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with full assurance, call their methods logical, nor can the result of their investigations be named a logical philosophy. No theory or principle of interpretation of either Nature or the Bible can claim to be truly scientific if it is not strictly logical. If Nature and the Bible contain truth, then their truth, as such, must be logically rational, and must be based on true reason. True scientific principles are eternal. Every commentator and translator of the Bible is, in a sense, a philosopher, whether all his principles are logically sound or not. Each translates and explains according to a theory of knowledge which he possesses. As is well known, many translators differ in the meaning they give to many words ; thus, while there is much agreement among translators and commentators, there is also much difference of opinion. This is natural enough, for the same word, in all languages, has many different meanings. Hence, all agree that the spirit of the word is more vital than the letter, and yet many differ greatly in the treatment of both the letter and the spirit of the written word. It is obviously necessary to know the true meaning of both spirit and letter, for undoubtedly different persons attach widely-varying meanings to the same things when expressed in words. We are not aware that anyone seriously proposes to dispense with the letter of the word altogether. What, then, is its real value, and how can it be known ? What, indeed, is the spirit of the letter, but the true meaning of thought conveyed in the words ? We find, however, that a Catholic (Anglican or Roman), a Calvinist, and a Methodist, each has a different philosophy, and, as a consequence, a different theology and creed, each attaching a different meaning to the same word, in accordance with his philosophy. Yet there is only one true logical philosophy. Each Church believes its adherents and members need to be taught, but the teaching of each differs in some important aspects. This could not be to the same extent if each Church possessed the one sound philosophy. All must admit that there can, in the very

. nature of things, be only one genuine philosophy or one true theory of the universe, and therefore one true philosophy of religion. All religious people profess to pray that they may be taught, illumined and guided by the same divine eternal Spirit. Romanists receive their religious teaching almost entirely through the priest, and they are not taught the need of the direct witness of the Spirit in themselves. Anglicans explain the Bible chiefly by the doctrinal teaching of their prayer book, though this is admitted to be a compromise between truth and error on many essential doctrines, so as to allow of different interpretations. Lutheran and Presbyterian Calvinists have been characterized by a strong suppression of emotion or feeling in their religious life, and have relied, it may be, too exclusively for their religious convictions, on cool metaphysical reflection. Their creed teaches the doctrines of the witness of the Spirit and the assurance of faith, yet the direct witness of the Spirit has not generally had a sufficiently prominent place in the individual religious life, and emotion has been too much suppressed. Methodists, while attaching in some respects great importance to preaching, to individual study of the Bible, and to what are considered its fundamental doctrines, have greatly undervalued metaphysical philosophy and have made the witness of the Spirit to depend too much on emotional excitement in prayer, without having sought sufficiently to understand the deep logical philosophical import of this doctrine. Nevertheless, the prominence given to the doctrine has made Methodism, whatever its lack may otherwise have been, a new force in the spread of a purer Christianity in the world. Yet, unless this doctrine is grounded on a sound philosophy, the danger is that a person may think he is taught by the Spirit when he is only led by the promptings of his own fancy. The history of the Evangelical Christian Churches at times of great spiritual awakening, furnishes many examples of fanatical zeal due to this lack of a sound philosophy. Fanaticism is a real danger, though many who have been called fanatics have been in reality the most sober-minded of men and women; even Christ and Paul were called 'mad' and 'beside themselves,' yet their love was real and deep—not a mere impulse, but a real thought full of burning zeal.

The same great need for a sound philosophy is evinced by the way in which prayer has been extolled in place of preaching the word, and to the depreciation of deep thought and study. Prayer is certainly an essential exercise in the cultivation and development of man's religious life and in promoting the universal spread of the gospel, for our dependence on God's Spirit is absolute. The philosophy of prayer must always form a vital part of the philosophy of religion—but to expect God, through our prayers, to become more willing to save and help men, presupposes too much that we are more loving and more anxious to save men from sin and ignorance than He is. Although God is already willing and anxious to do for every one of us all that He can, it is nevertheless a fact of reason that 'prayer moves the Arm that moves the world. Still, Christian men need to learn that God has adopted the only way in which He can save the world, and that He requires them to be the light of the world. If God could have saved men by a direct influence exerted upon them apart from the influence of Christian character and the light of the written and spoken Word, there would have been no need for the work of Christ, nor for the toil and incessant self-sacrifice of Paul and the other apostles. No! the same arduous training, study and labour are needed now as then. A great gathering of men to God is still the burden and work of His spiritual body—the Church on earth—and it is only by the knowledge of a sound logical philosophy of nature and of the Christian religion that His Church can be perfectly equipped for the work. A Church may have 'a name to live' and yet be dead. This is sadly too much the case at present : hence we hear of the monstrous thing called Christian Agnosticism. God, too, is named a being higher than personality, supra-personal, while what is currently called Naturalism has taken the place of Biblical Christianity.

This same great need for a sound philosophy is apparent when we consider the conflicting views as to what constitutes a true conscience ; for different consciences cannot all be true and good. Men have perpetrated the most horrible persecuting deeds in the name of conscience, of God, and of Christ, and in the professed interests of the Christian Church, believing they were doing God service.' Paul in his conscience believed he was doing God service by haling the followers of Christ to prison, just as the religious Jews and their teachers thought they were doing God service in killing the Lord Jesus. A man fancies his motive is good and pure because his chief aim is good; in this way the terms ‘good intentions and

good motives' are used as excuses or reasons for many wrong actions. In fact and in truth, no higher motive can actuate a man than to do God service, or to serve man in God's name, by clothing the naked,

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succouring the poor and needy, and preaching the Gospel to the poor; yet men may have these motives ruling in their minds while doing evil acts and thinking evil thoughts. In their blindness, they fondly think they are doing God service, yet at the same time they are marring both themselves and their work. The thought that they were doing wrong in crucifying Christ and in persecuting his disciples never entered the mind of Paul or of the Jews. This blindness is too common in all our Churches at the present time.

It is also very important to understand the true meaning of 'Private Judgment,' especially at the present time, when what constitutes right judgment is often regarded as a matter of opinion. This is a good and sound principle when rightly understood, but a judgment is not right and good merely because it is private. Both private and public judgment may be wrong. The Roman Catholic Church condemns the right of private, or individual judgment, but the agreed judgment of millions of individuals may be wrong while the judgment of one man may be right, as Paul's judgment with regard to the intercourse between Jewish and Gentile Christians was right, while Peter's was wrong, although the majority of the Christian Jews held similar views. Luther's, Wesley's, and Bourne's private judgment was right, while the Catholic, Anglican and Wesleyan Churches respectively were decidedly wrong in their treatment of these men. The judgment of the Roman Catholic Church on very vital Christian doctrines has very frequently been wrong: in fact, the judgment of any Church, Protestant or otherwise, or of any single individual, is only right when it coincides with the universal judgment and will of God, and this requires that all men individually should have a correct conception of right reason,

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