Religious Items

James H. Ecob, D.D., in an article on "Church Federation" The Christian Register, says:—

"I hope that some day a scholar will arise, large enough in learning, broad enough in vision, to give the world the true story of that most destructive of all heresies, the verbal inspiration of Scriptures. It has mothered more of the sins and abominations of history than all other heresies combined. When Protestantism arrived with its doctrine of the inalienable right of private judgment, a new and terrible weapon was placed in the hand of this arch heresy. At least a degree of safety lay in numbers when synods and councils turned to the record for a God-given word. But when every man, whatever his equipment in learning, or insight, could turn to an infallible book and get his "Thus saith the Lord' at first hand, it was like the letting out of waters. Private interpretation, personal idiosyncracies, vagaries, conceits, ambitions, cruelties, avariceries, slavery, intemperance, war, each with its proof-texts, set out to the conquest of the world. Each must do thus, and no otherwise; for did it not carry, as a banner, its divinely inspired word? It was philosophically inevitable, therefore, that, after the first great unifying impulse had somewhat abated. Protestantism must begin to divide. Nothing can arrest that process of division so long as that cause is operative; namely, the right of private judgment to exploit a verbally inspired Scripture. There lies the logic, and there is the tremendous underscoring of history. Protestantism has gone on dividing and subdividing till to-day we have the 'scandal of Christendom,'—hundreds of sects, sects of sects. . . . The Bible to-day is a unifier, not a divider, because intelligent men and women the world over are more and more demanding its ethical contents.

July 11, 1903

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