him all this is in the nature of things if everyone who perceives and states it were to be instantly killed and blotted out presently other people would find their way to the same conclusions and so on again and again to this all true religion casting aside its hulls of misconception must ultimately come to it indeed much religion is already coming Christian thought struggles toward it with the millstones of Syrian theology and in outrageous mythology of Incarnation and resurrection about its neck when it lasts our present bench of bishops join the early fathers of the church in heaven there will be I fear a note of reproach in they're greeting of the ingenious person who saddled them with omnipotence still more disastrous for them has been the virgin birth with a terrible fascination of its detail for unpoetic minds how rich is the literature of authoritative Christianity with decisions upon the continuing virginity of Mary and the virginity of Joseph ideas that first arose in Arabia as a Muslim gloss upon Christianity and how little have these peeping zand prying to do with the needs of the heart and the finding of God within the last few years there have been a score or so of such volumes as that recently compiled by dr. folks Jackson entitled the faith and the war a volume in which the curious reader may contemplate Dean's and canons Divine's and Church dignitaries men the intelligent and inquiring and religiously disposed all lying like overladen camels panting under the load of obsolete theological responsibilities groaning great articles outside the needles eye that leads to God part six the coming of God modern religion bases its knowledge of God and its account of God entirely upon experience it has encountered God it does not argue about God it relates it relates without any of those wrappings of awe and reverence that fall so necessarily about imposture it relates his one tells of a friend and his assistants of a happy adventure of a beautiful thing found and picked up by the wayside so far as its psychological phases go the new account of personal salvation tallies very closely with the account of conversion as it is given by other religions it has little to tell that is not already familiar to the reader of William James varieties of religious experience it describes an initial state of distress with the aimlessness and cruelties of life and particularly with the futility of the individual life a state of helpless self-disgust of inability to form any satisfactory plan of living this is the common prelude known to many sorts of Christians as conviction of sin it is at any rate a conviction of hopeless confusion and then in some way the idea of God comes into the distressed mind at first simply as an idea without substance or belief it is read about or it is remembered it is expounded by some teacher or some happy convert in the case of all those of the new faith with whose personal experience I have any intimacy the idea of God has remained for some time simply an idea floating about in a mind still dissatisfied God is not believed in but it is realized that if there were such a being he would supply the needed consolation and direction his continuing purpose would knit together the scattered effort of life his immortality would take the sting from death under this realization the idea is pursued and elaborated for a time there is a curious resistance to the suggestion that God is truly a person he is spoken of preferably by such phrases as the purpose in things as the racial consciousness as the collective mind I believe that this resistance in so many contemporary minds to the idea of God as a person is do very largely to the enormous prejudice against divine personality created by the absurdities of the Christian teaching and the habitual monopoly of the Christian idea the picture of Christ as the Good Shepherd thrusts itself before Minds unaccustomed to the idea of a our lambs the cross in the Twilight bars the way it is a novelty and an enormous relief to such people to realize that one may think of God without being committed to think of either the Father the Son or the Holy Ghost or of all of them at once that freedom had not seemed possible to them they had been hypnotized and obsessed by the idea that the Christian God is the only thinkable God they had heard so much about that God and so little of any other with that release their minds become as it were nascent and ready for the coming of God then suddenly in a little while in his own time God comes this Cardinal experience is an undoubting immediate sense of God it is the attainment of an absolute certainty that one is not alone in oneself it is as if one was touched at every point by a being akin to oneself sympathetic beyond measure wiser steadfast and pure a name it is completer and more intimate but it is like standing side by side with and touching someone that we love very dearly and trust completely it is as if this being bridged a thousand misunderstandings and brought us into fellowship with a great multitude of other people closer he is then breathing and nearer than hands and feet the moment we come while we're alone in the darkness under the stars or while we walk by ourselves or the crowd while we sit and muse it may come upon the sinking ship or in the tumult of battle there is no saying when it may not come to us after it has come our lives are changed God is with us and there is no more doubt of God thereafter one goes about the world like one who was lonely and has found the lover like one who was perplexed and has found a solution one is assured that there is a power that fights with us against the confusion and evil within us and without there comes into the heart an essential and enduring happiness and courage there is but one God there is but one true religious experience but under a multitude of names under veils and darkness 'as God has in this manner come into countless lives there is scarcely a faith however mean and preposterous that has not been a way to holiness God who is himself finite who himself struggles in his great effort from strength to strength has no spite against terra far beyond halfway he hastens to meet the / blind but God is against the darkness in their eyes the faith which is returning to men Gerdes at veils and shadows and would see God plainly it has little respect for mysteries it wrens the veil of a temple in rags and tatters it has no superstitious fear of this huge friendliness of this great brother and leader of our little beings to find God is but the beginning of wisdom because then for all our days we have to learn his purpose with us and to live our lives with him end of chapter 1 parts 4 5 & 6 chapter 2 parts 1 2 & 3 of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by T Michael Burke God the invisible king by HG Wells chapter 2 heresies or things that God is not part 1 heresies are misconceptions of God religion is not a plant that has grown from one seed it is like a lake that has been fed by countless Springs it is a great pool of living water mingled from many sources and tainted with much impurity it is synthetic in its nature it becomes simpler from original complexities the sediment subsides a life perfectly adjusted to its surroundings is a life without mentality no judgment is called for no inhibition no disturbance in the instinctive flow of perfect reactions such a life is bliss or nirvana it is unconsciousness below dreaming consciousness is discord evoking the will to adjust it is inseparable from need at every need consciousness breaks into being imperfect adjustments needs are the rents and tatters in the smooth dark veil of being through which