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exhibiting the whole subject of Biblical interpretation in a light too little considered by the Protestant world. There is, however, another and subordinate reason for noticing it. For if, as the writer believes, Bishop Butler's Analogy is one of the works which Dr. Arnold holds up as a standard of correct thought, in that case the fact that he has overlooked the radical incompatibility of his own primary principle with the above leading feature of Bishop Butler's system, becomes a fresh proof of that crudity of judgment, which in a former in.stance has already been pointed out, and of which it is of some consequence that Dr. Arnold's readers should be aware.
But to proceed upon the line which Dr. Arnold has marked out. After disposing of a certain portion of Scripture as unessential, he goes on to show that this portion is not wholly without a use; and here again we are met with a fresh exhibition of vague thought, such as surprises one in a person of Dr. Arnold's reputation. Speaking of “the true way of reasoning,” he says, “ What is noticed indirectly, or not so clearly as to prevent fair differences of interpretation, it regards as unessential and undetermined, as a means of trying men's love of the truth, together with their charity ; their love of truth in endeavouring to arrive at a probable conclusion for themselves as to the mind of the Spirit, their charity in not presuming to force their own conclusions on others, nor condemning them for concluding differently.”
Nou, 11 as per the petitio principii involved in the word “fair," and the identical proposition of s regarding unitermined what is noticed not SD ceara Ir prevent fair differences of interpretation." Dr. Arnold appears to conceive that the inte and desire of Truth can exist apart from the fear of missing it, or that it is a kind of curiosity; in other words that] a man's love of truth may be shown by mathematical investigations...
---Erery one who thinks it possible that the Scripture anatbemas refer to a right acceptance of the texts relating to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and to Jesus Christ having come in the flesh, must surely feel some degree of fear lest he should miss their right meaning through his own fault. And so far forth as his love for his neighbour equals his love for himself, he must have a similar feeling for others. What he would think rash in himself, he must think rash in them. What he would think irreverent in himself, he must think irreverent in them. On the whole he will feel bound to act towards them, as charity to them, to others, and to himself, would direct him to act towards rash and irreverent people. This feeling, and the sense of obligation, are altogether independent of any assurance that the person acknowledging them has attained to the true meaning of the
[The rest of these Remarks are only in the shape of notes, sometimes expressed only by means of detached words and phrases, or by sentences crossed out as faulty in composition.)
texts in question ; indeed is [are] compatible with the most absolute doubt about them. It is possible [for men] to see that certain methods of inquiry are rash and irreverent, without pronouncing any opinion on the truth of the conclusion to which they have been led thereby. Common sense tells us how men inquire when they think much depends on the result of their inquiry.......
Let us turn to another writer, whose reasonings are directed to the proof of two points; first, that it is presumptuous in any man or set of men to think it necessary for other men to adopt their phraseology in the explanation of the Scripture Mysteries ; next, that it cannot be a matter of any consequence to any individual whether the sense in which he understands the Scripture Mysteries is true or false. “ The great moral duty," he says, “ of the will, in relation to the understanding, is Veracity. The impressions which every individual receives, the reflected truths, which after proper examination are found to be permanent on the understanding, should be sacred to Veracity. I need not add that this duty is peculiarly incumbent on the Christian, respecting the religious truths which he finds in the Scriptures...... Let them (who have courage to think] beware of superstitious fear in the investigation of religious truth; let them encourage in their souls an habitual attention to the duty of Veracity, and read the Scriptures with a firm determination of not deceiving themselves, for the sake of a false internal peace with early prejudices; and, still more, of not concealing from others whatever impressions may have assumed a clear and prominent character during the examination of the Sacred Writings. Since subjective religious truths, i. e. the impressions which the Scriptures leave on each individual, have not been made by God a matter of Obedience to any authorized judge of truth; since the meaning of the Scriptures has been left unlimited by the judgment of any external authority, it must be supposed that it is the intention of Providence that the Scriptures be studied, in common, by all those who acknowledge their authority; and, if such be the purpose of the Divine Mind, it must be a duty of all Christians not to deceive each other as to the results of their respective perceptions of the sense of the Scriptures. To act otherwise, must be a sin of Falsehood; it must be · holding the truth in unrighteousness, or, translating more literally, “in injustice;' for what injustice can exceed that which is done to mankind, when any one casts into the common treasury of intellectual experience, as his own Truth, as the real impression on his mind, that which is entirely unlike that impression ? Such a deliberate Lie, in relation to the Scriptures, must be hateful in the eyes of God.”—B.White's Heresy and Orthodoxy, pp. 32, 33.
In this passage there is something peculiarly curious, and this not solely on its own account. Doubts concerning religious truth, e.g. about the truth of the Object of worship proposed on the
grees of it.
orthodox system, evidently impose some moral obligation upon us. It cannot be that there is nothing we ought to do in consequence of being in a state of doubt, which we ought not equally to have done, were we in a state of disbelief. Mr. Blanco White's acuteness will not permit him to admit this. He confesses that, if persons feel doubt about the existence of a God, they are to act as if they had no such doubts, “to hope against hope,” that such conduct is a proof of faith, and produces higher de
But he does not allow that they ought so to act in the case of doubt concerning the Object of Orthodoxy. Yet he feels at the same time that such doubt must impose an obligation, and he invents one.
He considers the doubt to be a call upon the person feeling it to record his doubt for the benefit of others.......
This throws light on a school of theological opinion, which has other writers besides those which have been mentioned. A celebrated Essay on the Love of Truth has spoken of that virtue in a way to confuse it with the love of Knowledge.
“He who would cultivate," the author says, “an habitual devotion to Truth, must be solicitous in the first place to avoid error; and consequently must in all cases prefer doubt to the reception of falsehood, or to the admission of any conclusion on insufficient evidence. One who has an aversion to doubt, and is anxious to make up his mind, and to come to some conclusion on every question that is discussed, must be content to rest many of his