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Title: Religion and Theology: A Sermon for the Times - Preached in the Parish Church of Crathie, fifth September and in the College Church, St Andrews
Author: Tulloch, John, 1823-1886
Language: English
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RELIGION AND THEOLOGY

A SERMON FOR THE TIMES


PREACHED IN THE

PARISH CHURCH OF CRATHIE, 5TH SEPTEMBER

AND IN THE

COLLEGE CHURCH, ST ANDREWS

BY

JOHN TULLOCH, D.D.

PRINCIPAL AND PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY, ST MARY'S COLLEGE, IN THE
UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS, AND ONE OF HER MAJESTY'S
CHAPLAINS IN ORDINARY IN SCOTLAND


SECOND EDITION


WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
MDCCCLXXV



_WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR._


I.

HISTORY OF RATIONAL THEOLOGY

AND

CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY IN ENGLAND

IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

Second Edition, 2 vols. 8vo, £1, 8s.

    Edinburgh Review.

    The pleasure with which Principal Tulloch explores this
    comparatively unknown field communicates itself to his readers,
    and the academic groves of Oxford and Cambridge are invested
    with the freshness of a new glory.


    Athenæum.

    It is rich in pregnant and suggestive thought.


    Saturday Review.

    Here we must take our respectful leave of this large-minded,
    lively, and thoughtful work, which deserves to the full the
    acceptance it cannot fail to receive.


    Spectator.

    Every thoughtful and liberal Englishman who reads these volumes
    will feel that Principal Tulloch has laid him under obligations
    in writing them.


    British Quarterly Review.

    Ample scholarship, well-disciplined powers, catholic sympathies,
    and a masculine eloquence, give it a high place among modern
    contributions to theological science.


    Nonconformist.

    From his lively portraits they will learn to know some of the
    finest spirits England has produced; while from his able and
    comprehensive summaries of the works they left behind them, any
    reader of quick intelligence may acquaint himself with their
    leading thoughts.


II.

THEISM:

THE WITNESS OF REASON AND NATURE TO AN ALL-WISE AND BENEFICENT
CREATOR.

Octavo, 10s. 6d.

    Christian Remembrancer.

    Dr Tulloch's Essay, in its masterly statement of the real nature
    and difficulties of the subject, its logical exactness in
    distinguishing the illustrative from the suggestive, its lucid
    arrangement of the argument, its simplicity of expression, is
    quite unequalled by any work we have seen on the subject.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, EDINBURGH AND LONDON.



RELIGION AND THEOLOGY.

2 Cor. xi. 3.--"The simplicity that is in Christ."


There is much talk in the present time of the difficulties of
religion. And no doubt there is a sense in which religion is always
difficult. It is hard to be truly religious--to be humble, good, pure,
and just; to be full of faith, hope, and charity, so that our conduct
may be seen to be like that of Christ, and our light to shine before
men. But when men speak so much nowadays of the difficulties of
religion, they chiefly mean intellectual and not practical
difficulties. Religion is identified with the tenets of a Church
system, or of a theological system; and it is felt that modern
criticism has assailed these tenets in many vulnerable points, and
made it no longer easy for the open and well-informed mind to believe
things that were formerly held, or professed to be held, without
hesitation. Discussions and doubts which were once confined to a
limited circle when they were heard of at all, have penetrated the
modern mind through many avenues, and affected the whole tone of
social intelligence. This is not to be denied. For good or for evil
such a result has come about; and we live in times of unquiet
thought, which form a real and painful trial to many minds. It is not
my intention at present to deplore or to criticise this modern
tendency, but rather to point out how it may be accepted, and yet
religion in the highest sense saved to us, if not without struggle
(for that is always impossible in the nature of religion), yet without
that intellectual conflict for which many minds are entirely unfitted,
and which can never be said in itself to help religion in any minds.

The words which I have taken as my text seem to me to suggest a train
of thought having an immediate bearing on this subject. St Paul has
been speaking of himself in the passage from which the text is taken.
He has been commending himself--a task which is never congenial to
him. But his opponents in the Corinthian Church had forced this upon
him; and now he asks that he may be borne with a little in "his
folly." He is pleased to speak of his conduct in this way, with that
touch of humorous irony not unfamiliar to him when writing under some
excitement. He pleads with his old converts for so much indulgence,
because he is "jealous over them with a godly jealousy." He had won
them to the Lord. "I have espoused you," he says, "to one husband,
that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." This had been
his unselfish work. He had sought nothing for himself, but all for
Christ. That they should belong to Christ--as the bride to the
bridegroom--was his jealous anxiety. But others had come in betwixt
them and him--nay, betwixt them and Christ, as he believed--and
sought to seduce and corrupt their minds by divers doctrines. "I fear,
lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted from _the simplicity that is in
Christ_."

