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Popery, and rank nonsense. Every doubt supposes a difficulty as its correlative; and who is prepared to say that there are no difficulties in the Bible, or that to feel the weight of a difficulty is the e same thing as to bear the burden of a sin? To exaggerate difficulties wilfully indeed, to cherish doubt, and roll it as a sweet morsel, to go to the Bible in eager search after discrepancies to be leil to disbelief by some sinister motive, is wrong, and deserves severe condemnation. But how many owe their doubts to entirely different causes; some to an intensely acute and logical intellect. others to a gloomy temperament of mind, others to an unhealthy habit of body. others to the very strength of their love for the Bible and Christianity, which they feel, and which renders them nervously sensitive to anything about either that seems weak or dubious. To pray before fully considering a doubt (unless it be in a general and very | roper way of seeking for divine direction) is a gross Petitio principii, and undoubtedly borrowed from the Popish practice of making the sign of the cross when any Protestant argument is adduced. W bo ever reached truth in science, letters or philosophy, without research, doubt, difficulty, pain and disquietude? And to make it e tirely otherwise with Christianity is to push it out of the sciences and in among the superstitions; is to bring back the days of implicit belief, and to try to keep our religion “ a childish thing” for ever and ever. Christianity is not a mere bugbear to frighten, a mere amulet to charm, or a mere anodyne to soothe ; it is a great scheme of truth, a divine philosophy of God and man, and ere we can understand or believe it intelligently we innst look at it in all its bearings, feel the chill of its shadows as well as the warmth of its lights, and weigh candidly whatever may be candidly and conscientiously urged against it

, whether in its doctrines or its evidences. No doubt it is the food of babes as well as of men of full age, but the time has come when even babes and sucklings must learn that their religion cannot be held on the cheap and easy terms of a past age, and when they must be trained to the knowledge of the evidence on which it rests, and of the objections to which it is liable. It is chiefly, we suspect, those who have been taught in their boyhood that every part of their creed was unassailable, and that doubt was synonymous with sin, and the precursor of eternal death, that are most uneasy at the recent developments of English scepticism. We have read with great interest and pleasure Professor Arnold's paper in the January Macmillan, and we on some points thoroughly endorse his views. We think with him that much of Colenso's book, even were it true, is trifling, and that the antidote he presents bears the proportion to the disease which Falstaff's halfpenny-worth of bread did to his enormity of sack. We thiuk, moreover, that Colenso's true plan even in justice to himself had been to have waited for a while

thoroughly digesting his doubts, forming them into a complete and elaborate impeachment of the Pentateuch, and connecting this with his theory of the origin of the Books in their present form, and with at announcement of the substitute he has to present instead of what he deems those twice-broken tables of the Mosaic Covenant. As it is his book has rather tended to tantalize, irritate, and inflame, than to satisfy and convince. He has rather, like a privateer, faurted his alien flag before the guns, than he has stormed the harbour. But we cannot quite agree with Arnold in denouncing the attempt to bring such subjects into the Court of the Gentiles—into popular judgment at all. In fact, they are there already. Times have mightily changed since Spinoza's day, when learned men, on almost ETERY question, had to conceal their meaning under a Latin garb. There is now (as every man who has not confined himself to cloisters should and does know) a vast class of shrewd, intelligent minds of all classes of the community who possess, if not learning, common Sense, who resemble the famous shoemaker of Leyden in being able to judge of controversies, without knowing a letter of their language, by observing the spirit and the bearing of the disputants, and whose ininds besides have been long agitated by those very questions which the African Bishop has started. We have heard from poor men ten or twenty years ago, difficulties propounded of the same nature with those which the Bishop has latterly imported rom the Zulus. He has, only after his fashion, tried to meet a common and almost universal craving. He has appealed to the popular Cæsar, and if we would adequately answer him, we must hollow him to the same tribunal. Indeed, may we not ask why, according to his own principles, has Matthew Arnold put into English, in this excited time, the marrow of Spinoza's doctrine, a marrow which includes as a mere preliminary, a stretch of scepticism onsiderably exceeding Colenso's wildest and deadliest deductions ?

