As One Whole -- By: Bascom

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 068:272 (Oct 1911)
Article: As One Whole
Author: Bascom


As One Whole

President Bascom, D.D.

The most comprehensive and the most practical question that the reflective mind can ask is, Do Wisdom and Goodness lie at the basis of the world? As wisdom and goodness are associated with personality, this question resolves itself into the inquiry of the being of God. Is the poise of the universe resolvable into a balance of things, or is it a reconciliation of thoughts? Wisdom and goodness are inseparable as the attributes of mind. They flow in the same channels. We cannot accept wisdom as the source of all things unless ‘we also accept goodness as working with it. Wisdom that did not issue in goodness would be in conflict with itself, unable to reach welfare.

A great difficulty men have met in connection with the being of God has arisen from the fact that they have looked at things disjointedly, putting some narrow relation in the foreground and greatly exaggerating its importance. This method at once breaks up the flow of events and renders them fitful and disturbing. Evil is eradicated by growth, and the conditions of this growth must not be overlooked. The presence of suffering is the problem which confronts wisdom, and the handling of these critical conditions is the task which falls to goodness. The disturbance lies in the passions of men, and to the solution of this problem the

divine attributes are called out. The possibility of suffering is found in the nature of man not yet trained into harmony, and it is the defects and faults that spring up in this connection that at once draw our attention.

The things open to criticism in the world are so numerous and conspicuous that it becomes easy to frame reasons for plausible fault-finding, and impossible to correct these opinions without widening the view and restoring the eye to the fundamental principles involved in the government of the world. A ‘landscape is not to be judged ‘by a marsh here, or rocks heaped up there, but by the hundred things which enter into its composition. One may understand the course of a river in spite of its bends and twists. The general bearing may be plain, though it seems to be frequently contradicted.

Nor is it impossible to judge the trend of events though often laid aside. The general history of the world is much clearer than are the relations to each other of many events which have taken place in it. We know the discipline of life, the emphasis laid on courage, insight, patience. Regard as lightly as we may the virtues of men, they all find exercise in the events which come to them. Circumstances that seem untoward are constantly leading to success. The training of the world goes forward in spite of indolence and wayward tendencies. W...

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