What the special corruptions from Christian simplicity were with which
the minds of St Paul's Corinthian converts were assailed, it is not
necessary for us now to inquire. Their special dangers are not likely
to be ours. What concerns us is the fact, that both St Paul and
Christ--his Master and ours--thought of religion as something simple.
Attachment to Christ was a simple personal reality, illustrated by the
tie which binds the bride, as a chaste virgin, to the bridegroom. It
was not an ingenuity, nor a subtilty, nor a ceremony. It involved no
speculation or argument. Its essence was personal and emotional, and
not intellectual. The true analogy of religion, in short, is that of
simple affection and trust. Subtilty may, in itself, be good or evil.
It may be applied for a religious no less than for an irreligious
purpose, as implied in the text. But it is something entirely
different from the "simplicity that is in Christ."

It is not to be supposed that religion is or can be ever rightly
dissociated from intelligence. An intelligent perception of our own
higher wants, and of a higher power of love that can alone supply
these wants, is of its very nature. There must be knowledge in all
religion--knowledge of ourselves, and knowledge of the Divine. It was
the knowledge of God in Christ communicated by St Paul that had made
the Corinthians Christians. But the knowledge that is essential to
religion is a simple knowledge like that which the loved has of the
person who loves--the bride of the bridegroom, the child of the
parent. It springs from the personal and spiritual, and not from the
cognitive or critical side of our being; from the heart, and not from
the head. Not merely so; but if the heart or spiritual sphere be
really awakened in us--if there be a true stirring of life here, and a
true seeking towards the light--the essence and strength of a true
religion may be ours, although we are unable to answer many questions
that may be asked, or to solve even the difficulties raised by our own
intellect.

The text, in short, suggests that there is a religious sphere,
distinct and intelligible by itself, which is not to be confounded
with the sphere of theology or science. This is the sphere in which
Christ worked, and in which St Paul also, although not so exclusively,
worked after Him. This is the special sphere of Christianity, or at
least of the Christianity of Christ.

And it is this, as it appears to us, important distinction to which we
now propose to direct your attention. Let us try to explain in what
respects the religion of Christ is really apart from those
intellectual and dogmatic difficulties with which it has been so much
mixed up.


I. It is so, first of all, in the comparatively simple order of facts
with which it deals. Nothing can be simpler or more comprehensive than
our Lord's teaching. He knew what was in man. He knew, moreover, what
was in God towards man as a living power of love, who had sent Him
forth "to seek and save the lost;" and beyond these great facts, of a
fallen life to be restored, and of a higher life of divine love and
sacrifice, willing and able to restore and purify this fallen life,
our Lord seldom traversed. Unceasingly He proclaimed the reality of a
spiritual life in man, however obscured by sin, and the reality of a
divine life above him, which had never forsaken him nor left him to
perish in his sin. He held forth the need of man, and the grace and
sacrifice of God on behalf of man. And within this double order of
spiritual facts His teaching may be said to circulate. He dealt, in
other words, with the great ideas of God and the soul, which can alone
live in Him, however it may have sunk away from Him. These were to Him
the realities of all life and all religion. There are those, I know,
in our day, to whom these ideas are mere assumptions--"dogmas of a
tremendous kind," to assume which is to assume everything. But with
this order of thought we have in the meantime nothing to do. The
questions of materialism are outside of Christianity altogether. They
were nothing to Christ, whose whole thought moved in a higher sphere
of personal love, embracing this lower world. The spiritual life was
to Him the life of reality and fact; and so it is to all who live in
Him and know in Him. The soul and God are, if you will, dogmas to
science. They cannot well be anything else to a vision which is
outside of them, and cannot from their very nature ever reach them.
But within the religious sphere they are primary experiences, original
and simple data from which all others come. And our present argument
is, that Christ dealt almost exclusively with these broad and simple
elements of religion, and that He believed the life of religion to
rest within them. He spoke to men and women as having souls to be
saved; and He spoke of Himself and of God as able and willing to save
them. This was the "simplicity" that was in Him.