the light of consciousness shines the light of consciousness and will of which God is the Sun so that every need of human life every disappointment and dissatisfaction and call for help an effort is a means whereby men may and do come to the realization of God there is no Cardinal need there is no sort of experience in human life from which there does not come or has not come a contribution to men's religious ideas at every challenge men have to put forth effort filled out of adequacy be thwarted perceived the chill chat oh of their mortality at every challenge comes the possibility of help from without the idea of eluding frustration the aspiration towards immortality it is possible to classify the Appeals men make for God under the headings of their chief system of effort their efforts to understand their fear and their struggles for safety and happiness the craving of their restlessness for peace their angers against disorder and their desire for the Avenger their sexual passions and perplexities each of these great systems of needs and efforts brings its own sort of sediment into religion each that is to say has its own kind of heresy its distinctive misapprehension of God it is only in the synthesis and mutual correction of many divergent ideas that the idea of God grows clear the effort to understand completely for example leads to the endless heresies of theory men trip over the inherent infirmities of the human mind but in these days one does not argue greatly about dogma almost every conceivable error about unity about personality about time and quantity and genus and species about begetting and beginning and limitation and similarity and every kink and the difficult mind of man has been thrust forward in some form of dogma beside the errors of thought are the errors of emotion fear and feebleness go straight to the heresies that God is magic or that God is Providence Restless egotism at leisure and unchallenged by urgent elementary realities breeds the heresies of mysticism anger and hate call for God's judgments and the stormy emotions of sex gave mankind the phallic God those who find themselves possessed by the new spirit and religion realize very speedily the necessity of clearing the mind of all these exaggerations transferences and overflows of feeling the search for divine truth is like gold washing nothing is of any value until most has been swept away part-2 heresies of speculation one sort of heresies stands apart from the rest it is infinitely the most various sort it includes all those heresies which result from wrongheaded mental elaboration as distinguished from those which are the result of hasty and imperfect apprehension the heresies of the clever rather than the heresies of the obtuse the former are of endless variety and complexity the latter are in comparison natural simple confusions the former are the errors of the study the latter the superstitions that spring by the wayside or are brought down to us in our social structure out of a barbaric past to the heresies of thought and speculation belong the elaborate doctrine of the Trinity dogmas about God's absolute qualities such odd deductions as the accepted Christian teachings about the virginity of Mary and Joseph and the like all these things are parts of Orthodox Christianity yet none of them did Christ even by the Christian account expound or recommend he treated them as negligible it was left for the Alexandrians for alexander for little red-haired busy wire pulling Athanasius to find out exactly what their master was driving at three centuries after their master was dead men still sit at little desks remote from God or life and rack they're inadequate brains to meet fancy difficulties and state unnecessary perfections they seek God by logic ignoring the marginal error that creeps into every syllogism their conceit blinds them to the limitations upon their thinking they weave spider-like webs of muddled and dispute ation across the path by which men come to God it would not matter very much if it were not that simpler souls are caught in these whips every great religious system in the world is choked by such webs each system has its own of all the blood-stained tangled heresies which make up doctrinal Christianity and in Prison the mind of the Western world today not one seems to have been known to the nominal founder of Christianity Jesus Christ never certainly claimed to be the Messiah never spoke clearly of the Trinity was vague upon the scheme of salvation and the significance of his martyrdom we are asked to suppose that he left his apostles without instructions that were necessary to their eternal happiness that he could give them the Lord's Prayer but leave them to guess at the all-important Creed and that the church staggered along blindly putting its foot in and out of damnation until the experts of Nicaea that garland of priests marshaled by Constantine's officials came to its rescue from the conversion of Paul onward the heresies of the intellect multiplied about Christ's memory and hid him from the sight of men we are no longer clear about the doctrine he taught nor about the things he said and did even the Apostles Creed is not traceable earlier than the fourth century it is manifestly an old patched formulary root Aeneas explains that it was not written down for a long time but transmitted orally kept secret and used as a sort of password among the elect we are all so weary of this theology of the Christians we are all at heart so skeptical about their triune God that it is needless here to spend any time or space upon the twenty thousand different formula in which the Orthodox have attempted to believe in something of the sort there are several useful encyclopedias of sects and heresies compact but still bulky to which the curious may go there are 10,000 different expositions of Orthodoxy no one who really seeks God thinks of the Trinity either the Trinity of the Trinitarian or the Trinity of the civilian or the Trinity of the Arian any more than one thinks of those theories Maidstone those gods with three heads and seven hands who sit on lotus leaves and flourish lingams and whatnot in the temples of India let us leave therefore these morbid elaborations of the human intelligence to drift to limp and come rather to the natural heresies that spring from fundamental weaknesses of the human character and which are common to all religions against these it is necessary to keep constant watch they returned very insidiously part three god is not magic one of the most universal of these natural misconceptions of God is to consider him as something magic serving the ends of men it is not easy for us to grasp at first the full meaning of giving our souls to God the missionary and teacher of any Creed is all too apt to hawk God for what he will fetch he is greedy for the poor triumph of acquiescence and so it comes about that many people who have been led to believe themselves religious are in reality still keeping back their own souls and trying to use God for their own purposes God is nothing more for them as yet than a magnificent fetish they did not really want him but they have heard that he is potent stuff their unripe souls think to make use of him they call upon his name they do certain things that are supposed to be peculiarly influential with him such as saying prayers and repeating gross praises of him or reading in that blind industrious way that strange miscellany of Jewish and early Christian literature the Bible and such like mental mortification or making the Sabbath dull and uncomfortable in return for these fetishistic propitiation –zz God is supposed to interfere with the normal course