No defender of Christianity, however zealous and sincere, should deny that doubt is the distinct and inevitable growth of this age's infuences. Our horizon of view has been opening on every hand, aad, along with our horizon, the darkness which ever edges the enlargement of mental vision has been deepening and expanding too. Time has become eternity-space infinity—in the development of Geological and of Astronomical science, both, on the whole, products of the last hundred years. Nay, absolutely new sciences,

well as new methods of investigating truth, have shot up like mustard-trees. The past behind, as well as the immensity above, and the density below, has been explored by millions of telescopic aod microscopic eyes. Hardly an inch of heaven, or a scrap of earth, or a bit of parchment bearing upon the past, or one stray lone in the mammoth or primeval man or brute, but has been Inisi and t yrtured with questions, subjected to the severest analysis,

reconstructed and rendered all but alive and audible. In the glare of these strange, new, and often conflicting lights, it is a marvel that anything old endures. It is a wonder that the old Jewish Book has not dissolved like hoar frost in the heat of a Syrian sun. Every point in its history, every joint in its harness has been assaulted, not so much on account of any growing treason or rebellion against it, as from the mere necessities of intellectual progress. Not only so, but the spirit which characterises the Bible as a whole, and which manifestly strengthens and purifies towards its close

, seems to multitudes now plaintively to plead, and now powerfully to inveigh, against some statements and some facts found in the same volume. The voice from Calvary, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," seems to rebuke the spirit of the 109th Psalm. The word “Father” as applied to God, found some twenty times in the Old, and some two hundred times in the New Testament, seems to remove the shadow of the cherubim from the mercy-seat-to pale Sinai's fires and to deaden its thunders. The Law, the schoolmaster who was to lead us to Christ, is in danger of being beaten back, by his own lash. And when we enquire as to the reasons why the Book still survives and is still powerful, we find them probably to be First, that the Divine element predominates in it and is imperishable for the initiated and honest; and, secondly, that the human has been extensively patronized, and fiercely fought for, by the ten thousand times ten thousand, comprising the “mixed multitude” of the great Christian Progress, who make up for want of knowledge by plenitude of pretence, and for want of love and enlargement by excess of spiritual conceit and ignorant zeal.

The time for the elimination of the two elements, even the set time must come, but has hardly come yet. And hence the extremely uncertain state of matters at present the persevering onset of foes from a thousand different points—the compound of clamour and argument by which the cause is defended by parties who differ nearly as much from each other as from the enemy-the exceeding sensitiveness of many in the Church to every deviation from the orthodox standard, and the morbid smell of heresy which has infected their nostrils—the reactions against reason, and in favour of fanaticism on one side, and the increased bitterness of hostility

, to all Revelation on the other. And as the learning and ability of the controversialists are nearly matched, and the backers on both sides numerous, and as there is little disposition to make concessions or propose a truce, the dispute is likely to last for a long time to come, and the agony of the German mind may be repeated here to the full. Worst of all is the pain felt by thousands of simple, pious Christians, who are trembling for the ark of God, and saying, not to others but to themselves, “ We trusted this had been he that was to redeem Israel.”

