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It is singular that the first and great commandment includes the claim: to love God with all the mind. When Jesus holds the high ideal before 208 us, to love God with the heart and with the soul, we understand it at once; for these are disposed to love. But how can we love with the mind? The mind has been given us to think, to ponder and to understand. How can it be an organ of love, an instrument on which love can play its holy melodies? As a rule it does not impress us, because in reading this commandment no attention is paid to it.

No account is made of it. The task of investigating the several parts of this first and great commandment is not taken seriously. In reading it over hastily we take it to mean that we should use the mind in the service of God, and leave the heart and the soul the task to love. But this is not so. It does not say that the mind must serve God; that we must direct our thought to God; that with the mind we must come to a clear confession of God, nor how we should direct the working of the mind to God. It declares clearly and plainly that with the mind we must love God. Jesus includes all religion in the one great idea of love, which love must penetrate and pervade every part of our human personality. From the soul it must have dominion not only in the heart, but also in the mind, and must bring it to pass that all our vital forces are led by this one supreme motive of love for God.

The mind here does not mean simply logical thought, clear judgment and learned concepts, but the whole glorious endowment of our consciousness, including representation, imagination and intellectual activity.

'Powers" are also at work in nature. Far stronger powers than in us. But though nature 209 is alive, it is unconscious. And though we are aware of some consciousness in the more highly domesticated animals, it is exceedingly weak with the best of them. The glory of conscious life, which is only perfect in God, is found in man alone, because with respect to this also he has been created after the Divine image. Consciousness may not reach by far its highest development in some people. With the insane it is sadly disturbed. But the most unfortunate idiot clearly shows the unspeakable greatness of the gift of consciousness, of self-consciousness, and of a conscious life which even the ordinary man has received from God. Hence we have no right to estimate it as inferior to the heart. And all religion that would confine the service of God solely to the heart, and to good works, to the exclusion of this glorious human consciousness, cripples itself, robs God, and is bound to degenerate into pseudo-religion.

This shows at once that it is the Christian duty of human science to direct itself to God, and that not only a part of it, such as Theology, should take the knowledge of God for its object, and leave no path untrod in which it can enrich itself, but that science as a whole, and everywhere, should exhibit the glory of God. All science, however much disciplined and learned, that leaves God out of count, that awakens doubt about his existence, or dares to deny him, is no science but sin. It sins against the great commandment that with all the mind we should first of all love God. And since it is at variance with every idea of love to pass its object by with indifference, or to ignore it altogether, it follows that the scientist, 210 who in his science does not feel himself drawn to God, and with his scientific knowledge, does not before all else seek God and his glory, breaks the great commandment. And this is the curse that rests so heavily on the science of our times that it does not feel in its veins the pulse-beat of love for God, and that it behaves itself as though the great commandment, to love God with all the mind, had never been given.

The same applies to our doctrinal standards. The priests of science are only few in number, but every man is called to confess the faith. It is not difficult to understand what this means. Every man has a conviction, a system of principal ideas from which he starts out, a world of thoughts, however small, by which he lives, for which he contends, and from which he acts. By saying, therefore, that every man is called to make confession, we mean that no man should hold godless convictions of life, but that in every life-view God should be the center; that this world-view should cleave unto God, go out from and return to him again; and that everything else in this life-view must adapt itself to the love, the ardent love, for God which it claims.

Not every man can make this clear for himself. In every other particular the world derives its great ideas and representations from knowledge that has been handed down by past generations. With its confession of the ages, therefore, the Church of Christ simply comes in as an aid to the ordinary man. In the Church, with respect to the knowledge of God, every man receives the results of age-long experiences of faith. And no national conditions can be healthy 211 and normal, save as the rank and file of the people take the confessional standards of the Church as the starting point of their views and convictions of life. Hence it is ruinous to love for God with "all the mind," when Christian confessions are left out from a man's convictions of life, and when it is falsely preached that everything depends upon the mysticism of the love of the heart and upon the act of the will. He who drives this propaganda impoverishes the love for God, by excluding from it all the mind, and does not tread in the footsteps of Jesus, but diametrically and directly opposes his supreme command.

With this, however, love for God with all the mind has not yet reached its limit. Apart from science and Christian confessions there is the ordinary daily consciousness, the activity of the mind in daily avocations, in social intercourse, in plans we make, in lines of action which we lay out for ourselves, in intentions which we foster, in reading, in thoughts about persons and affairs, in representations, in imaginations, in appreciation of art and literature, in review of the past and in outlook upon the future. All this together forms the many-sided activity of our consciousness; it is the daily sphere of activity of all the mind; the school and workshop of our thought, study and contemplation; and all this can go on either without God, or continuously and at every point it can be inspired and ruled by the thought of God, and by the love of his name.

With every one of us, therefore, Jesus claims all this for God. It is his will that love for God 212 shall not only lead, direct and rule us in all this, but also that from an inner impulse all this shall form and clothe itself in the way which we know and understand is well-pleasing unto God. Above all else it is his will that we do this not from a sense of duty, because we must, though of ourselves we would like to do otherwise; and not for the sake of escape from the wrath to come or of earning heaven thereby; but from love, purely from love for God, because for the sake of God we can no longer allow ourselves to use this costly gift of our consciousness in ways that will grieve God.

And though, as we think of all this, we may realize that in actual life we are still far distant from this high ideal, in reading and re-reading the great commandment the true child of God will be arrested in his course by this claim also, that he must love God with all the mind. He will seek to control his conscious life far differently than before. And if he succeeds in making his love for God more evident in all his thoughts and in all his plans, the deeper experience of the love of God will be his daily gain, and in his inmost self secret fellowship with the Eternal will become ever more sweetly known.

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