of causation in their favor he becomes a celestial log roller he remedies unfavorable accidents cures petty ailments contrives unexpected gifts of medicine money or the like he averts bankruptcies arranges profitable transactions and does a thousand such services for his little clique of faithful people the pious are represented as being constantly delighted by these little surprises these bouquets and chocolate boxes from the divinity or contra wise he contrived spiteful turns for those who fail in their religious attentions he murders Sabbath breaking children or dis organizes the careful business schemes of the ungodly he is represented as going Sabbath breaking on Sunday morning as a staffordshire worker goes reading ordinary everyday Christianity is saturated with us fetishistic conception of God it may be disowned in the Hibbard Journal but it is unblushing li advocated in the parish magazine it is an idea taken over by Christianity with the rest of the qualities of the Hebrew God it is natural enough in mind so self-centered that their recognition of weakness and need brings with it no real self surrender but is entirely inconsistent with the modern conception of the true God there has been dropped upon the table as I write a modest periodical called the northern British Israel review illustrated with portraits of various clergyman of the Church of England and of ladies and gentlemen who belong to the little school of thought which this magazine represents it is I should judge a sub-sect entirely within the established Church of England that is to say within the Anglican Communion of the Trinitarian Christians it contains among other papers a very entertaining summary by a gentleman entitled I cite the unusual title page of the periodical Landseer McKenzie Esquire of the views of Isaiah Ezekiel and Obadiah upon the Kaiser William they are distinctly hostile views mr. lanser McKenzie discourses not only upon these anticipatory condemn nations but also upon the relations of the weather to this war he is convinced quite simply and honestly that God has been persistently rigging the weather against the Germans he points out that the absence of mist on the North Sea was of great help to the British in the autumn of 1914 and declares that it was the wet state of the country that really held up the Germans and Flanders in the winter of 1914 15 he ignores the part played by the weather in delaying the relief of coot al Amara and he has not thought of the difficult question of why the deity having once decided upon intervention did not instead of this comparatively trivial meteorological assistance adopt the more effective course of for example exploding or spoiling the German stores of ammunition some simple atomic miracle or misdirecting their gunfire by a sudden local modification of the laws of refraction or gravitation since these views come from anglican vicarage –is I can only conclude that this kind of belief is quite Orthodox and permissible in the established church and that I am charging Orthodox Christianity here with nothing that has ever been officially repudiated I find indeed the essential assumptions of mr. lanser McKenzie repeated in endless official Christian utterances on the part of German and British and Russian Divine's the Bishop of kallmes furred for example has recently ascribed our difficulties in the war to our impatience with long sermons among other similar causes such Christians are manifestly convinced that God can be invoked by ritual for example by special days of national prayer or an increased observance of Sunday or made malignant by neglect or levity it is almost fundamental in their idea of him the ordinary Mohammedan seems as confident of this magic pettiness of God and the belief of China in the magic propitiation Xand resentments of heaven is at least equally strong but the true God as those of the new religion know him is no such God of luck and intervention he is not to serve men's ends or the ends of Nations or associations of men he is careless of our ceremonies and in vacations he does not lose his temper with our follies and weaknesses it is for us to serve him he captain's us he does not coddle us he has his own ends for which he needs us end of chapter 2 parts 1 2 & 3 recording by T Michael Burke spoken word creation.com chapter two parts four five six and seven of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by T Michael Burke God the invisible king by HG Wells chapter 2 heresies or things that God is not part for God is not Providence closely related to this heresy that God is magic is the heresy that calls him Providence that declares the apparent adequacy of cause and effect to be a sham and that all the time incalculably he is pulling about the order of events for our personal advantages the idea of Providence was very gaily Travis did by da day in part ran in the Alps you will remember how tartar ins friend assured him that all Switzerland was one great trust intent upon attracting tourists and far too wise and kind to permit them to venture into real danger that all the precipices were netted invisibly and all the loose rocks guarded against falling that avalanches were pre-arranged spectacles and the crevasses at their worst slippery ways down into kindly catchment bags if the Mountaineer tried to get into real danger he was turned back by specious excuses inspired by this persuasion tarter and behaved with incredible daring that is exactly the Providence theory of the whole world there can be no doubt that it does not enable many a timid soul to get through life with a certain recklessness and provided there is no slip into a crevasse the Providence theory works well it would work altogether well if there were no crevasses tar turin was reckless because of his faith in providence and escaped but what would have happened to him if he had fallen into a crevasse there exists a very touching and remarkable book by Sir Francis Younghusband called within Williams in nor gate 1912 it is the confession of a man who lived with a complete confidence in Providence until he was already well advanced in years he went through battles and campaigns he filled positions of great honor and responsibilities he saw much of the life of men without altogether losing his faith the loss of a child an Indian famine could shake it but not overthrow it then coming back one day from some races in France he was knocked down by an automobile and hurt very cruelly he suffered terribly in body and mind his sufferings caused much suffering to others he did his utmost to see the hand of a loving Providence in his and their disaster and the tormented inflicted and being a man of sterling honesty and a fine essential simplicity of mine he confessed at last that he could not do so his confidence in the benevolent intervention of God was altogether destroyed his book tells of this shattering and how laborious Li he reconstructed his religion upon less confident lines it is a book typical of an age and of a very English sort of mind a book well worth reading that he came to a full sense of the true God cannot be asserted but how near he came to God let one quotation witness quote the existence of an outside Providence he writes who created us who watches over us and who guides our lives like a merciful father we have found impossible longer to believe in but of the existence of the Holy Spirit radiating upward through all animate beings and finding its fullest expression in man in love and in the flowers in beauty we can be as certain as of anything in the world this fiery spiritual impulsion at the center and the source of things ever burning in us is the supremely important