Everywhere in the Gospels this simplicity is obvious. Our Lord came
forth from no school. There is no traditional scheme of thought lying
behind his words which must be mastered before these words are
understood. But out of the fulness of His own spiritual nature He
spoke to the spiritual natures around Him, broken, helpless, and
worsted in the conflict with evil as He saw them. "The Spirit of the
Lord is upon me," He said at the opening of His Galilean ministry,
"because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal
the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are
bruised."[1] These were the great realities that confronted Him in
life; and His mission was to restore the divine powers of humanity
thus everywhere impoverished, wounded, and enslaved. He healed the
sick and cured the maimed by His simple word. He forgave sins. He
spoke of good news to the miserable. All who had erred and gone out of
the way--who had fallen under the burthen, or been seduced by the
temptations, of life--He invited to a recovered home of righteousness
and peace. He welcomed the prodigal, rescued the Magdalene, took the
thief with Him to Paradise. And all this He did by His simple word of
grace: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest."[2] "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good
gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in
heaven give good things to them that ask Him!"[3]

This was the Christianity of Christ. This is the Gospel. It is the
essence of all religion--that we feel ourselves in special need or
distress, and that we own a Divine Power willing to give us what we
need, and to save us from our distress. Other questions outside of
this primary range of spiritual experience may be important. They are
not vital. What is the soul? What is the divine nature? What is the
Church? In what way and by what means does divine grace operate? What
is the true meaning of Scripture, and the character of its inspiration
and authority? Whence has man sprung, and what is the character of the
future before him? These are all questions of the greatest interest;
but they are questions of theology and not of religion. I do not say
that they have no bearing upon religion. On the contrary, they have a
significant bearing upon it. And your religion and my religion will be
modified and coloured by the answers we give or find to them. We
cannot separate the life and character of any man from his opinions.
It is nevertheless true that our religious life, or the force of
divine inspiration and peace within us, do not depend upon the answers
we are able to give to such questions.

It is the function of theology, as of other sciences, to ask
questions, whether it can answer them or not. The task of the
theologian is a most important one--whether or not it be, as has been
lately said,[4] "the noblest of all the tasks which it is given to the
human mind to pursue." None but a sciolist will depreciate such a
task; and none but a sceptic will doubt the value of the conclusions
which may be thus reached. But all this is quite consistent with our
position. The welfare of the soul is not involved in such matters as I
have mentioned. A man is not good or bad, spiritual or unspiritual,
according to the view he takes of them. Men may differ widely
regarding them, and not only be equally honest, but equally sharers of
the mind of Christ. And this is peculiarly the case with many
questions of the present day, such as the antiquity of man, the age
and genesis of the earth, the origin and authority of the several
books of Scripture. Not one of these questions, first of all, can be
answered without an amount of special knowledge which few possess; and
secondly, the answer to all of them must be sought in the line of
pure scientific and literary inquiry. Mere authority, if we could find
any such authority, would be of no avail to settle any of them. Modern
theology must work them out by the fair weapons of knowledge and
research, with no eye but an eye to the truth. Within this sphere
there is no light but the dry light of knowledge.

