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1 AT EIN I)A RLLENWYll.---

DOW LAIS FOOTBALLERS WALKI…

ROY AI, W ELSIJ "LA DIES'…

MERTUYK GUARDIANS.

THE FURTHER REFORMATION NEEDED.…

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THE FURTHER REFORMATION NEEDED. i The fourth of a series of sermons on Protestant principles as understood by Unitarians was delivered at Highland-place Unitarian Church, Aberdaitv on Sunday night by the imstor, the Ref. Jenkin Thomas. Ttl"1 subject was, "The l'nrtber Heforma- tion Needed." Mr. Thomas Raid that in his previous discourse he had endeavoured to trace out the forces at work which brought about the revolution in the world of religion1? thought known a- the Reformation. In the present discourse they had to enquire whether the position attained then is t.i l>e final, or only a prophecy of tho grander reformation to come. They liad already seen that tho Reformation gave birth to scientific inquiries, and scientific inquiries had opened up vast worlds to our inspection of which we were previously not aware. It was customary in tho olden times to think that this earth on which wa lived was the centre of the universe, arouud which the suu and planets and stars revolved. This primitive theory was now exploded. Tbe earth was simply R speck in comparison with the immensities around tnem. It was a quiet nook in the huge workshop of nature where man might flower and develop his innate capabilities. A quiet nook where, far away from disturbing elements, he might think and ponder over j the mysteries in which he was involved—himself the j greatest mystery of all. Alan might now turn his t-elescoije to space, and eee there millions of worlds j larger than his own coursing their way through tho vast expanses of the heavens, and oljedient to the laws which are wisely formed by an All-Intelligent Being for the preservation of unity and stability. He might also use bis microscope, and learn of the wonderful creations which were invisible to the naked eye. lie might learn by c-oinpariaon Hut there is a significant resemblance he-tween the life of these invisible creature. and the life in the more highly-develoned auimals. Such was the force of reseni bianco that man was tempted to ask; Aro not all living creatures one organism": Is not life in its varied aspects essentially the manifestation of the one abiding life of the universeIs not the life on the planets and in the di-taut star- related to the life in j us, and the outcome of the same mysterious laws j which produce wlnt they called life' Was not life, I wherever found, a part of tho infinite life? Such were the question- and the vast range, which the I Reformation had opened up to them. And in the presence of such dazzling splendour, what ought their position to Ije with regard to the authority which the i theologians of the Reformation had substituted for the church 1 They all remembered that the Bible was mada the fiaal authority by the reformers. What wero they to do when the Bible taught one theory, and they knew that such a j theory was contrary to factsAccepting the [ teachings of the Bible which were false, or cling to the truth at whatever cost? It might he said that the Bible wa-i not a scientific book, or at least not a text- book of scieuce. To the people who lielieved that the j Bible was final authority, this way simply evading the j difficulty. The} ought either to stick to their author- j ity, or reject it altogether.- To say that portions of the j Bible were myths, and other portions inspired truths, was illegitimate as long as thej Bible was the final and 011I3' authority. Before anyone could form any su:h conclusions, he stultified his own reason, which really bccanie the ultimate seat of authority. He did not quarrel with making reason the authority. But he did think it an untenable position for anyone to hold who appealed to reason as authority when cornered by scientific facts, and to tho Bible as final authority when any of his lonjj-cherishcd opinions j needed supjwrting. Principal Edwards, of Bala, in his lecture 011 the God-man, lately printed, doelared that the story of the creation of man and the fall was I a my Hi but lie continued, the myth may 1){' They did not say that it alway* was the most natural form in which a great theological theory could l»eem!>edded. Tho story of creation was written as if it wero an j actual fact. There was nothing to indicate that it was a myth. Aud the very fact that it wa- literally believed by the majority ot orthodox theologians j showed that it was meant to be actual history. In making this story out to be a myth Principal Edwards | was guided by some other authority than that of tho Bible it-.elf. His authority was a combination of the Bible aud his own reasoning faculties. And the very fact that portions of the Bible are d jubted goes far to j prove that the whole truth was not contained in the J'ible. If the Bible was their only authority, what j were they to do with these triltli- Reject or accept them i It also proved that all that was in the Bible was not true. For once they shovv\rd that the story of the creation and of the fall. of man was a myth, and not a historic fact, they immediately showed that cer- tain statements in the Bible were misleading, eoiise- quently they could not rely upon it was finalauthority. But they might ask at this point-, what was the DillIe: Why should the Bible more than some other book be their Authority It had bfen customary to think of the Bible as tho Book of God handed cown from Heaven in some my-ierious fashion, neatly bound, for mail's inspiration and guidance. Every "i" dotted by t'ie linger of U od and "t" stroked by tho Infinite. The Reformation, however, started what was called the art of criticism. Men 1 learned to think, and shift evidences, and analyse the records for themselves. In doing this they had to learn tho conditions under which tho Bible was written. They studied the setting in < which the jewel was embedded, and in this way they were able to appreciate more fully its beauty and 1 significance. Their knowledge tit antiquity was much j fuller than it was in Luther's time. And even Luther recognised that there wero portions of the Bible of more importance than other. For instance he held that the Epistles of Paul were more valuable than the Gospels because they taught more clearly, a« he thought, the doctrine of justification by faith. If no, it cannot lie-equally inspired. What then if the Bible J 11 is a collection of books and letters. It i-, not one hoük, written by one man, under the direct inspiration of God. But a collection of booky, written at different times, under widely differing circumstances, and for different purposes. It was a matter of impossibility for them to interpret the Bible as the reformers did. Their knowledge made 1 this impossible. Scientific and philosophic discoveries had swept away for ever many of their crude notions. Their knowledge of antiquity, and the manner in which the various books of the Bible were written and collected made it a, matter of impossibility for thcln 1 to repeat tho ancient affirmations of the church. The whole positiou was changed. There were three intelli- i gible positions for ttiemtoaccept with regard to rel igious truth. They could make three different positions their I final authority;—1st, the church 2nd, the Scripture's; 3rd, they could make their minds and consciences the seat of authority. They could understand anyone j who made any of these the final scat of authority in all religions. Rut they could not plead the first and second conjointly against the third, as the Church of England attempted to do. Neither could they com- bino tho second and third against the authority of the Church, as the members of the new orthodoxy were t endeavouring to do. They ought to make one of the-e j positions their authority, and either trust to authority or trust to the faculties with which God hail endowed them. And why should they he afraid of trusting the reasoning powers with whic h they were gifted": Why should they dishonour the Almighty Giver to such an extent as to hesitate to utilise what was noblest and best in themselves ?

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