factor in our existence it does not always attain to light in many directions it fails the conditions are too hard and it is utterly blocked in others it only partially succeeds but in a few it bursts forth into radiant light there are a few who in some heavenly moment of their lives have not been conscious of its presence we may not be able to give it outward expression but we know that it is there end quote God does not guide our feet he is no sigil Asst governess restraining and correcting the wayward steps of men if you would fly into the air there is no God to bank your aeroplane correctly for you or keep an intended engine going if you across a glacier no God nor angel guides your steps amidst the slippery places he will not even mind your innocent children for you if you leave them before an unguarded fire cherish no delusions for yourself and others who challenge danger and chance on your own strength no talisman no God can help you or those you care for nothing of such things will God do it is an idle dream but God will be with you nevertheless in the real in airplane or in the dark ice cave God will be your courage though you suffer or are killed it is not an end he will be with you as you face death he will die with you as he has died already countless myriads of brave deaths he will come so close to you that at the last you will not know whether it is you or he who dies and the present death will be swallowed up in his victory part five the heresy of quietism God comes to us within and takes us for his own he releases us from ourselves he incorporates us with his own undying experience and adventure he receives us and gives himself he is a stimulant he makes us live immortally and more abundantly I have compared him to the sensation of a deer strong friend who comes and stands quietly beside one shoulder to shoulder the finding of God is the beginning of service it is not an escape from life in action it is the release of life in action from the prison of the mortal self not to realize that is the heresy of quietism of many mystics commonly such people are people of some wealth able to command services for all their everyday needs they make religion a method of indolence they turn their backs on the toil and stresses of existence and give themselves up to a delicious reverie in which they flirt with the divinity they will recount their privileges and ecstasy's and how ingeniously and wonderfully God has tried and proved them but indeed the true God was not the lover of madame kyon the true God is not a spiritual troubadour wooing the hearts of men and women to no purpose the true God goes through the world like Fife's and drums and flags calling for recruits along the street we must go out to him we must accept his discipline and fight his battle the peace of God comes not by thinking about it but by forgetting oneself in him part six God does not punish man is a social animal and there is in him a great faculty for moral indignation many of the early gods were mainly gods of fear they were more often wrath than not such was the temperament of the Semitic deity who as the Hebrew Jehovah proliferated perhaps under the influence of the Alexandrian sarap IAM into the Christian Trinity and who became also the Muslim God it is not so generally understood as it should be among English and American readers that a very large proportion of early Christians before the Creed's established and regularized the doctrine of the Trinity denied absolutely that Jehovah was God they regarded Christ as a rebel against Jehovah and a rescuer of humanity from him just as prometheus was a rebel against Jove these beliefs survived for a thousand years throughout Christendom they were held by a great multitude of persecuted sects from the Alban seas and the Cathars to the eastern pollutions the Catholic Church found it necessary to prohibit the circulation of the Old Testament among laymen very largely on account of the polemics of the Cathars against the Hebrew God but in this book be it noted the word Christian when it is not otherwise defined is used to indicate only the Trinitarians who accept the official Creed's the natural hatred of unregenerate men against everything that is unlike themselves against strange people and cheerful people against unfamiliar usages and things they do not understand embodied itself in this conception of a malignant and partisan deity perpetually upset by the little things people did and contriving murder and vengeance now this God would be drowning everybody in the world now he would be burning Sodom and Gomorrah now he would be inciting his congenial Israelites to the most terrific pogroms this divine frightfulness is of course the natural human dislike in distrust for queer practices or for too sunny a carelessness a dislike reinforce by the latent fierceness of the ape in us liberating the latent fierceness of the evenness giving it an excuse and pressing permission upon it handing the thing hated and feared over to its secular arm it is a human paradox that the desire for seem leanness the instinct for restraints and fair disciplines and the impulse to cherish sweet familiar things that these things of the true God should so readily liberate cruelty and tyranny it is like a woman going with a light to tend and protect her sleeping child and setting the house on fire nonetheless right down to today the heresy of God the revengeful God the persecutor and Avenger haunts religion it is only in quite recent years that the growing gentleness of everyday life has begun to make men a little ashamed of a deity less tolerant and gentle than themselves the recent literature of the Anglicans abounds in the evidence of this trouble bishop cleanse o of Natal was prosecuted and condemned in 1863 for denying the irascible 'ti of his god and teaching the calf ears of Natal the dangerous heresy that god is all mercy we cannot allow it to be said the Dean of Cape Town insisted that God was not angry when he was not appeased by punishment he was angry on account of sin which is a great evil and a great insult to his majesty the case of the reverend charles Voisey which occurred in 1870 was a second assertion of the church's insistence upon the fierceness of her God this case is not to be found in the ordinary Church histories nor is it even mentioned in the latest edition of the encyclopædia britannica nevertheless it appears to have been a very illuminating case it is doubtful if the church would prosecute or condemn either Bishop Cole Enzo or mr. voice II today part seven God and the nursery maid closely related to the heresy of God the Avenger is that kind of miniature got the Avenger to whom the nursery maid and the overtaxed parent are so apt to appeal you stab your children that was such a god and he poisons all their lives for many of us the word God first came into our lives to denote a wanton irrational restraint as bogey as the all-seeing and quite ungenerous high god bogey is a great convenience to the nursery maid who wants to leave fear to mind her charges and enforce her disciplines while she goes off upon her own aims but indeed the teaching of God bogey is an outrage upon the soul of a child scarcely less dreadful than an indecent assault the reason rebels and is crushed under this horrible and pursuing suggestion many minds never rise again from their injury they remain for the rest of their life spiritually crippled and debased haunted by fear stained with a persuasion of relentless cruelty in the ultimate cause of all things I write was so set against God thus rendered he and his hell were the nightmare of my childhood I hated him while I still believed in him and who