Phases of Faith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 272 pages of information about Phases of Faith.

[Footnote 25:  Here, again, I have been erroneously understood to say that there cannot be any internal revelation of anything.  Internal truth may be internally communicated, though even so it does not become authoritative, or justify the receiver in saying to other men, “Believe, for I guarantee it.”  But a man who, on the strength of an internal revelation believes an external event, (past, present, or future,) is not a valid witness of it.  Not Paley only, nor Priestley, but James Martineau also, would disown his pretence to authority; and the more so, the more imperious his claim that we believe on his word.]

[Footnote 26:  This appears in v. 2, “by which ye are saved,—­unless ye have believed in vain” &c.  So v. 17-19.]

[Footnote 27:  1 Cor. xv.  “He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”  This must apparently be a reference to Hosea vi. 2, to which the margin of the Bible refers.  There is no other place in the existing Old Testament from which we can imagine him to have elicited the rising on the third day.  Some refer to the type of Jonah.  Either of the two suggests how marvellously weak a proof satiated him.]

[Footnote 28:  Such is the most legitimate translation.  That in the received version is barely a possible meaning.  There is no such distinction of prepositions as in and by in this passage.]

CHAPTER VI.

HISTORY DISCOVERED TO BE NO PART OF RELIGION.

After renouncing any “Canon of Scripture” or Sacred Letter at the end of my fourth period, I had been forced to abandon all “Second-hand Faith” by the end of my fifth.  If asked why I believed this or that, I could no longer say, “Because Peter, or Paul, or John believed, and I may thoroughly trust that they cannot mistake.”  The question now pressed hard, whether this was equivalent to renouncing Christianity.

Undoubtedly, my positive belief in its miracles had evaporated; but I had not arrived at a positive disbelief.  I still felt the actual benefits and comparative excellencies of this religion too remarkable a phenomenon to be scored for defect of proof.  In Morals likewise it happens, that the ablest practical expounders of truth may make strange blunders as to the foundations and ground of belief:  why was this impossible as to the apostles?  Meanwhile, it did begin to appear to myself remarkable, that I continued to love and have pleasure in so much that I certainly disbelieved.  I perused a chapter of Paul or of Luke, or some verses of a hymn, and although they appeared to me to abound with error, I found satisfaction and profit in them.  Why was this? was it all fond prejudice,—­an absurd clinging to old associations?

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