xi A SYNTHETIC PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING 423
continuity and finality in its doctrine of Divine Providence Whose essential characteristics are wisdom, goodness and love.
The Christian ideal of holiness proceeds directly from this theocentric attitude to life. Man exists to worship God by the offering of a loving and intelligent conformity to His Will. Worship is the orientation of life Godwards, and Christian morals are rooted in a personal relationship between God and man. This is man's vocation and the first and greatest commandment.
Such a course of life is rightly called virtuous, since it consists in the practice of the virtues ; and it may be called, with equal justification, the fulfilment of duty, since it is man's bounden duty, as a being capable of recognizing moral and spiritual values, to make a fitting response to the Source and Centre of all values. Yet the pursuit of Christian virtue is not the cultivation of a self-centred moral athleticism ; nor is the fulfilment of Christian duty to be thought of as merely the exact performance of a system of imposed precepts. Rather, the Christian mode of life is the personal answer of a son to the guidance of a Father Whose wisdom and love are absolute, and therefore to be trusted without reserve. In that obedience is perfect freedom, because it is the liberation of the soul from everything that thwarts its fulfilment. Cut servire est regnare " : that is Christian ideal and Christian holiness. As Rudolf Allers has put it, ' There is really one virtue humble volitional conformity to the Will of God and only one sin defiance of God's Will ' * (p. 238).
Inseparably connected with the theocentric ethic of Christianity is man's love of his fellow-men. The Christian's love of God must not be interpreted in any individualistic way. The Christian life is not ' the flight of the alone to the Alone ', nor is it completely true