could help but hate I thought of him as a fantastic monster perpetually spying perpetually listening perpetually waiting to condemn and to strike me dead his flames as ready as a grill-room fire he was over me and about my feebleness and silliness and forgetfulness as the sky and sea would be about a child drowning in mid-atlantic when I was still only a child of 13 by the grace of the true God in me I flung this lie out of my mind and for many years until I came to see that God himself had done this thing for me the name of God meant nothing to me but the hideous scar in my heart where a fearful demon had been I see about me today many dreadful moral and mental cripples with his bogey god of the nursery-maid with his black insane revenge's still living like a horrible parasite in their hearts in the place where God should be they are afraid afraid afraid they dare not be kindly to formal sinners they dare not abandon a hundred foolish observances they dare not look at the causes of things they are afraid of sunshine of nakedness of health of adventure of science lest that old watching spider take offense the voice of the true God whispers in their hearts echoes in speech and writing but they avert themselves fear driven for the true God has no lash of fear and how the foul-mouthed bigot with his ill shaven face his greasy skin is thick gesticulating hands his bellowings and threatenings loves to reap this harvest of fear the ignorant cunning of the nursery girl has sown for him how he loves the importance of denunciation and himself a malignant cripple to rally the company of these crippled souls to persecute and destroy the happy children of God Christian priests crafts turns a dreadful face to children there is a real wickedness of the priests that is different from other wickedness and that affects a reasonable mind just as cruelty and strange perversions of instinct effective let a former Archbishop of Canterbury speak for me this that follows is the account given by Archbishop Tate in a debate in the upper house of convocation July 3rd 1877 of one of the publication's of a certain Society of the Holy Cross quote I take this book as its contents show to be meant for the instruction of very young children I find in one of the pages of it the statement that between the ages of 6 and 6 and a half years would be the proper time for the inculcation of the teaching which is to be found in the book now 6 to 6 and a half is certainly a very tender age and to these children I find these statements addressed in the book it is to the priest and to the priest only that the child must acknowledge his sins if he desires that God should forgive him I hope and trust the person the three clergymen or however many there were did not exactly realize what they were writing that they did not mean to say that a child was not to confess its sins to God direct that it was not to confess its sins at the age of six to its mother or to its father but was only to have recourse to the priest but the words to say the least of them are rash then comes the very obvious question do you know why it is because God when he was on earth gave to his priests and to them alone the divine power of forgiving men their sins it was two priests alone that Jesus said receive ye the Holy Ghost those who will not confess will not be cured sin is a terrible sickness and it casts souls into hell that is addressed to a child six years of age I have known the book continues poor children who concealed their sins in confession for years they were very unhappy were tormented with remorse and if they had died in that state they would certainly have gone to the everlasting fires of hell end quote now here is something against nature something that I have seen time after time in the faces and bearing of priests and heard and their preaching it is a distinct lust much nobility and devotion there are among priests saintly lives and kindly lives lives of real worship lives no man may better this that I write of is not of all perhaps not of many priests but there has been in all ages that have known Sasser totalism this terrible type of the priests priests graph and priestly power release an aggressive and narrow disposition to a recklessness of suffering and a hatred of Liberty that surely exceeds the badness of any other sort of men end of chapter two parts four five six and seven recording by T Michael Burke spoken word creation.com chapter two parts eight and nine of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by T Michael Burke god the invisible king by HG Wells chapter 2 heresies or things that God is not part 8 the children's God children do not naturally love God they have no great capacity for an idea so subtle and mature as the idea of God while they are still children in a home and cared for life is too kind and easy for them to feel any great need of God all things are still something God like the true God our modern minds insist upon believing can have no appetite for unnatural praise and adoration he does not clamor for the attention of children he is not like one of those senile uncle's who dream of glory in the nursery who loved to hear it said the children adore him if children are loved and trained to truth justice and mutual forbearance they will be ready for the true God as their needs bring them within his scope they should be left to their innocence and to their trust in the innocence of the world as long as they can be they should be told only of God as a great friend whom someday they will need more and understand and know better that is as much as most children need the phrases of religion put too early in their mouths may become a can't something worse than blasphemy yet children are sometimes very near to God creative passion stirs in their play at times they display a divine simplicity but it does not follow that therefore they should be afflicted with theological formula or inducted into ceremonies and rites that they may dislike or misinterpret if by any accident by the death of a friend or a distressing story the thought of death afflicts a child then he may begin to hear of God who takes those that serve him out of their slain bodies and into his shining immortality or if by some menial treachery through some fouling priest the whisper of old bogey reaches our children then we may set their minds at ease by the assurance of his limitless charity with adolescence comes the desire for God and to know more of God and that is the most suitable time for religious talk and teaching part 9 God is not sexual in the last two or three hundred years there has been a very considerable distinct of the idea of God from the complex of sexual thought and feeling but in the early days of religion the two things were inseparably bound together the fury of the hebrew prophets for example is continually proclaiming the extraordinary wrath of their god at this or that little dirtiness or irregularity or breach of the sexual taboos the ceremony of circumcision is clearly indicative of the original nature of the semitic deity who developed into the Trinitarian god so far as christianity dropped this right so far christianity disavowed the old associations but to this day the representative christian churches still make marriage into a mystical sacrament and with some exceptions the roman communion exacts the sacrifice of celibacy from its priesthood regardless of the mischievousness and maliciousness that's so often ensue nearly every Christian Church inflicts as much discredit and injustice as it can contrive upon the illegitimate child they do not treat illegitimate children as unfortunate children but as children with a mystical