Our ministerial critic returned to the charge against the...

Out West

Our ministerial critic returned to the charge against the Christian Scientists and against Christian Science last Sunday evening. He justified all that he has said by reading letter after letter from people who think as he does. All of which is inconsequent, irrelevant, and immaterial, and not at all convincing. He forgets that it is entirely possible to find any number of people in this world who believe that the other fellow ought to be exterminated for being heterodox. Orthodoxy is built that way. Every man is orthodox—to himself—and the other fellow who does not agree is a perfectly dreadful creature, you know. If the effort were worth the time, we could find any number of people who would affirm that our critic ought to be exterminated, and that his teachings are error. John Calvin, of sainted memory, thought that way when he burned Michael Servetus for heresy.

Our critic is preaching from his pulpit and we from ours. We have the larger congregation. He preaches doctrine, and we humanity. Whereas he is certain that his sail and rudder are perfect and will guide him into a safe port, we preach the wider doctrine. He has his scheme of conversion all ready for sinners; we go farther, and say that we hope and believe that all mortals who are true to the teachings and promptings of their own consciences will eventually get their reward of happiness, whether in this world or the next, about which we do not pretend to know anything.

Some years ago the Rev. T. De Witt Talmage, who was considerable of an acting pulpiteer, preached a sermon drawn from one of Paul's epistles, the text being, "And some on pieces of the ship." Paul, it will be remembered, tells the story of a shipwreck, and describes how every one on that ship was saved, "and some on pieces of the ship." Well, now, perhaps that is Universalism pure and simple, and perhaps we are encroaching on theological matters more closely than we care to do, but it is suggested, and in perfect good faith, that our critic get a file of Talmage's published sermons and read that particular one.

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March 25, 1911

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