« הקודםהמשך »
The Light of Truth in the mind of man, the only rule of faith
phers and modern Indians of the Bible
of the mission of Jesus
Forms of the Spiritual Sabbath-of pure Religion,
THE LIGHT OF TRUTH, &c.
There has been no period of latter time, in which so much agitation has prevailed in that portion of mankind calling itself by the name of Christ, as in the present age.
Each society appears to be striving to disseminate that particular form of religion, which it deems right. Bible societies have multiplied, in many countries among every class of men, to spread the scriptures; they have been translated into various languages, and circulated among hea. then nations.—Missionary societies have been established, and men have been educated and set apart for the express purpose ef spreading the Gospel; and the piety of individuals is in some degree measured by their zeal and munificence in supporting these things.
I have no reason to doubt the integrity of many, who are devoting their time and their substance to what they think right; but I trust, I may, without giving offence, enter into the exa
mination of the proper rule of life, for every man, the world over, by whatever name he may be called, whether Jew, Gentile, Christian, Pa. gan or Infidel; and if I should expose the formality and idolatry of sects, it will be under no feelings which would condemn them.
The knowledge of good and evil—the perception of right and wrong-beginning in childhood, and ripening with maturity of age, is what makes man a moral agent; as God himself, it is universal, omnipotent and eternal; acknowledged in every age, country and climate, among every description of men; so that amid all the discoveries of modern geographers, no people have yet been found without a knowledge of God.
Although the reality of moral obligation is universally admitted, yet there are some who consider it the result of education and habit that men are dependant upon the Bible, and upon their fellow-men, for a rule of faith and conduct-others will believe with me, that this principle is nothing less than the impress of God upon the mind of man, given to him as a guide to direct his path. Those who by attending to it, have felt its power, have no need of being told, either that it is from God, or that nothing else can be the guide of their lives.
They know it from evidence which cannot be shaken ; so that were other men to deny it, their faith would not be moved, nor could it be increased, by any testimony that could be adduced in its favour.
Men can have no real faith in it, but by its operations in their own soul; none can have a perfect faith in it, but those who are perfected by it; if it has cast out only one sin, they may believe in its power to cast out every sin. But all who live under the power of it, have in every real sense a faith in it, whether they attribute it to God or man; by whatever name they may call it, or whether they acknowledge it in words or not: so on the other hand, any outward profession of its existence, calling it by the most exalted names, amounts to no saving faith in it. That with a full knowledge that it is alone by the gift of God, that we are enabled truly to believe in it. I shall make a few observations addressed to those who are referring to the Bible, or other books, or to men for instruction; showing that it has operated alike in every age of the world.
To attempt proof would be worse than useless: I appeal to no evidence that I might be able to collect, but to feeling, for the truth of my observations.
And although I may make