and an incurable taint of sin kindly easygoing Christians may resent this statement because it does not tally with their own attitudes but let them consult their Orthodox authorities one must distinguish clearly here between what is held to be sacred or sinful in itself and what is held to be one's duty or a nation's duty because it is in itself the wisest cleanest clearest best thing to do by the latter tests and reasonable arguments most or all of our institutions regulating the relations of the sexes may be justifiable but my case is not whether they can be justified by these tests but that it is not by these tests that they are judged even today by the professors of the chief religions of the world it is the temper and not the conclusions of the religious bodies that I would criticize these sexual questions are guarded by a holy irascible 'ti and the most violent efforts are made with a sense of complete righteousness to prohibit their discussion that fury about sexual things is only to be explained on the hypothesis that the Christian God remains a sex God in the minds of great numbers of his exponents his disentanglement from that plexus is incomplete sexual things are still to the Orthodox Christian sacred things now the God whom those of the new faith are finding is only immediately concerned with the relations of men and women he is no more sexual essentially than he is essentially Dietetic or hygienic the God of Leviticus was all these things he is represented as prescribing the most petty and intimate of observances many of which are now habitually disregarded by the Christians who profess him it is part of the evolution of the idea of God that we have now so largely dis tangled our conception of him from the dietary and regimen and meticulous sexual rules that were once inseparably bound up with his majesty Christ himself was one of the chief forces in this distinct net there is the clearest evidence in several instances of his disregard of the rule and his insistence that his disciples should seek for the spirit underlying and often masked by the rule his church being made of baser matter has followed him as reluctantly as possible and no further than it was obliged but it has followed him far enough to admit his principle that in all these matters there is no need for superstitious fear that the interpretation of the divine purpose is left to the unembarrassed intelligence of men the church has followed him far enough to make the harsh threatenings of priests and ecclesiastics against what they are pleased to consider impurity or sexual impious a profound inconsistency one seems to hear their distant protests when one reads of Christ and the Magdalene or of Christ eating with publicans and sinners the clergy of our own days play the part of the New Testament Pharisees with the utmost exactness and complete unconsciousness one cannot imagine a modern ecclesiastic conversing with a Magdalene in terms of ordinary civility unless she was in a very high social position indeed or blending with disreputable characters without a dramatic sense of condescension and much explanatory by play those who profess modern religion do but follow in these matters of course entirely compatible with what is survived of the authentic teachings of Christ when they declare that God is not sexual and that religious passion and insult and persecution upon the score of sexual things are a barbaric inheritance but lest anyone should fling off here with some hasty assumption that those who profess the religion of the true God are sexually anarchistic let stress be laid at once upon the opening sentence of the preceding paragraph and let me a little anticipate a section which follows we would free men and women from exact and superstitious rules and observances not to make them less the instruments of God but more holy his the claim of modern religion is that one should give oneself unreservedly to God that there is no other salvation the believer owes all his being and every moment of his life to God to keep mind and body as clean fine wholesome active and completely at God's service as he can there is no scope for indulgence or dissipation in such a consecrated life it is a matter between the individual and his conscience or his doctor or his social understanding what exactly he may do or not do what he may eat or drink or so forth upon any occasion nothing can exonerate him from doing his utmost to determine and perform the right Act nothing can excuse his failure to do so but what is here being insisted upon is that none of these things as immediately to do with God or religious emotion except only the general will to do right in God's service the detailed interpretation of that right is for the dispassionate consideration of the human intelligence all this is set down here as distinctly as possible because of the emotional reservoirs of sex sexual dogmas are amongst the most obstinately recurrent of all heresies and sexual excitement is always tending to leak back into religious feeling amongst the sects tormented priesthood of the Roman Communion in particular ignorant of the extreme practices of the Essenes or of the Orphic cult and suchlike predecessors of Christianity there seems to be an extraordinary belief that chastity was not invented until Christianity came and that the religious life is largely the propitiation of God by feats of sexual abstinence but a superstitious abstinence that scars and embitters the mind distorts the imagination makes the body gross and keeps it unclean is just as offensive to God as any positive depravity end of chapter two parts eight and nine recording by T Michael Burke spoken word creation.com Chapter three parts one to four of God the invisible King this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by william Tomko god the invisible king by hg wells chapter third parts 1 2 4 chapter the third the likeness of God God is courage now having set down what those who profess the new religion regard as the chief misconceptions of God having put these systems of ideas aside from our explanations the path is cleared for the statement of what God is since language Springs entirely from material spatial things there is always an element of metaphor in theological statement so that I had not called this chapter the nature of God but the likeness of God and firstly God is courage – God is a person and next God is a person upon this point those who are beginning to profess modern religion are very insistent it is they declare the central article the axis of their religion God is a person who can be known as one knows a friend who can be served and who receives service who partakes of our nature who is like us a being in conflict with the unknown and the limitless and the forces of death who values much that we value and is against much that we are pitted against he is our king to whom we must be loyal he is our captain and to know him is to have a direction in our lives he feels us and knows us he is helped and gladdened by us he hopes and attempts God is no abstraction nor trick of words no infinite he is as real as a bayonet thrust or an embrace now this is where those who have left the old Creed's and come asking about the new realizations find their chief difficulty they say show us this person let us hear him if they listen to the silences within presently they will hear him but when one argues one finds oneself suddenly in the net of those ancient controversies between species and individual between the one and the many which arise out of the necessarily imperfect methods of the human mind upon these matters there has been much pregnant writing during the last half