Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about Parish Papers.

5.  What, then, have we left us?  The morality of the New Testament? No! for all that is peculiar to its morality are the duties which spring out of the assumed relationship of Jesus to mankind.  The gospel morality of supreme love to Jesus becomes immorality, if Jesus is not one with God.  Prayer to Christ, personal communion with Christ, personal attachment to Christ, hymns of praise to Christ, abiding through faith in Christ, advancing the kingdom of Christ, labouring for Christ and keeping His commandments—­in one word, that whole life of the Christian towards God and man, every portion of which is permeated by Christ as the sunlight fills the atmosphere, can never be separated from the morality of the New Testament.

Nor can we any longer rely upon Old Testament facts, or on anything there revealed regarding God, as distinct from what could have been discovered without such a revelation, if our faith has been shaken in the facts and the characters of the New Testament.  He who can reject the Christ of the New Testament, must necessarily reject the God of the Old; and he who cannot rely on the apostles, cannot possibly rely upon the prophets.  All must be given up, and the Bible become a mere curious record of falsehood.

6.  Is this all?  Enough one would think!  But can we even fall back on God? What evidence has any man of the existence of a living personal God, stronger than what he possesses of a living personal Saviour?  Can any revelation of God during the past, and recorded in history, be received as worthy of credit, if this alleged history of Jesus is rejected as unworthy?  If the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not the only living and true God, where is the true God to be found?  If Jesus neither knew Him truly, nor truly revealed Him, who can do either?  And when, moreover, we have thus lost faith in the character of Jesus and of His apostles, from what better evidence of moral character or moral design on earth can we henceforth reason upwards as to the moral character of a Divine Being?

In what position do we thus find ourselves?  The Church of Christ must be given up as a great falsehood, a huge idolatry, a society of weak, deluded, or bad men.  The character of its early founders, and the Person to whom it owes its name, must, for the same reason, be abandoned.  The Old Testament can form but a feeble barrier to the flood which has thus swept away the New, with all which has arisen out of the assumed truth of its history.  And thus each man, cut off from the past, is left to discover a God for himself, from evidence which, to satisfy him, must necessarily be more overwhelming than that which he rejects, and on which the faith of the Christian Church has rested for eighteen centuries.  Can any man be satisfied with such a basis of religion as this?  Having rejected God as revealed in Jesus, can he peril his soul in peace on the God discovered

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Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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