Religious Items

In the first instance we believe what we have been taught. That is, we accept our beliefs on authority. To the end of our days and over a much wider range of topics than we think, this remains true of a portion of our beliefs. No man can know adequately more than a fraction of the things that he knows something about. The opinions he holds beyond what he actually knows are resting on authority. But he is all the while learning the facts as to many subjects of belief, or learning that things supposed to be facts are not so. This changes both his beliefs and the grounds of them. Coleridge said he could most sincerely subscribe to all the articles of the English Prayer Book Confession in September, 1831. He could not have made that statement in September, 1901. How insensibly are outgrown many once cherished beliefs! It does not follow that this comes from access of light always. Darkness, spiritual penumbra, created by intervening ambitions, studies, habits, may be the cause. Purity, sincerity, candor, love,—these are the greatest aids to the soundest faith.—The Universalist Leader.

The commemoration last week in England of the thousandth anniversary of the death of King Alfred was obscured by the world-wide lament over the death of President McKinley. But the ceremonial was admirably adapted to bring to mind the great debt Anglo-Saxon civilization owes to Alfred. While we may not all accept the dictum of Freeman, which has been adopted by Frederic Harrison, that "Alfred is the most perfect character in history," no one who becomes familiar with the story of his personal life, and who realizes the great part he filled in binding together the tribes of England into a nation, in founding English literature, English sea-power, and English constitutional law, can fail to recognize that his life was one of the great gifts of God to the English speaking races, and through them to the world.

October 10, 1901

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.