century such ideas as this writer has to offer are to be found in a previous little book of his first and last things in which writing as one without authority or specialization in logic and philosophy as an ordinary man vividly interested for others in a like case he was at some pains to elucidate the imperfections of this instrument of ours this mind by which we must seek and explain and reach up to God suffice it here to say that theological discussion may very easily become like the vision of a man with a cataract a mere projection of inherent imperfections if we do not use our phraseology with a certain courage and take that of those who are trying to convey their ideas to us with a certain politeness and charity there is no end possible to any discussion in so subtle and intimate a matter as theology but assertions denials and wranglings and about this word person it is necessary to be as clear and explicit as possible though perfect clearness a definition of mathematical sharpness is by the very nature of the case impossible now when we speak of a person or an individual we think typically of a man and before yet that he was once an embryo and will presently decay we forget that he came to people and maybe get many that he has forgotten much and will forget more that he can be confused divided against himself delirious drunken drugged or asleep on the contrary we are in our hasty way of thinking of him after suppose him continuous definite acting consistently and never forgetting but only abstract and theoretical persons are like that we coupled with him the idea of a body indeed in the common use of the word person there is more thought of body than of mind we speak of a lover possessing the person of his mistress we speak of offences against the person as opposed to insults libels or offenses against property and the gods of primitive men and the earlier civilizations were quite of that quality of person they were thought of as living in very splendid bodies and it's acting consistently if they were invisible in the ordinary world it was because they were aloof or because their persons were too splendid for weak human eyes Moses was permitted a mitigated view of the person of the Hebrew God on Mount Horeb and simile who insisted upon seeing Zeus in the glories that were sacred to Juno was utterly consumed the early Islamic conception of God like the conception of the most honest simple Christians today was clearly in spite of the theologians of a very exalted anthropomorphic personality away somewhere in heaven the personal appearance of the Christian God is described in the revelation and however much that description may be explained away by commentators as symbolical it is certainly taken by most straightforward believers as a statement of concrete reality now if we are going to insist upon this primary meaning of person and individual then certainly God as he is now conceived as not a person and not an individual the true God will never promenade and Eden or heaven nor sit upon a throne but current Christianity modern developments of Islam much Indian theological thought that for instance which has found such delicate and attractive expression in the devotional poetry of rabindranath tagore has long since abandoned this anthropomorphic insistence upon a body from the earliest ages man's mind has found little or no difficulty in the idea of something essential to the personality a soul or a spirit or both existing apart from the body and continuing after the destruction of the body and being still a person and an individual from this it is a small step to the thought of a person existing independently of any existing or pre-existing body that is the idea of theological Christianity as distinguished from the Christianity of simple faith the triune persons omnipresent omniscient and omnipotent exist for all time superior to and independent of matter they are supremely disembodied one became incarnate as a wind and he might take up a world of dust those who profess modern religion conceived that this is an excessive abstraction of the idea of spirituality a disembodiment of the idea of personality beyond the limits of the conceivable nevertheless they accept the conception that a person a spiritual individual may be without an ordinary mortal body they declare that God is without any specific body that he is immaterial that he can affect the material universe and that means that he can only reach our sight our hearing our touch through the bodies of those who believe in him and serve him his nature is of the nature of thought and will that only has he in his essence nothing to do with matter but nothing to do with space he is not of matter nor of space he comes into them since the period when all the great theologies that prevailed today were developed there have been great changes in the ideas of men towards the dimensions of time and space we owe to Kant the release from the rule of these ideas as essential ideas our modern psychology is alive to the possibility of being that has no extension in space at all even as our speculative geometry can entertain the possibility of dimensions fourth fifth and dimensions outside the three-dimensional universe of our experience and God being non spatial is not thereby banished to an infinite remoteness but brought nearer to us he is everywhere immediately at hand even as a fourth dimension would be everywhere immediately at hand he is a being of the minds and in the minds of men he is in immediate contact with all who apprehend him but modern religion declares that though he does not exist in matter or space he exists in time just as a current of thought may do that he changes and becomes more even as a man's purpose gathers itself together that somewhere in the dawning of mankind he had a beginning an awakening and that as mankind grows he grows with our eyes he looks out upon the universe he invades with our hands he lays hands upon it all our truth all our intentions and achievements he gathers to himself he is the undying human memory the increasing human will but this you may object is no more than saying that God is the collective mind and purpose of the human race you may declare that this is no god but merely the sum of mankind but those who believe in the new ideas very steadfastly deny that God is they say not an aggregate but a synthesis he is not merely the best of all of us but a being in himself composed of that but more than that as a temple is more than a gathering of stones or a regiment is more than an accumulation of men they point out that a man is made up of a great multitude of cells each equivalent to unicellular organism not one of those cells is he nor is he simply just the addition of all of them he is more than all of them you can take away these and these and these and he still remains and he can detach part of himself and treat it as if it were not himself just as a man may beat his breast or as Cranmer the martyr did thrust his hand into the flames a man is nonetheless himself because his hair is cut or his appendix removed or his leg amputated and take another image who bears affection for this or that spadeful of mud in my garden who cares a throb of the heart for all the tons of chalk in Kent or all the humps of limestone in Yorkshire but men love England which is made up of such things and so we think of God as a synthetic reality though he has neither body nor material parts and so too we may obey Him and listen to him though we think but lightly of the men whose hands or voices he sometimes uses and we may think of him as having moods and aspects as a man has and a consistency we call his character these are the