Custom essay writing online

Is it the whole belief of the Church as such that is thus dissevered from the faith and the wants of the age? Or is it merely that such moral defects exist in a particular party, or extend to only the manner in which the truth is taught? It custom essay writing online is quite possible, — and in an age of thought and of discovery must needs be the case, — that a large amount of un- reasoning, unsifted belief in the bulk of mankind will enshrine the particular opinions of a previous genera- tion, and its errors among them, in a religious reve- rence, long after the more learned of individual en- quirers have renounced those errors. Again, it is very possible, that when the life of a religious movement is pretty nigh exhausted, and its existence has become rather one of opposition to more living movements of a later date, — when a theological school has outgrown the conditions which called it into existence and made it the real supply to a true want, — the peculiar forms of speech that once had, but now have lost, a real meaning, shall nevertheless retain a traditional and customary acceptance, and be defended with a bigotry and acrimony proportioned to the loss of a living faith in them and of an honest appreciation of their evi- dence.

Something of a " godless orthodoxy" is almost a necessary incident of a declining theological move- ment. It is possible, yet once more, that a true Scrip- tural theology may be preached in a conventional and unreal tone, and that men who have confounded their own stiff modes of handling the truth with the truth itself, may be apt to " stifle thought" to the best of their power by condemning those who throw them- selves into a heartier way of teaching it. Unhappily, however, other Essays, for which the Eector of Lincoln is not responsible, attach a much wider sense to similar censures of the 398 NOT THAT WHICH IS HERE RAISED.

And the unquestioning belief in an inspired Book, the absolute acceptance of the doctrines of the Creeds, the customary theology to be found in Prayer- book and Catechism, preached in the old letter and not in the new spirit, — these are proclaimed to be in opposition so diametrical to the intellect, and know- ledge, and moral instincts of the age, as to render it impossible for many honest enquirers to continue to accept them. If so, then let the real issue be raised openly: only let it be remembered, that it is not raised by the words of this Essay, but by the piecing out of the indefiniteness of those words through the language of others. Then it is indeed Christianity itself which is assailed. The Christianity of 1,800 years is held to have done its work, and lived its life, and to be now effete.

And the difference between Comte, for instance, or any other open assailant of the Gospel, and the ex- tremest of the school that is now rising among us, will be simply the difference between an open substi- tution of a human system for Christianity, and an at- tempt to alter the latter into conformity with a human system custom essay writing online — the difference, in a word, between rejecting or retaining the mere name of the Gospel, while equally giving up the thing. Only let it be repeated, while thus in all sadness insisting upon the real issue at the bottom of this conflict, that the deliberate intention of raising that issue is not to be imputed to men who pro- fess, however (we may think) groundlessly, to be only THAT TOXE IMPROVED, NOT DETERIORATED. And, at any rate, the words of the present Essay are responsible for no question of the kind.

Meanwhile, it certainly does seem to meet the facts of the case more truly, that we should recognise rather an improvement than a deterio- ration in the present tone of English theology.

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It yet remains to notice one further topic, of deeper interest and wider reach than any mere question of matter of fact respecting the doctrines or temper of particular periods of the Church. Having spoken hitherto of facts, let us turn now to principles. There are two ways of writing the history of religious, as of any other class of opinion. In the first case, he will run the risk, no doubt, of colouring his statements, unconsciously if not intentionally, by the particular views of his own school and time.

His book, if he is not on his guard, may degenerate into the special pleading of a partizan.

In the second, he must of necessity deprive himself of that sympathy with his subject, which alone can enable an historian NECESSARY TO A SOUND BELIEF. He will be- come a mere dry analyzer of facts, to the true life of which he has voluntarily blinded himself g. The phi- losophical spirit, which realizes to the life the entire atmosphere of thought and fact under which any view of doctrine custom essay writing online came into existence, seems impossible in matters of religion, unless to a religious thinker.

Truth, in such subjects, hides itself from those who deliberately write without any thought of truth at all. A history of truth will be unreal and technical, unless it be also clothed in the flesh and blood of the successive phases of opinion. And a history of opinion, independent of the moral certainty that it will in such a case lean towards falsehood, will be destitute of in- sight into the deeper springs of human action, much more into the dispensations of God, unless it be re- ferred throughout to the standard of truth. But the case is materially altered, if the natural connection of suc- cessive theological views be assumed to be inconsistent with any "theory of belief," by which objective truth is held to be attainable. If the value of ecclesiastical history be asserted to be, that it eliminates the sub- jectivity of one age by the neutralizing effect of com- paring also those of other ages, the assertion no doubt is to the point, and true. And the ultimate result of such a view must be a very sad alternative, yet one which the events of the last few years have shewn too plainly to be a real custom essay writing online one. For men will not rest content with a faith held to depend upon grounds that are illusory. And they who are so placed, must needs end either in believing no- thing, or in arbitrarily choosing and blindly accept- ing some external and self-constituted standard of belief for themselves.

Now the undeveloped and cursory remarks at the beginning of the Essay here considered, leave un- deniably the impression of favouring such a view. They seem to exhibit as the grounds of the faith, what are in truth the causes of its corruption, the character and mental condition of each successive age. And they do distinctly include within the influence and sphere of variable opinion, all theories of objective standards WHAT IS THE TRUE "THEORY OF BELIEF. But while, if pressed to their most precise meaning, room is thus left by the words for the loftier view, it is impossible to help custom essay writing online feeling that the tone of the remarks in question does tend to in- clude the whole body of religious truth within the shifting mass of current human opinion, and to deny to ourselves the possession of any competent instru- ment for ascertaining that truth, in its purity, ob- jectively as truth.

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