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Wc arcall tht; oflsjirin of doubt. Thus" doubt," insteacl of being nu inipiety or a form of Antichrist, ia often ouly the effort of a ncw ent to lind the I decpcr and the botter meaning of its popular religión. The Prof. Smith who is unrïer indictment for heresy on account of the article on the Bib'le which he composcd for an encyelopedia is full of doubte, but ulso of true Christian piety, and the Canon Parrar, who has I been attempting to find a doctriiie about heil which will at once harmonize with reaeon and with Christ, contains spiritu! ality to an tinusual degree; and the Dean Stanley, eloquence of thouglit and language is famous, can equal Smith and Farrarin doubting the Christian formulas of the past. In the mere f act that the re are "doubters " in the church, onc may lind no cause for alarm, for tliis quality of the human mind has followed hunianity in nll itr many wanderings. The doubting ones I immediately on Christ's coming reappeared and stood nround Him, just as they liad Btood by tho altars of Greece in tlie form of Socretes, or by the altars of Kome in the form of Cato and Tully. 1 They followed the Roman Catholic : church and modiíied it; they broke off ( a branch and plantod it and grew Pro testantism; another branch and grew ] Methodisni ; they separated the church from the state insnme lauds; they have BOpaÉaièd theBiblo from the exact scien: ces; they are even hanging over the ' old pictures of eternal tormenta to find, i if possible, a traer outlino of that life ' or death into which infinite equity shall at last cast tho wicked. Instead of being a vice, doubt has often been a most calm and a most holy meditation. Men cali it a "cloud," and those who walk in it oonfess it to bo a cloud. fixed in I ideas and in established seets turn pale or grow angry at it as portending de: struetion, but oftentimes tJiis "cloud" luis burst in a shower of blessings and bas been followed by a sunshine falling in a new sweetness on "fields arrayed in living green." It may indeed be necessary for any i giveu sect to ask a "doubter" to withdraw from its organization, because each ohurch is built for the spread of oertain definite ideas; and, if a member of the body desires to spread contradictory ideas, he certainly should feel that he must sow these notions in some other field. A church is niuch like a firm forined for a social purpose. If a member of the firm is found withdrawing his capita! from the business of the firm and is giving his thought and money to some house loeated elsewhere, or some other rival business, the papers of partnership should be given up by this recreant one. It must be thus with churches. They must not be guilty of suicide. But, while this general truth is olear, it will often be a matter of question both with the "doubter" and his associates whether his "doubts" are grave enough to justify a withdrawal from a brotherhood full of usefulness and of mutual happiuess. The necessary withdrawal of a thousand men from as many socts would not warrant the inference that the Curistian world was falling to ruin under the blows of this skepticism. The only inference must be that churches formed for a definite purpose may exclude the men who disregard the purpose. A churoh that requires a dress of drab should ask him to withdraw who drosses in black or white. Aside, thercfore, from the duty or privilege of sects a religious skepticism may go on, and, instead of being' an in jury to Chriatianity, it may be onjy the invisible arms of God earrying the world away from a good creed to a creed far better. An old continent may be sinking for the purpose of pressing upward out of the waters a new world. This is confessed to be the age of "doubt." The words "some doubted " will certainly apply to out era. But, this confessed, what do we witness? Do we witness any religious ruin or decay? We seem to witness a pulpit and a membership as devout, as pious, as was the world when it held that God made the universo in six days and that the Bible was verbally inspired. There ure great verities in Christianity, and the times which most question some of the old partioulars are the very times whioh can best appreciate the sublimest doctrines of the gospels. An age is not religious aocording to tho quality of its doctrines and the mental and spiritual power brought to bear upon those ideas of better quality. The ages of Henry VIII. and of Louis XIV. surpassed our century in the bulk of their confessionfi i of faith, but not any great doctrines stood out before their mind and heart. Those Kings possessed no adequate idea of Jesus Christ. The letter of things filled up their little intellects and yet smaller hearts. In tho higher courts of law, that lawyer and that Judge are esteemed greatest who can best grasp the essential meaning of a law, or a will, or a piece of evidence. And henee tho words "substantially true" are in law so valuable, so great, that they are much worn with constant use. They suffer like the shrines of the greatest saints, where the i parement is worn away by the feet of the numberless pilgrims who repair thither to kiss the sacred marblo and breathe a pruyer. Saints of little merit are not so injured by human affection. The words "trim in substance," "substantially true, are the shrine toward which tho religious thought of our era tends in its pilgrimage, and it will wear the marble away, and even the lips of this saint, in its devotion. The " cloud of doubt " will perhaps be followed by a day when a mighty multitude will declare that the story of Christ, tho story of heaven and heil, are substantially true - that these doctrines cannot be modificd in such a way os to offer to virtuo any discouragenient, or to sin any hope. There is, indeed, a form of unbelief that is ruinous. It is not the doubt of a religious soul, but the proud denial of all Christian and religious tenets. Of this I am not spoaking, but rather of tiiat kind of intellect which gathered around Christ and rningled their doubts with love. : The two discipleswho journeyed toward Eminaus after tho crucifixion, in whose ! mind was the perfect memory of Jeans, who bad seen the crucifixión, and whö were now walking along onlyfive miles from tho spot whcro the cross had stood, gave way to unbeliof, and said ilii v had hoped that Christ bad come to be a King. This is the class whioh now filis the land. Their doubts are not radical as those of the two discipies, but, like theirs, they are full of af : fection and piety. These wilí be the first to ciitch the truth whon it shall como, or, at least, the ones to love it most deeply when it shall have been rcvcaled. The mind which has no distrust is too duli to cateh nny early truco of heaven's rnisty dawn. Let us review hiustily the refleetions awakened by the old words that "some doubted." The " doubt " will always attend the human race, because the future lifo is not a demonstrated reaüty; but out of doubt will come a perpetual study and a marching of the host from the less true to the more true ; it will out down the first wilderness, not to make a desert, but to open up rich fields of fruits andgrains; it will lessen the quantity of notions to be beliovod, but it will improve tho ([uidity of what slmll survive its mmlysis; it will tuke hnmanity up in its kind arma, and beur it awny from tho letter to place it up amid the " substantially true" of tho two Testaments ; it will combine righteousncRS and affection with its tenis, and then what it lacks in seeing it will inako u) in patiënt waiting. It expect no perfect visión here. It has no hope of seeing the univerae fróm the low valley of man's life ; it will wait until death shall bear the soul to a height that shall redouble a thousand times the breadth of the horizon beneath the once-clouded feet. Not here! notlicre! not whr-r1 the sparklini; waters Fade iuto rao kiDg .sandH a.s we nraw mar; Where in tho wilderness eacb íootstep íaltors I sliall !■ nul istlt-d - but, oh ! not hero.


Old News
Michigan Argus