The Message and Ministrations of Dewan Bahadur R. Venkata Ratnam, volume 2/Chapter 9

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

IX
THEISTIC CATHOLICITY AND SYNTHESIS.
(1891)


Our idea of God is the mould in which all our beliefs are cast. It is the axis around which our whole working faith revolves; it is the nucleus aroud which all our "first principles" cluster. From it our thoughts take their particular shape or turn; to it our emotions owe their comparative range and refinement. Indeed, rightly understood and firmly grasped, it forms the true basis of our knowledge and our judgment; for so closely does our cenception of the Deity weave itself into the texture of our entire intelligent life that from it every single idea derives its respective strength or charm. The twin principles of Catholicity and Synthesis, which constitute two of the noteworthy characteristics of Theism, are thus the natural implications of the Theistic conception of God.

The Fatherhood of God is the compelling cause of Theistic Catholicity. It is as the Parent of one and all that God is no respecter of persons but is the personal Teacher, Guide and Saviour of every soul. In His house there are no "untouchables"; from His banquet there are no "outcasts." His providence is limitless in its reach; His mercy embraces the whole creation. The witnesses of His wisdom have spoken in all ages; the "decalogue" of His goodness is engraved on all hearts; and He is the prime source of truth, wherever disclosed. Every soul is the direct offspring of the Deity; and with Her own hand the Divine Mother feedeth all Her children, each according to its own needs and capacities. The treasures of God's truth are the equal 'heritage' of tall mankind; and His is the holy inspiration to whichever soul imparted. Hence, Theim welcomes the light of truth, of wisdom and of goodness from whichever quarter shed.

Again, the Unity of God is the ground-work, the "nexus," of Theistic Synthesis. God is abslolulely one—one in person, one in design, one in love. In Him there is, there can be, no mutability or partiality. Consequently, His truth is one, uniform, self-consistent. To whatever age revealed, in whichever region proclaimed, His truth partakes of His own nature, is absolutely one, and is characterised by His own power, wisdom, goodness and holiness. Various aspects of His truth may have been disclosed to men at different times and under diverse circumstances; but the many phases of His truth naturally and readily cohere into one whole, as being mutually supplementary or explanatory. Whatever declines to enter into His harmony, whatever refuses to assort into this unity, whatever tends to or results in narrowness, in ignorance, in exclusiveness, or in impurity, is, to that extent, not of heaven heavenly, but of earth earthy. To that degree, it has the "brand" of untruth upon it; and, to that degree, it should t»e boldly and promptly cast aside. When the tares of man's sowing should thus be weeded out, the garden of God's truth would be a real Eden—the eternal abode of God.

It is the confluence of these two vital principles of Catholicity and Synthesis that gives to Theism its breadth of outlook and its continuity of progress. Without Catholicity, it would be too narrow for our growth; without Synthesis, too chaotic for our trust and hope. It may be that unto "sectaries" its Catholicity will appear a confounding vagary; as to "free-thinkers" its Synthesis will seem a relic of ancient bigotry. But unto the eye of faith in a living and loving God, Theism, as the resultant expression of the joint work of these two vital principles, is the "whitest" spiritual light into which close, as in a heavenly harmony, the varied charms of the rainbow.