Month: May 2011

The contention of reasonable Christian men

The contention of reasonable Christian men is not that they are under an obligation to believe certain doctrines, whether rational or not, but that, on the whole, the truths of the Christian religion appear to them the best induction that can be made from the facts open to our observation in the religious and moral world; and that in matters not open to our observation we have the strongest reasons ever afforded to trust that Master and those teachers by whom assurances respecting the unseen and the future have been conveyed to us.

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There are thousands of Christians who see the difficulties

I should say that such a state of mind is one of very painful trial, and should be treated as such; that it is a state of mental disease, which like many others is aggravated by talking about it, and that he is in great danger of losing his perception of moral truth as well as of intellectual, of wishing Christianity to be false as well as of being unable to be convinced that it is true. There are thousands of Christians who see the difficulties which he sees quite as clearly as he does, and who long as eagerly as he can do for that time when they shall know, even as they are known. But then they see clearly the difficulties of unbelief, and know that even intellectually they are far greater.

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Criticism has no certain test

Let us say at once, that it appears to us absolutely chimerical to pretend to distinguish, with any degree of certainty, the primitive elements of our Gospels from those subsequently added. The most eminent critics, if guided only by their individual appreciation of texts, and unbiassed by any tradition, come to the most various conclusions upon the same passages.

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