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But is it wise, or is it reverent, to knock away any one of the fair columns, on which the Lord Himself has rested the truth of His holy religion, on the pretext that the superior enlightenment the essay writer of the nineteenth century enables us to dispense with it?
The argument for Christianity being essentially cumu- lative, is it charitable to weak brethren (to take the lowest ground) to destroy its cumulative force? Besides our Lord, (though in a scale far inferior to Him,) the Essayist enumerates certain other examples vouchsafed to the human creature when in a state u See the passages just referred to. Greece and Borne, who were in the former period teachers of classes, ("giving us the fruits of their discipline,") now appear as associates, and " give us the companionship of their bloom. Temple writes an exquisite passage (the gem of his Essay, quite worthy of being preserved in a com- monplace-book,) on the distinguishing excellence of classical literature, the freshness of its grace.
But are not civilization and the progress of the Church somewhat sharply distinguished in Scripture, which surely is a sign that the two should be kept asunder as separate subjects of thought?
In the line of Seth we find none of this mental and social development. Who will deny that the mind of the Spirit, though legislating primarily for the occa- sion, contemplates beforehand and provides for the future emergencies of the Church? Is there no warn- ing against future error in the reproof of the Blessed Virgin by our Lord?
No writing, however eloquent and ingenious, (and Dr. From the storehouse of his youthful experience the man begins to draw the principles of his life.
The spirit or conscience comes to full strength and assumes the throne intended for him in the soul. As an accredited judge, invested with full powers, he sits in the tribunal of our inner kingdom, decides upon the past, and legislates upon the future without appeal except to himself. He decides not by what is beautiful, or noble, or soul-inspiring, but by what is right. Gradually he frames his code of customized writing paper laws, revising, adding, abrogating, as a wider and deeper experience gives him clearer light. Then passing (as his wont is) from the moral to the intellectual, from the discipline of the will to that of the mind, Dr. Temple tells us that persons of mature age, who really think for themselves, are often obliged to put a tern- THE EDUCATION OF THE WORLD.
Her doc- trines were evolved, partly by reflection on her past ex- perience, and by formularizing the thoughts embodied in the record of the Church of the Apostles, partly by perpetual collision with every variety of opinion.
The papacy of the middle ages was " neither more nor less than the old schoolmaster (Judaism) come back to bring some new scholars to Christ. Men then began to see, and have ever since seen more clearly, that " there are insoluble problems upon which even revelation throws no light. Accordingly, the post-Reformation Church looks for these definitions in the volume of Holy Scripture.
When conscience and the Bible appear to differ, the pious Christian immediately concludes that he has not really understood the Bible. Hence, too, while the inter- pretation of the Bible varies slightly from age to age, it varies always in one direction.
Not long ago it would have been held to condemn geology, and there are still many who so interpret it. The current is all one way — it evidently points to the identifica- tion of the Bible with the voice of conscience.
This it does by virtue of the principle of private judgment, which puts conscience between us and the Bible, making conscience the supreme interpreter, whom it may be a duty to enlighten, but whom it can never be a duty to disobey. It is apt to be retarded by a strong in- clination, in all Protestant countries, to u go back, in every detail of life, to the practices of early times. Then our author (somewhat in- consecutively it appears to us) springs from toleration to the subject of Biblical interpretation. That customized writing paper inter- pretation, he thinks, we must expect to be greatly modified. We should welcome all discoveries which really throw light on the Scripture, however rudely they may jar with preconceived notions.
This is the age of thought : " clear thought is valuable above everything else, ex- cepting only godliness and to exert it upon Scrip- ture and elicit original results is the great task and vocation of the age. That we should address ourselves to the task candidly and fearlessly is the practical exhortation with which the Essay is wound up. Temple appears to mean by toleration some- thing distinct from what commonly goes by the name. Most people would define toleration as the allowing to others the free exercise writing essays services of their religion. Temple seems to identify it, as far as we can catch the thread of his argument, with a free interpretation of doctrines and articles of faith. If we might admit that at the Eeformation toleration, in the ordinary and popular sense, first dawned as an idea upon the mind of the Church, (which yet a person thinking of Servetus and Joan Bocher might be disposed to doubt,) surely the Reformation had no conceivable sympathies zuith laxity or indefiniteness of doctrine.