doubters that there have been, and are moral effects produced by

Scripture narratives; but let us without sacrificing these show the

Yet not more certain are we that doubt has been the inevitable growth of the age-not a mere diabolic inoculation as some foolishly think it—than are we that the same principle of growth secures sovner or later a resurrection of belief. But that it shall rise the same body we do not suppose. There is in our creeds and confessions, and our current interpretations of the Bible, a vast deal of rubbish, of assumption, of false logic, of sectarianism, of essential Popery and foregone conclusions, of “ beggarly elements,” in short, which can never survive in the Church of the future. And we are certain that the present workings of doubt are overruled by the Good Spirit to the purification of Christianity, and are in this way producing, or yet to produce, not evil, but immense benefit to our cause. We believe that almost every shape of modern denial is tending to supply some defect in our modern Christian belief, to shear it of some of its weak and tawdy trappings, to rescue the fine spirit from some one or other of those forms in which it has been environed, like Ariel in his cloven pine, and to purge and prepare it for its final development, when (perhaps to meet its Lord) it is to become a "glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or blemish, or any such thing." One prevalent form of scepticism is that which has dwelt on the inferiority of the present to the Puritanic age in point of genuine earnestness. Christianity, this school say, was then alive, but is now dead—was then a reality, but is now a mockery and a sham. Now, what is the best reply to such statements, and what is the element of good to religion to be derived

Unquestionably it is by Christians becoming more in earnest, and seeking to work out the Christian idea with a greater intensity of zeal and unity of plan. And let us show them, too, that our earnestness is not a blind and brutal bigotry, but is as enlightened as it is warm, and as charitable as it is sincere. There are others who look with great aversion to the "terrors of the Lord,” and who attribute to the Bible conception of God a certain maligbant and ferocious character. Let Christians disprove this by writing out in bolder characters the words “God is love" before the eyes of men, and showing that in spite of dark sentences here and there the general design and spirit of the Gospel imply overflowing goodwill to the children of men, that unless God loved the race, he would never have sent a Saviour to die for them-unless he wished them to accept, he never could have insulted their miseries by offering Him

and that had He foreseen that in spite of the Gospel the majority were to perish, it is not likely that he would have provided salvation for them at such an expense. Many are stumbled at the records of miraculous interference to be found in the

from them?

and power of Christianity in a world so false and evil as this is a standing and quite undeniable miracle; and if he cannot believe in the sun standing still over Gibeon let him bow before the great fact of the Sun of Eternal Love in Christ, after 2,000 years of rejection and scorn by the great mass of men, remaining in our firmament and patiently biding its time to pour down a universal and unsetting glory. There is a class who, without denying Revelation, quarrel with creeds and confessions; and we sympathise with this class so far as to think that these should never be confounded with the Word of God, that they are too long, too formal, too dogmatic, and that they should be curtailed and revised from time to time till the day arrive when they may be dispensed with altogether; but let such persons remember that we do not want them to sign every “if,” or “and,” or “but,” or “therefore ” of our creed, but only to believe heartily in the Divine character, work, and testimony of Jesus Christ. On this subject Dr. Chalmers thus expressed himself to his daughter (see Dr. Hanna's Life) :-“I look on catechisms and creeds as mere landmarks against heresy. If there had been no heresy they would not have been wanted. It's putting them out of their place to look on them as magazines of truth. There's some of your stoure orthodox folks,” he went on to say, " are just over ready to stretch the Bible to square with their catechism ; all very well, all very needful as a landmark, but (kindling up) what I say is, do not let that wretched, mutilated thing be thrown between me and the Bible." Bacon,” replied his daughter, “compares the Bible to the well-spring, and says he were a huge fool that would not drink but from a tank.” “Ha, ha! where does Bacon say that? But it's nasty in the tank too whiles.” We are all aware, of course, of recent facts—how men,

and clergymen too, of high standing, are applying scripture criticism to the attempted demolition of many parts of the letter of the Old Testament history. Now, without approving their conduct, nay, while strongly in many points condemning it, may not this also be the means of ultimately doing our religion good ? May it not wean us somewhat from the bondage of the letter? May it not lead to a more thorough investigation, not only of the particular passages and books assailed, but of the whole question of inspiration—a question pronounced both by Coleridge and Arnold to be THE great religious question of this age, and on which we have had, hitherto, little else than such stupendous beggings of the whole question as Gaussen's book, besides many crude and contradictory theories-chiefly composed of mere assertion and empty babble on both sides, and no profound or conclusive treatment. Two clergymen in the North of Scotland, both of great intelligence --the one a Congregationalist,the other a Free Churchman-met

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