The Bible or the Church: Chapter 6 THE great religions of the world appeal to sacred writings for their sanction. But the religion of Christendom differs in this respect from the religions of the East, that its pretended appeal to Scripture is but a juggler's trick. It claims our acceptance of doctrines which none but the credulous would believe on mere human testimony; and when we ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 7 IN the Church's name! "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." The only sacred thing on earth is "the Church." As for Holy Scripture, that may be patronised or mangled at pleasure: the dissecting knife of criticism cannot be applied to it too remorselessly. But to question the Divine authority of "the Church" is profanity beyond forgiveness. Just as in P ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 8 HERE is an infant, born but yesterday, and yet so frail and sickly that its young life may flicker out at any moment. The question arises, If it should die, what is to be its future? If it dies in its present condition, we are told it must be lost, heaven it cannot enter. But, we plead, the poor creature does not know its right hand from its left ; ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 9 "THE illuminated mind of primitive Christendom" is a favourite illusion of modern Christian thought. It is the popular belief that in the early centuries of our era, in the days of "the undivided Church," the faith was pure, and a high morality marked the lives of those who professed it. To dispel so pleasing an illusion is an uncongenial task. But ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 10 "THE Jews' religion" was a human system based upon a Divine revelation, and so is it with the religion of Christendom. But the Judaism of Messianic times was not an apostasy in the sense in which that can be averred of the religion of Christendom. For the Lord could sanction by His presence the services both of the temple and the synagogue. The cul ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 11 ANY one who approaches the study of theology with a mind trained and formed by full and systematic study of Holy Scripture enjoys an immense advantage over those who, reversing the process, have been taught to read the Scriptures in the light of theology. In dealing with the ritualists and sacerdotalists of apostolic days, the Epistle to the Hebrew ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 12 THE intelligent reader will have noticed that the blessings enumerated in the preceding chapter were only for the covenant people, "the Israel of God." But men by nature are "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise :"' How, then, can the gulf be passed which separates these positions?
This is a question ...read
The Bible or the Church: Chapter 13 THE Bible or the Church? To the "Catholic" the antithesis here implied will seem not only fanciful but false. For, he will tell us, "Christ did not write a book; but He founded a Church, and it is to the Church that we owe the Bible." If this means that the Church on earth was established by the Lord's personal ministry the statement displays stran ...read
The Bible or the Church: Appendix 1 CHRISTIAN BAPTISM AND BAPTISMAL REGENERATION.
ALL Christians recognise that baptism is - in the true, as distinguished from the superstitious sense of the word - a sacrament; that is, it is an outward symbol to represent a spiritual truth. But most even of those who reject that root error of apostasy, baptismal regeneration, cling to the belief ...read
The Bible or the Church: Appendix 2 ROMISH PROPAGANDISM
A FEW years ago I received a letter from a gentleman living near London, expressing solicitude for my spiritual welfare, and an earnest desire to see me within the fold of the Catholic Church.
Though the writer was a stranger to me, the tone in which he wrote was such that I was careful to reply in terms befitting the cour ...read
The Bible or the Church: Appendix 3 PAOLO SARPI AND THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
OF Paolo Sarpi it has been said that "there was no department of human knowledge about which he did not know everything that had been ascertained by others, and few to which he did not make substantial contributions." In truth, he seems to have been one of the most extraordinary men of his own or of any age. ...read
The Bible or the Church: Appendix 4 NOTE 1. - BISHOPS.
THE Epistle to the Philippians is addressed to "all the saints," "with the bishops and ministers." Upon which Dean Alford remarks, "The simple juxtaposition of the officers with the members of the Church, and indeed their being placed after those members, shows the absence of hierarchical views such as those in the Epistles ...read
The Literal Interpretation of Scripture from "THINGS TO COME" April 1897.
STANDING upon this platform, I assume not merely that we possess a revelation, but that it is contained in the Bible. And when I speak of the Bible as containing a revelation, I use the words in a sense far different from that of the Sacerdotalists. Mr. Sholto Douglas, this afternoon, touched upon the question ...read
The Resurrection IN the religion of Christendom the Incarnation and Death of Christ are everything. The Virgin's Child, the heaven-sent Teacher, and the Jesus of Calvary, completely fill the spiritual vision of the faithful. But in the cluster of great truths which constitute the Divine revelation of Christianity, the Resurrection holds the central place. Apart fro ...read