To take out of the Bible a few " leading principles," and leave the rest, satisfies no honest conscience.
If this were lawful, why complain of the " free- handling" critics? None can fail to see that it must hopelessly widen the growing distance, between men of thought and cultivation, and all popular Christianity. The whole English people will certainly perceive that it implies a denial of all Objective Religious Truth. They will feel how impossible it must be for a real Church to go on, help with papers with its principles and its practices ADJUSTMENT DEMANDED.
This must lead to in- fidelity, social despair, convulsion. The Church cannot for ever go on lamenting her " lack C ommination of Discipline. This will never be tolerable, to a people who, whatever they become, will not be Indian in superstition. Let men ponder well the theory, whether it be called " Positivism," or " Multitudinism," or services essay this ideal " Nationalism," which " philosophers" have pro- pounded for them, as thinking the world is now ripe The theory for services essay services essay it. And yes,— this " Multitudinism" is truly the only idea which will fairly account for the treat- ment which our Eeligion has submitted to receive, — a unprindpie. The Conscience of the Church has been so frequently crushed, the free ex- pression of her mind so restrained, that bolder thinkers than our statesmen have not hesitated at last (as has been seen) to put out as a theory for future action that which has, however unconsciously, been almost a theory of the past, — a " Multitudinist " National Church, of which " public opinion" is to be the rule, and from which every creed and article may be with- drawn, and only such portion of the New Testament be admitted as each individual may approve as gen- uine, and "interpret" to his own mind!
To have missed a theory, and to have arrived at a Principle of action, is worth all the intellectual toil.
And this is the Principle, that Christianity aims at each Conscience, — and must be left to The principle do its own work. Fearless for the Truth, and patient, it welcomes every honest effort of the human mind. And if despair of theorizing has taught states- men this at last, it shall indeed be well! And this great and glorious England of ours, with a Church " National," not in name only, but in Conscience, may have a moral future such as the world has not yet seen. There have been speculators before now who have determined that the soul of man is equally illustrated. And if a Church by its spiritual and moral energy shew itself to be the Soul of any people, there will be no dispute as to the law of its diffusion, or as to its being " National. As little also will services essay a free people bear any form of compulsory Eeligion.
Yet will "the public" ultimately demand something more spiritual than its own " opinion.
Will they do as they have done before,— avail themselves of the scholarship which shields them, and then go on awhile, until they need a fresh de- liverance?
We ought to harbour no hankering after so-called " recon- ciliations," or allow these to warp in the very least our rendering of the record.
We must purge our minds at once of that order of prepossessions which is incident to an over- timid faith, and, not less scru- pulously, of those counter-prejudices which beset a jaundiced and captious scepticism. For there may be an eagerness to magnify, and even to invent diffi- culties, as well as an anxiety to muffle them up and smooth them over, — of which last, the least pleasing shape is an affectation of contempt disguising obvious perplexity and trepidation. Those who seek the re- pose of truth had best banish from the quest of it, in whatever field, the spirit and the methods of so- phistry. The geologist, for example, if loyal to his science, will marshal his facts as if there were no 2 7 8 THE CREATIVE WEEK. Even so is it the duty of the inter- preter of the Mosaic text to fix its sense and investi- gate its structure as though it were susceptible of nei- ther collation nor collision with any science of geology. If we cancel the disturbing divisions of chapter and verse, which are certainly one mask on the face of the record, and liberate the parallelism, — the sup- pression of which, if parallelism there be, must needs constitute another, — the Scripture account of creation, with slight though not gratuitous deviations from the Authorized Yersion, will stand as follows : — In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was desolate and void : And darkness was upon the face of the deep : And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light : And there was light : And God saw the light that it was good : And God divided the light from the darkness : And God called the light Day : And the darkness He called iSight : And the evening and the morning were the first day.