Proofreading an essay
Only let a person read the elaborate Confessions of Faith of the Pro- testant Churches, and we are persuaded he will come to the conclusion that sharp and austere proofreading an essay definition of doctrine (and not the reverse) was the genius of the Eeformation. Indeed, the second article of the So- THE EDUCATION OF THE WORLD. Our modern latitudinarians (we do not mean to include Dr. Temple under this designation, though we are compelled to apply it to some of his coadjutors,) wish to extract from the carcase of religion the hard skeleton of definite doctrine, (upon which the whole structure is built,) and to leave only the pliable and soft parts, (" practical religion," -"the spirit instead of the let- ter,") which are constantly in a transition state, like the flesh and blood of the animal frame.
But they will not find among the Reformers, either English or foreign, any sympathies with such a design. The post-Reformation creeds are generally quite as hard in outline as the Athanasian. And we may confi- dently assert that the Reformers were right in build- ing their systems on the framework of creeds. With- out such framework, religion is apt to collapse and corrupt, as a body of flesh from which the bones should be withdrawn. We have been accustomed to think that the Chris- tian is under the twofold guidance of the Spirit and "Word of God, — distinguished and yet combined in that admirable collect for St. Temple, no doubt, will say that in virtue of His indwelling in the faithful, he regards the Spirit of God as identified with the spirit of man. The guidance of the Word, however, being more extrinsic than that of the Holy Spirit, some attempt mnst be made to surmount the obstacles which it seems to throw in the way of the theory. And the attempt is made in the passage quoted at length above. We find it exceedingly hard to trace the exact connexion of thought between the sentences of which this passage is composed. So that the Bible promises at some future, but not dis- tant, time, to resolve itself into enlightened reason, and leave the spirit of man the sole arbiter of its own duties. Had he confined his remarks to the preceptive part of the New Testament, every one would of course ad- mit that it is a book of principles rather than rules, and that the adjustment of those principles is left to the individual conscience, under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God. Temple said this, he would have said what not only does not admit of dispute, but also what appears to us to suit his argument quite as well as the gravely questionable things which he has said. He alludes to certain narratives of Scripture which, in consequence of modern discoveries in natural science, are now understood in a manner different from that in which people once accepted them. This is a matter for the understanding, surely, and not at all in the sphere of the conscience.
We should have drawn the conclusion somewhat in this fashion: — "The current is all one way, — it evidently points to a general recognition of the truth that the interpretation of Scripture is one thing, and the true sense another. Temple would repudiate as ear- nestly as ourselves): — " Geological and astronomical discoveries have proved the. Temple meant this, why did he not say it explicitly? And we take his Essay as a solemn warning of the dreadfully unsafe statements into which a very good and very able man may be driven, who will ride an ingenious and plausible analogy to death, even when at every turn it breaks down under him afresh. If so, we think that the original concep- 4 6 THE EDUCATION OF THE WORLD. The German author begins with this funda- mental statement : — "That which education is to the individual, revelation is to the race. He supposes, indeed, that when "in captivity under the wise Persians," the doctrine of the Mosaic Law respecting the unity and spirituality of God, and its hints and allusions in re- gard to the doctrine of immortality, were developed in the consciousness of the Jews by their contact with the Gentile mind.
But he knows nothing of any edu- cator save God in revelation, nor of any proofreading an essay other persons as educated by Him, save the people of His covenant. The other nations of the earth, he thinks, were left without education by the universal Father, in conse- quence of which, — " the most part had remained far behind the chosen people. The German theologian is prepared for this, and carries his theory through with a bold- ness which, at all events, is perfectly consistent. But he shall speak for himself : — 4 8 THE EDUCATION OF THE WORLD. How if this doctrine should at last, after endless errors, right and left, only bring men on the road to recognise that God cannot possibly be One in the sense in which finite things are one, that even His unity must be a transcendental unity, which does not exclude a sort of plurality? Must not God at least have the most perfect conception of Himself, i. But would everything be found in it which is in Him, if a mere conception, a mere possibility, were found even of his neces- sary reality, as well as of His other qualities?
This proofreading an essay possi- bility exhausts the being of His other qualities. Consequently God can either have no perfect conception of Himself at all, or this perfect conception is just as necessarily real (i.