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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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is a term which, like the preceding (i.e. OBJECT), is much used in scholastic theology for the purpose of expressing that phase of anything which comprehends its existence, but of excluding that phase of anything which comprehends our knowledge of it. Thus applied, the energy of thought may be objectively directed towards the Divine Nature: Objectively by contemplation of the Divine Nature as in itself, and not as in its relation to us; i.e. our contemplation of it as "non ego;" subjectively, on the other hand, by contemplation of the Divine Nature as it forms part of a system, of which "Ego" is the starting-point, if not the center. Applying the illustration to faith, it will be seen that Objective faith looks to that in which we believe; Subjective faith to that with which we believe: the first being that phase of belief in God, e.g. which fixes its gaze on God as its object; while the second is that phase of faith which sees the believer in God, and the operation of his mind in believing. Or again, the first represents a dogma, the second a faculty. In the same manner the terms may be applied to worship. Objective worship is adoration in its purest and most unselfish form; adoration of God as its object, without reference to the person adoring. Subjective worship, on the other hand, is praise, prayer, or thanksgiving offered for the advantage of the subject, that is, the person worshipping. For a full account of the history and use of the words, see notes at the end of Hamilton's edition of Reid's Works (Edinb. 1846).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Objective'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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