Epicurus having freed us from these terrors and restored us to liberty, we have no dread of those beings whom we have reason to think entirely free from all trouble themselves, and who do not impose any on others. We pay our adoration, indeed, with piety and reverence to that essence which is above all excellence and perfection. But I fear my zeal for this doctrine has made me too prolix.
"Do you realize that Ingersoll, by his teachings and his denunciations of what he termed the 'absurdities of orthodox religious beliefs, has done more toward shaking faith in many church doctrines than any man of this age'? And, after all, is not his doctrine a sane one? He says, in effect: 'I can not believe these things. My reason revolts at them. They are repugnant to my intellect.
The sermons of the archbishop, and the service of the altar, were disturbed by seditious clamor; his authority and doctrine were renounced by separate congregations; every wind scattered round the empire the leaves of controversy; and the voice of the combatants on a sonorous theatre reëchoed in the cells of Palestine and Egypt.
To the end of his life he labored over the lessons then taught. Never was demonstration more tangled. Hegel's metaphysical doctrine of the identity of opposites was simpler and easier to understand. Yet the stages of demonstration were clear. They began in June, 1862, after the escape of one rebel cruiser, by the remonstrances of the Minister against the escape of "No. 290," which was imminent.
"Then, this doctrine that one man's as good as another has got two sides to it. One man ought to have the same general rights as another, I am ready to allow; but if one man is as good as another, why do we have the trouble and cost of elections? We might draw lots, as we do for jurors, and save a good deal of time and money.
The spirit which welcomed them had at least the virtue of taking away from Caesar the things that are not Caesar's. Glaring as were the intellectual faults of the Oxford movement, it was at any rate a recognition in a very forcible way of the doctrine that spiritual matters are not to be settled by the dicta of a political council.
They profess to know God; but in works deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. BUT speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the elder men be sober, grave, discreet, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
Man is led and taught by the Lord alone. ii. He is led and taught by the Lord alone through and from the angelic heaven. iii. He is led by the Lord through influx and taught through enlightenment. iv. Man is taught by the Lord through the Word and doctrine and preaching from it, thus immediately by Him alone. v. Man is led and taught in externals by the Lord to all appearance as of himself.
The doctrine of uniformity and the doctrine of progression are, therefore, perfectly consistent; perhaps, indeed, they might be shown to be necessarily connected with one another.
On the other hand, do not debate nor enter into serious argument upon a subject so much below it: but content yourself with telling these APOSTLES that you know they are not, serious; that you have a much better opinion of them than they would have you have; and that, you are very sure, they would not practice the doctrine they preach.