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When I collected these moral sketches, which were written at different times and under varying circumstances, I did not think that I needed to add anything to them. A recent event, however, has determined me, in now publishing them, to say a few words more. Having been called upon on the 30th of last April to take the chair at a meeting of the Protestant Bible Society, I expressed myself in these terms:What is after all, speaking religiously, the great question, the most important question which at present occupies the minds of men? It is the question in debate between those who acknowledge and those who deny a supernatural, certain, and sovereign order of things, although inscrutable to human reason. The question in dispute, to call things by their right names, between supernaturalism and naturalism. On the one side, unbelievers, pantheists, pure rationalists, and sceptics of all kinds. On the other, Christians. "Amongst the first, the best still allow to the statue of the Deity, if I may make use of such an expression, a place in the world and in the human soul; but to the statue only,an image, a marble. God himself is no longer there. Christians alone possess the living God. "It is the living God whom we need! Our present and future safety requires that faith in supernatural order, that respect for and submission to supernatural order should again pervade the world and the human soul,the greatest minds as well as the simplest, the most elevated classes as well as the most humble. The truly efficacious and regenerating influence of religious belief depends on this condition. Without it, all is superficial, almost worthless. "We may, at this day, with safety strive to re-animate and propagate the Christian faith; for libertyreligious and civil libertyis abroad to prevent faith begetting tyranny and oppression of the conscienceanother sort of impiety. The friends of liberty of conscience may fearlessly return to the God of the Christian; there are no longer, nor will there ever henceforth be, captives or slaves around his altars. Let, then, Christian faith and piety return; they will bring back in their train neither injustice nor violence. Doubtless, much care must be taken and many contests sustained, in order that religious liberty may be preserved unharmed in the midst of growing religious fervour; but this beautiful harmony will be attained, and will do honour to our time. Between Christians of different communions there may exist henceforth but those struggles of free faith and piety, which alone are permitted by the law of God, and are alone worthy of His attention." These words have been remarked upon, and either approved of or objected to, in very different senses, by philosophers and by Christians. On the day after they had been uttered, Mr. Louis Veuillot said in l'Univers,"Monsieur Guizot made a speech which we have read with a sentiment of respect and sympathy, mingled with some grief. It would be impossible for us to do otherwise than highly honour the man who makes, even a-propos of a movement which we do not approve and which is far from being good, so noble a profession of Christian faith. It would be impossible for us not to regret deeply that so great and generous a spirit, one so well formed to comprehend unity, and so naturally disposed to submit himself to it, not only does not perceive that he is out of place amidst the separated members of the mother church, but even takes the lead in a movement which has been and still is opposed strongly to the doctrine of that church. What is Christianity? It is authority. What is Protestantism? It is free inquiry; and the Protestant Bible Society is the practice of free inquiry driven to its last and indefinite limit."

Dettagli

Generi Storia e Biografie » Storia: opere generali » Storia: specifici argomenti , Romanzi e Letterature » Romanzi contemporanei , Salute Benessere Self Help » Mente, corpo, spirito

Editore Library Of Alexandria

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 15/09/2019

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9781465634979

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