But are our spiritual wants to wait the solution of such questions? Am
I less a sinner, or less weary with the burden of my own weakness and
folly? Is Christ less a Saviour? Is there less strength and peace in
Him whatever be the answer given to such questions? Because I cannot
be sure whether the Pentateuch was written, as long supposed, by
Moses--or whether the fourth Gospel comes as it stands from the
beloved apostle--am I less in need of the divine teaching which both
these Scriptures contain? Surely not. That I am a spiritual being, and
have spiritual needs craving to be satisfied, and that God is a
spiritual power above me, of whom Christ is the revelation, are facts
which I may know or may not know, quite irrespective of such matters.
The one class of facts are intellectual and literary. The other are
spiritual if they exist at all. If I ever know them, I can only know
them through my own spiritual experience; but if I know them--if I
realise myself as a sinner and in darkness, and Christ as my Saviour
and the light of my life--I have within me all the genuine forces of
religious strength and peace. I may not have all the faith of the
Church. I may have many doubts, and may come far short of the
catholic dogma. But faith is a progressive insight, and dogma is a
variable factor. No sane man nowadays has the faith of the
medievalist. No modern Christian can think in many respects as the
Christians of the seventeenth century, or of the twelfth century, or
of the fourth century. No primitive Christian would have fully
understood Athanasius in his contest against the world. It was very
easy at one time to chant the Athanasian hymn--it is easy for some
still; but very hard for others. Are the latter worse or better
Christians on this account? Think, brethren, of St Peter and St Andrew
taken from their boats; of St Matthew as he sat at the receipt of
custom; of the good Samaritan; the devout centurion; of curious
Zaccheus; of the repentant prodigal; of St James, as he wrote that a
man is "justified by works, and not by faith only;"[5] of Apollos,
"mighty in the Scriptures," who "was instructed in the way of the
Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, spake and taught diligently the
things of the Lord," and yet who only knew "the baptism of John;"[6]
of the disciples at Ephesus who had "not so much as heard whether
there be any Holy Ghost;"[7] think of all the poor and simple ones who
have gone to heaven with Christ in their hearts, "the hope of glory,"
and yet who have never known with accuracy any Christian dogma
whatever,--and you can hardly doubt how distinct are the spheres of
religion and of theology, and how far better than all theological
definitions is the "honest and good heart," which, "having heard the
Word, keeps it, and brings forth fruit with patience."[8]


II. But religion differs from theology, not only in the comparatively
simple and universal order of the facts with which it deals, but also
because the facts are so much more verifiable in the one case than in
the other. They can so much more easily be found out to be true or
not. It has been sought of late, in a well-known quarter, to bring all
religion to this test--and the test is not an unfair one if
legitimately applied. But it is not legitimate to test spiritual facts
simply as we test natural facts; such facts, for example, as that fire
burns, or that a stone thrown from the hand falls to the ground. The
presumption of all supernatural religion is that there is a spiritual
or supernatural sphere, as real and true as the natural sphere in
which we continually live and move; and the facts which belong to this
sphere must be tested within it. Morality and moral conditions may be
so far verified from without. If we do wrong we shall finally find
ourselves in the wrong; and that there is a "Power not ourselves which
makes for righteousness" and which will not allow us to rest in wrong.
This constantly verified experience of a kingdom of righteousness is a
valuable basis of morality. But religion could not live or nourish
itself within such limits. It must rest, not merely on certain facts
of divine order, but on such personal relations as are ever uppermost
in the mind of St Paul, and are so clearly before him in this very
passage. Moreover, the higher experience which reveals to us a Power
of righteousness in the world, no less reveals to us the living
personal character of this Power. Shut out conscience as a true source
of knowledge, and the very idea of righteousness will disappear with
it--there will be nothing to fall back upon but the combinations of
intelligence, and such religion as may be got therefrom; admit
conscience, and its verifying force transcends a mere order or
impersonal power of righteousness. It places us in front of a living
Spirit who not only governs us righteously and makes us feel our
wrong-doing, but who is continually educating us and raising us to His
own likeness of love and blessedness. We realise not merely that there
is a law of good in the world, but a Holy Will that loves good and
hates evil, and against whom all our sins are offences in the sense of
the Psalmist: "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this
evil in Thy sight."

So much as this, we say, may be realised--this consciousness of sin on
the one hand, and of a living Righteousness and Love far more powerful
than our sins, and able to save us from them. These roots of religion
are deeply planted in human nature. They answer to its highest
experiences. The purest and noblest natures in whom all the impulses
of a comprehensive humanity have been strongest, have felt and owned
them. The missionary preacher, wherever he has gone--to the rude
tribes of Africa, or the cultured representatives of an ancient
civilisation--has appealed to them, and found a verifying response to
his preaching. St Paul, whether he spoke to Jew, or Greek, or Roman,
found the same voices of religious experience echoing to his call--the
same burden of sin lying on human hearts--the same cry from their
depths, "What must I do to be saved?" It is not necessary to maintain
that these elements of the Christian religion are verifiable in every
experience. It is enough to say that there is that in the Gospel which
addresses all hearts in which spiritual thoughtfulness and life have
not entirely died out. It lays hold of the common heart. It melts with
a strange power the highest minds. Look over a vast audience; travel
to distant lands; communicate with your fellow-creatures
anywhere,--and you feel that you can reach them, and for the most part
touch them, by the story of the Gospel--by the fact of a Father in
heaven, and a Saviour sent from heaven, "that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish, but have eternal life."[9] Beneath all
differences of condition, of intellect, of culture, there is a common
soul which the Gospel reaches, and which nothing else in the same
manner reaches.

