Then you come to a new aspect. The people of Israel are scattered; they are carried away captives into Babylon. They come into touch with the great Theologies of the East, and then a new view of God is taken by their writers. You may draw a line in the Hebrew Old Testament between the post-Babylon, and the pre-Babylon views of God. That is done now by every scholar. The pre-Babylon view is that of the Tribal God, one among many; the post-Babylon view is the sublime conception drawn from a great eastern faith, and then we find poetic and splendid phrases regarding God. He is the “High and Lofty One who inhabiteth Eternity, whose Name is Holy”. There you have a spiritual thought. You are no longer within the region of the tribal Gods. You are out of the region of the local Deities; you have passed on into a great and spiritual world, where God inhabits Eternity, and where, in another splendid phrase, it is written: “God made man in the image of His own Eternity.” There you have the later conception, there the God Universal; and with that, one remarkable fact that you must never forget, that in the later writing God is recognised not as what we call the Author of good only, but the Author of evil also. It is written in the Prophet Isaiah: “I am the Lord, and there is none else; I form the light and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.” It is written again: “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” You must realise that where God is seen as “the One,” when there is “none else,” then He is the Author of all, and not only of the particular line of narrow morality that belongs to the evolving human kind. So also in the _Bhagavaḍ-Gīṭā_ you find the phrase of Shrī Kṛṣhṇa: “I am the gambling of the cheat.” I shall come back to that in order to point out to you its meaning, but at the moment I only ask you to remember that in what is now called the Christian Bible, not in the Hebrew part of it only, but in the Christian part as well, you find that same conception of one “Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” that shows itself in every form, that cannot be divorced from anything that exists. And so, in a very splendid psalm, again post-Babylon, you have the psalmist saying: “If I go up into Heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there also; if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy Hand guide me, and Thy Right Hand lead me.” Heaven or Hell, what are they? passing phenomena of human evolution. If God is found in Heaven, he is also found in Hell; only in Heaven he is the Bliss of Unity with the Law; in Hell He is the Pain of Law disregarded, and that, in order that by the suffering caused by the onward rush of the disregarded Law, He may teach the lesson of obedience to the Law, the lesson which the man refused to learn by precept, and must therefore, for his own future safety, learn by experience. Now that idea is eastern. When the Christians wrote the New Testament, they narrowed this profound idea of God.
They brought also, those post-Babylon Jews, they brought also the Babylonian conception of an Evil Spirit over against the Good, the great idea in Zoroastrianism of the opposition between Hormazd and Ahriman, that coloured all the Christian concepts. The Satan of Christianity, the Satan of the Christians, is the Ahriman of the Zoroastrians. And so also with the Eblis of the Musulmāns. He is the enemy of God. There you come down, as it were, to the planes of practice. Two forces quarrel for the mastery and we call them good and evil, recognising the duality of the flesh and the Spirit. We take that duality, and we put one over against the other. We forget that the flesh is necessary for the unfolding of the Spirit. We forget that matter is the necessary field in which the Seed of Divinity shall develop into the manifest God, and so we lose the Unity. We live in the realm of duality, and we make opposites, as they are in practical life, of those two sides of Deity, the Spirit that informs, the matter that makes action possible. Zarathushtra has, behind his duality, that “Boundless Space” which is really the description of the all-enveloping nature of God Universal; and when we deal with Hinḍūism, we find there the explanation of those rather fragmentary truths that come down to us along other lines. We have finally that terrible blunder of the Christian, who makes God, all love–as in truth He is–giving forth from Himself–for He is the only creator, One, “there is none else”–the Spirit Satan, who is the embodiment of hatred; and you find, finally, that in the great struggle, according to the common Christian belief–which intellectual Christians are outgrowing, you must not forget–you find in the final result of the struggle, that it is not God, but Satan that is the conqueror, for “the bottomless pit” is full to overflowing, while Heaven is a city with walls around it, and with a comparatively limited number of inhabitants. But that is not the deeper teaching of Christianity; it is the crude popular view. If you go through the writings of S. Paul, what is written there? You find it is written that the day shall come when the Son, who is God, shall be “subject to Him who put all things under Him, and God shall be all in all”–God in Satan, God in Hell, God in the wicked, evolving them to righteousness. And so in the very centre of the Christian teaching you find that “God is all and in all,” and is it not also written in _Al Qurān_, which largely reflects the popular necessary teachings of the time, is it not written by the great Prophet of Arabia, that “All shall perish, save His Face”? Everywhere is God; God is everything; in everything He is the ultimate good, the inevitable fate of man.