When a religion begins to ossify into a system of formulas and observances, those who protest in the name of heart-religion are not unfrequently known by the name of mystics.
Its object was to exhibit by means of certain formulas the way in which the products of agriculture, which is the only source of wealth, would in a state of perfect liberty be distributed among the several classes of the community (namely, the productive classes of the proprietors and cultivators of land, and the unproductive class composed of manufacturers and merchants), and to represent by other formulas the modes of distribution which take place under systems of Governmental restraint and regulation, with the evil results arising to the whole society from different degrees of such violations of the natural order.
This disagreement comes largely from the attempts made to find definitely expressed Greek philosophical dogmas in the book; such formulas it has not, but the general air of Greek reflection seems unmistakable.
He criticizes Harnack's theory that there existed in the East, that is, in Asia Minor, or in Asia Minor and Syria as far back as the beginning of the 2nd century, a Christological instruction (uiOmua) organically related to the second article of the Roman Creed, and formulas which taught that the " One God " was " Creator of heaven and earth," and referred to the holy prophetic spirit, and lasted on till they influenced the course of creed-development in the 4th century.
Though cherishing a strong antipathy to the received ecclesiastical formulas, Irving's great aim was to revive the antique style of thought and sentiment which had hardened into these formulas, and by this means to supplant the new influences, the accidental and temporary moral shortcomings of which he detected with instinctive certainty, but whose profound and real tendencies were utterly beyond the reach of his conjecture.