But, you know, when we've proved that the Bible
supports and demands slavery as an institution, folks will ask you to show them what is the worth of such
a Bible, here and now. And in that matter I cannot be of any help to you, gentlemen, at all.”
But some adherent of Dr. Crosby
may say: Still, the New Testament does not anywhere specifically and in so many words describe a system of moral observance like Teetotalism.
Possibly not; and hence the Doctor
claims that this suiting Christianity to the needs of the age is disguised infidelity.
But look at it a moment.
The New Testament is a small book, and may be read in an hour.
It is not a code of laws, but the example of a life and a suggestion of principles.
It would be idle to suppose that it could describe in detail, specifically meet every possible question, and solve every difficulty that the changing and broadening life of two or three thousand years might bring forth.
The progressive spirit of each age has found in it just the inspiration and help it sought.
But when timid, narrow, and short-sighted men claimed such exclusive ownership in it that they refused to their growing fellows the use of its broad, underlying principles, and thus demanded to have new wine put into old bottles, of course the bottles burst and their narrow, surface Bible became discredited; but the real Bible soared upward, and led the world onward still, as the soul rises to broader and higher life when the burden of a narrow and mortal body falls away.
This is that kind of literal and starved ignorance which lays its unworthy hand on the Scriptures, and tells us that, because Solomon said, “He that spareth the rod spoileth the child,” he meant every child must be mercilessly whipped; thus dragging down the wisest of men to the level of their own narrow and brutal nature,