Now, in contrast to all this, the contents of any special theology
commend themselves to a comparatively few minds. And such hold as
they have over these minds is for the most part traditionary and
authoritative, not rational or intelligent. There can be no vital
experience of theological definitions, and no verification of them,
except in the few minds who have really examined them, and brought
them into the light of their own intelligence. This must always be
the work of a few--of what are called schools of thought, here and
there. It is only the judgment of the learned or thoughtful
theologian that is really of any value on a theological question.
Others may assent or dissent. He alone knows the conditions of the
question and its possible solution. Of all the absurdities that have
come from the confusion of religion and theology, none is more absurd
or more general than the idea that one opinion on a theological
question--any more than on a question of natural science--is as good
as another. The opinion of the ignorant, of the unthoughtful, of the
undisciplined in Christian learning, is simply of no value whatever
where the question involves--as it may be said every theological
question involves--knowledge, thought, and scholarship. The mere
necessity of such qualities for working the theological sphere, and
turning it to any account, places it quite apart from the religious
sphere. The one belongs to the common life of humanity, the other to
the school of the prophets. The one is for you and for me, and for
all human beings; the other is for the expert--the theologian--who
has weighed difficulties and who understands them, if he has not
solved them.


III. But again, religion differs from theology in the comparative
uniformity of its results. The ideal of religion is almost everywhere
the same. "To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with God."[10]
"Pure religion" (or pure religious service) "and undefiled, before God
and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."[11] Where
is it not always the true, even if not the prevalent type of religion,
to be good and pure, and to approve the things that are excellent?
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise, think on these things" and do them, says
the apostle,[12] "and the God of peace shall be with you." Christians
differ like others in intellect, disposition, and temperament. They
differ also so far, but never in the same degree, in spiritual
condition and character. To be a Christian is in all cases to be saved
from guilt, to be sustained by faith, to be cleansed by divine
inspiration, to depart from iniquity. There may be, and must be, very
varying degrees of faith, hope, and charity; but no Christian can be
hard in heart, or impure in mind, or selfish in character. With much
to make us humble in the history of the Christian Church, and many
faults to deplore in the most conspicuous Christian men, the same
types of divine excellences yet meet us everywhere as we look along
the line of the Christian centuries--the heroism of a St Paul, an
Ignatius, an Origen, an Athanasius, a Bernard, a Luther, a Calvin, a
Chalmers, a Livingstone; the tender and devout affectionateness of a
Mary, a Perpetua, a Monica; the enduring patience and self-denial of
an Elizabeth of Hungary, a Mrs Hutcheson, a Mrs Fry; the beautiful
holiness of a St John, a St Francis, a Fenelon, a Herbert, a Leighton.
Under the most various influences, and the most diverse types of
doctrine, the same fruits of the Spirit constantly appear--"Love, joy,
peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance."[13]

All this sameness in diversity disappears when we turn to theology.
The differences in this case are radical. They are not diversities of
gifts with the same spirit, but fundamental antagonisms of thought. As
some men are said to be born Platonists, and some Aristotelians, so
some are born Augustinians, and some Pelagians or Arminians. These
names have been strangely identified with true or false views of
Christianity. What they really denote is diverse modes of Christian
thinking, diverse tendencies of the Christian intellect, which repeat
themselves by a law of nature. It is no more possible to make men
think alike in theology than in anything else where the facts are
complicated and the conclusions necessarily fallible. The history of
theology is a history of "variations;" not indeed, as some have
maintained, without an inner principle of movement, but with a
constant repetition of oppositions underlying its necessary
development. The same, contrasts continually appear throughout its
course, and seem never to wear themselves out. From the beginning
there has always been the broader and the narrower type of thought--a
St Paul and St John, as well as a St Peter and St James; the doctrine
which leans to the works, and the doctrine which leans to grace; the
milder and the severer interpretations of human nature and of the
divine dealings with it--a Clement of Alexandria, an Origen and a
Chrysostom, as well as a Tertullian, an Augustine, and a Cyril of
Alexandria, an Erasmus no less than a Luther, a Castalio as well as a
Calvin, a Frederick Robertson as well as a John Newman. Look at these
men and many others equally significant on the spiritual side as they
look to God, or as they work for men, how much do they resemble one
another! The same divine life stirs in them all. Who will undertake to
settle which is the truer Christian? But look at them on the
intellectual side and they are hopelessly disunited. They lead rival
forces in the march of Christian thought--forces which may yet find a
point of conciliation, and which may not be so widely opposed as they
seem, but whose present attitude is one of obvious hostility. Men may
meet in common worship and in common work, and find themselves at one.
The same faith may breathe in their prayers, and the same love fire
their hearts. But men who think can never be at one in their thoughts
on the great subjects of the Christian revelation. They may own the
same Lord, and recognise and reverence the same types of Christian
character, but they will differ so soon as they begin to define their
notions of the Divine, and draw conclusions from the researches either
of ancient or of modern theology. Of all the false dreams that have
ever haunted humanity, none is more false than the dream of catholic
unity in this sense. It vanishes in the very effort to grasp it, and
the old fissures appear within the most carefully compacted structures
of dogma.

