once said, “If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.”
I believe in the regeneration of the world through Christianity.
We are in a transition state.
Christianity is moving forward to fresh triumphs; but there will never be a union of thought.
You never can get the Methodist
to stand side by side with the Calvinist, and the conservative and the radical to read the New Testament in the light of the same interpretation.
It is a purpose and an opportunity, not a creed, that will unite Christianity; a benevolent movement, not an intellectual effort, that will ever make a seamless garment of the Christian Church.
If John Stuart Mill, who rejects the four Gospels, shall agitate Europe
, and so the workingmen shall be lifted from the pit they now occupy,--a pit which is worse than any hell Calvin ever imagined,--then I shall say that Lord Shaftesbury is a dreamer, and John Stuart Mill the apostolic successor of Saint Paul
. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said the Master
Wherever a chain is broken, wherever a ray of light is admitted, wherever a noble purpose is struggling, wherever an obstacle is removed, there is Christianity.
There may be mummies hidden in the churches; metaphysicians dividing the truth according to the north or north-western side of a hair,--but they will never be crucified; never have the Pharisees and Sadducees fretting that their time is come; they will never have the devils of their age asking to be sent into the swine.
We don't know Jesus, and no man would know him if he came today.
We imagine that he was a respectable, sentimental, decorous, moderate, careful, conservative element, who took a hall and was decently surrounded.
He was the sedition of the streets.
He said to wealth, “You are robbery,” and Christendom stood aghast.
He said to Judah