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THOUGH the plan of this volume may be manifest in its pages, it may yet be not amiss to state it. Of course I could have prepared the narrative of Dr. Martineau's life and followed it with an analysis of his teaching, intent upon nothing more than a just account of his labors; and this is what I contemplated when I set about the task. As I meditated, however, the thought occurred to me that I might make the volume not only an account of Dr. Martineau, but also an utterance of my own mind; and these two aims have ruled my labor. In saying this, I hope I do not need to say that, save in love and reverence, the disciple does not place himself beside his master. I only imply that the disciple is other than his master, and interprets him from his own mind and heart.
This twofold aim may explain to some a frequent feature of the page, a mingling with exposition of much that is extra-expository. There is another feature, too, of which it is the explanation. In dealing with the problems of thought, it made necessary the treatment of them at first hand. This necessity brought me to the study of Dr. Martineau in his teachers, – the masters of Tübingen, the great moralists, the great philosophers, who appear somewhat conspicuously in the perspective of these pages.
Conceiving my task thus, I was happily, in the general bias of my mind, fairly well prepared to execute it without controversy with my master. Indeed I am not sure that my thought has not been too accordant with his for the best result of a critical study of him. His admonition to me, “Be sure that you do not spare me,” has sometimes come back to me almost as a reproof for not finding more in him to dissent from. However, the Empirical type of philosophy, never more than a tentative in my mind, long ago ceased to be even that; and Utilitarian ethics had always seemed to me at best to provide only rules of conduct, never standards of character. Thus on the one hand. On the other, the latter-day Idealism, though taught me by a teacher whom I must always revere, and met in books altogether admirable, had never laid a spell upon me. Accordingly, I was prepared to receive as they came the Types of Ethical Theory and the Study of Religion; and, coming at length to the discussion of their problems, I found their cardinal teachings my own working convictions. In the domain of Christian Theology, too, Dr. Martineau had long been a leader whom I was well content to follow, while his peculiar ecclesiasticism was an ideal of my mind before I met it in his pages.
When I came to the Seat of Authority in Religion, the cardinal features of his New Testament criticism w too familiar to be disturbing; and, though I had long wished for ample assurance that John wrote the Fourth Gospel, my studies had made me more and more doubtful if he could have done so.
On the Messianic question, however, I was thrown for a time into an attitude of dissent: Dr. Martineau's contention that Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah
for a time seemed incredible, and I girded myself for something like a debate with him. Collating, however, the Synoptic texts which bear upon this problem, I soon found that my own affirmative position was not without difficulties; and at length, meditating the great declaration at Cæsarea Philippi, the general truthfulness of Dr. Martineau's theory was irresistibly borne in upon me. Thus I have toiled on, as serenely satisfied with Dr. Martineau as was John Fiske with Herbert Spencer when he wrote the eloquent volumes of his Cosmic Philosophy.
A work like this, dealing with a teacher of so vast a range, must necessarily be selective in its character: it can deal with but few of the themes that invite consideration. In the present volume even of the themes selected and studiously treated, by no means all are offered. Among other discarded manuscripts my mind turns regretfully to a lengthy and toilsome discussion of the Types of Ethical Theory. My publishers, undoubtedly wiser than I, conceived that it were better to compress the two volumes I had prepared into one, and so this was left out because it could be spared.
My thanks are due to Longmans, Green & Co., of London, for their kind permission to quote according to my need from the Seat of Authority and the Essays, Reviews, and Addresses, of which they are the publishers. The like grateful acknowledgment is also due the Clarendon Press of Oxford for their permission to use in like manner the Study of Religion and the Types of Ethical Theory. I gratefully remember, too, a group of ministers in Boston in the smile of whose sympathy and most cordial helpfulness my task has been performed;
also the children of Dr. Martineau for the valuable assistance they have given me. There are others who have variously aided me; they will doubt not that I remember their kindness, though I do not name them.
The labor that here closes has been the happiness of many hours and the comfort of some pain; and I send it forth in the hope that it may draw some to the further contemplation of the great intellect and soul to which it is devoted.
A. W. JACKSON.