Religion, therefore, is not to be confounded with theology, with
schemes of Christian thought--nor, for that part of the matter, with
schemes of Christian order. It is not to be found in any set of
opinions or in any special ritual of worship. The difficulties of
modern theology, the theories of modern science (when they are really
scientific and do not go beyond ascertained facts and their laws),
have little or nothing to do with religion. Let the age of the earth
be what it may (we shall be very grateful to the British Association,
or any other association, when it has settled for us how old the earth
is, and how long man has been upon the face of it); let man spring in
his physical system from some lower phase of life; let the Bible be
resolved into its constituent sources by the power of modern analysis,
and our views of it greatly change, as indeed they are rapidly
changing,--all this does not change or destroy in one iota the
spiritual life that throbs at the heart of humanity, and that
witnesses to a Spiritual Life above. No science, truly so-called, can
ever touch this or destroy it, for the simple reason that its work is
outside the spiritual or religious sphere altogether. Scientific
presumption may suggest the delusiveness of this sphere, just as in
former times religious presumption sought to restrain the inquiries of
science. It may, when it becomes ribald with a fanaticism far worse
than any fanaticism of religion, assail and ridicule the hopes which,
amidst much weakness, have made men noble for more than eighteen
Christian centuries. But science has no voice beyond its own province.
The weakest and the simplest soul, strong in the consciousness of the
divine within and above it, may withstand its most powerful assaults.
The shadows of doubt may cover us, and we may see no light. The
difficulties of modern speculation may overwhelm us, and we may find
no issue from them. If we wait till we have solved these difficulties
and cleared away the darkness, we may wait for ever. If your religion
is made to depend upon such matters, then I do not know what to say to
you in a time like this. I cannot counsel you to shut your minds
against any knowledge. I have no ready answers to your questions, no
short and easy method with modern scepticism. Inquiry must have its
course in theology as in everything else. It is fatal to intelligence
to talk of an infallible Church, and of all free thought in reference
to religion as deadly rationalism to be shunned. Not to be rational in
religion as in everything else is simply to be foolish, and to throw
yourself into the arms of the first authority that is able to hold
you. In this as in other respects you must "work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling," remembering that it is "God which
worketh in you." You must examine your own hearts; you must try
yourselves whether there be in you the roots of the divine life. If
you do not find sin in your hearts and Christ also there as the
Saviour from sin, then you will find Him nowhere. But if you find Him
there, Christ within you as He was within St. Paul,--your
righteousness, your life, your strength in weakness, your light in
darkness, the "hope of glory" within you, as He was all this to the
thoughtful and much-tried apostle,--then you will accept difficulties
and doubts, and even the despairing darkness of some intellectual
moments, when the very foundations seem to give way--as you accept
other trials; and looking humbly for higher light, you will patiently
wait for it, until the day dawn and the shadows flee away.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Luke, iv. 18.

[2] Matthew, xi. 28.

[3] Matthew, vii. 11.

[4] Mr Gladstone, 'Contemporary Review,' July, p. 194.

[5] James, ii. 24.

[6] Acts, xviii. 24, 25.

[7] Acts, xix. 2.

[8] Luke, viii. 15.

[9] John, iii. 15.

[10] Micah, vi. 8.

[11] James, i. 27.

[12] Philippians, iv. 8, 9.

[13] Galatians, v. 22, 23.


PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS.





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