theorizing about God these are statements to convey this modern idea of God this we say is the nature of the person whose will and thoughts we serve no one however who understands the religious life seeks conversion by argument first one must feel the need of God then one must form or receive an acceptable idea of God that much is no more than turning one's face to the east to see the coming of the Sun one may still doubt if that direction is the east or whether the Sun will rise the real coming of God is not that it is a change and irradiation of the mind everything is there as it was before only now it is aflame suddenly the light fills one's eyes and one knows that God has risen and that doubt has fled forever 3 God is youth the third thing to be told of true God is that God is youth God we hold began and is always beginning he looks forever into the future most of the old religions derived from a patriarchal phase God is in those systems the Ancient of Days I know of no Christian attempt to represent or symbolize God the Father which is not a bearded aged man white hair beard bearing wrinkles a hundred such symptoms of senile decay are there these marks of senility do not astonish our modern minds in the picture of God only because tradition and usage have blinded our eyes to the absurdity of a time-worn immortal jove – and Wotan our figures far past the prime of their vigor these are God's after the ancient habit of the human mind that turned perpetually backward for causes and reasons and saw all things to come as no more than the working out of fate of man's first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world and all our woe but the god of this new age we repeat looks not to our past but our future and if a figure may represent him it must be the figure of a beautiful youth already brave and wise but hardly come to his strength he should stand lightly on his feet in the morning time eager to go forward as though he had but newly arisen to a day that was still but a promise he should bear a sword that clean discriminating weapon his eyes should be as bright as swords his lips should fall apart with eagerness for the great adventure before him and he should be in very fresh and golden harness reflecting the Rising Sun death should still hang like mists and cloud banks and shadows in the valleys of the wide landscape about him there should be do upon the threads of gossamer and little leaves and blades of the turf at his feet for when we say God is love one of the sayings about God that have grown at the same time most trait and most sacred is that God is love this is a saying that deserves careful examination love is a word very loosely used there are people who will say they love new potatoes there are a multitude of loves of different colors and values there is the love of a mother for her child there is a love of brothers there is a love of youth and maiden and the love of husband and wife there is illicit love and the loved one bears one's home or one's country there are dog lovers and the loves of the Olympians and love which is a passion of jealousy love is frequently a mere blend of appetite and preference and maybe almost pure greed it may have scarcely any devotion nor be a whit self forgetful nor generous it is possible so to phrase things that the fruit of craving of a man for another man's wife may be been out to be a light from God yet about all the better sorts of love the sorts of love that people will call true love there is something of that same exaltation out of the narrow self that is the essential quality of the knowledge of God only while the exaltation of the love passion comes and goes the exaltation of religious passion comes to remain lovers are the windows by which we may look out of the prison of self but God is the open door by which we freely go and God never dies nor disappoints nor betrays the love of a woman and a man has usually and particularly in its earlier phases of excitement far too much desire far too much possessiveness and exclusiveness far too much distrust or forced trust and far too great a kindred with jealousy to be like the love of God the former is a dramatic relationship that drifts to a climax and then again seeks presently a climax and that may be satiated or fatigued but the latter is far more like the love of comrades or like the love of a man and woman who have loved and been through much trouble together who have hurt one another and forgiving and come to a complete and generous fellowship there was a strange and beautiful love that meant Elif that will spring up on battlefields between sorely wounded men and often they are men who have fought together so that they will do almost incredibly brave and tender things for one another though but recently they have been trying to kill each other there is often a pure exaltation of feeling between those who stand side-by-side manfully in any great stress these are the forms of love that perhaps come nearest to what we mean when we speak of the love of God that is man's a love of God but there is also something else there is the love God bears for man in the individual believer now this is not an indulgent instinctive and sacrificing love like the love of a woman for her baby it is a love of the captain for his men God must love his followers as a great captain loves his men who are so foolish so helpless in themselves so confiding and yet whose faith alone makes him possible it is an austere love the Spirit of God will not hesitate to send us to torment and bodily death and God waits for us for all of us who have the quality to reach him he has need of us as we of him he desires us and desires to make himself known to us when at last the individual breaks through the limiting darkness 'as to him the irradiation of that moment the smile and soul clasp is in God as well as in man he has won us from his enemy we come staggering through into the golden light of his kingdom to fight for his kingdom henceforth until at last we are altogether taken up into his being end of chapter 3rd parts 1 – for recording by William Tomko

God, the Invisible King | H. G. Wells | *Non-fiction, Religion | Book | English | 1/3

0: [00:00:00] – 00 — Preface

1: [00:16:14] – 01 –Ch First, Parts 1-3

2: [00:36:34] – 02 — Ch First, Parts 4-6

3: [00:53:14] – 03 — Ch Second, Parts 1-3

4: [01:08:49] – 04 — Ch Second, Parts 4-7

5: [01:27:39] – 05 — Ch Second, Parts 8-9

6: [01:38:19] – 06 — Ch Third, Parts 1-4

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Experiments In Sacred Geometry: Music Symbols
Articles
1
Experiments In Sacred Geometry: Music Symbols

Experiments In Sacred Geometry: Music Symbols FREE Meditation MP3: http://thespottydoggmethod.com Credits: Geometry Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SFKiIkBy28 Sacred Crates-Passion Fruit (Lucid Skeems) http://sacredcrates.bandcamp.com/album/lucid-skeems Sonic Loom presents the 4th Orbita Solaris Sacred Sequence http://www.sonic-loom.com Shamanic Dimensions 1 ★( Psychedelic Sacred Geometry Visuals +fibonacci Dark Goa) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPduEiP0kzQ The Sacred Geometry in 3D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6lo7ce1_m8 Links- Website- …

What Is Grace? | Why Jesus Brought Grace To Save Us | The Power In The Blood Of Jesus
Articles
3
What Is Grace? | Why Jesus Brought Grace To Save Us | The Power In The Blood Of Jesus

in the previous episode we learn about the mission that Christ came to fulfill during his first coming to the world and that he executed only two objectives to rescue us from sin and hell and to set us free from the enemy’s bondage we learned specifically that he came …