[President William H. P. Faunce, LL.D., in Watchman.]

Ever more clearly we are coming to that the Bible is not a series of rules to be obeyed, or ceremonies to be performed, or propositions to be believed, but is the record of the supreme religious experience of humanity, the immortal testimony of the men who beyond all others in history have come face to face with God. It is not, we say, a series of rules to be obeyed; if it were, we should still compel women to keep silence in the churches, and should send back every runaway slave to his master. It is not a series of ceremonies to be exactly repeated; if it were, we should practise foot-washing still, and should insist that the Lord's Supper be celebrated, as it was in the early church, at the conclusion of a regular meal. It is not a series of propositions to be accepted; if it were, we should all believe in demoniacal possession, in the immediately approaching end of the world, and should be torn with doubt as to how to reconcile Paul and James. Matthew and Luke, the ethics of Joshua with the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount. But if we can see in the Bible, as our scholars are more and more clearly teaching us, the record of the greatest voyages the human spirit has yet made in its search for God, the witness of those who out of strong crying and tears—yea, blood and martyrdom—have found the Father of spirits, then its pages become to us unspeakably precious and filled with deathless inspiration to heroic ethical endeavor. And if we find that the Bible leads us everywhere into the presence of our Lord, through the prophets who saw him, and the singers who longed for him, and the fishermen who sailed with him, and the apostles who gave their lives for him, and that the consciousness of the Lord thus becomes the fountain-head of Christian ethics. Christian truth, Christian attitudes toward God and toward man, then indeed our Bible is enthroned again in the center of our affection and our zeal.

March 19, 1910

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