Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Bible Reading not Sectarian

Bible Reading not Sectarian

2. It has been urged that the Bible is sectarian. Now, that which is sectarian belongs to some particular body or sect. But the elementary truths of religion are common to all sects, and unless all religion be sectarian the Bible cannot be excluded under this plea.

If all religion be sectarian then the administration of oaths in Courts of Justice is sectarian. But no one affirms this. I hold, on the contrary that the Bible is not sectarian and shall adduce proof. Those who bring forward this objection studiously conceal the fact that there are certain great religious truths which are admitted and firmly believed by all Christians. They all believe in the existence of a God, in the immortality of the soul, in the beneficent character of the teaching of the New Testament, and in its divine origin and authority. All who really value Christianity and its noble and benevolent agencies, rejoice that there is so much that the various divisions of the Christian Church have in common. And it is the earnest desire of all such in every portion of the British colonies, and throughout the world, to see the broad foundation of truth laid, the pillars firmly fixed, and these benevolent agencies in vigorous operation. This objection to the number of the sects, and the differences of their doctrines, is an old infidel argument. It is those who dislike Christianity who cavil about sects, magnify the differences that exist between them, and ignore the broad basis of truth about which there is no controversy, and no difference of opinion.

The whole argument, in the opinion of some of our senators, has turned upon the supposition that the Bible is a volume whose teachings lead to sectarianism, and therefore it ought not to remain in the schools. To this we strongly demur, and it can be easily disproved. The Bible is the word of God; Sectarianism is the work of man. In the Bible we are taught that God hath made of one blood all men that dwell on the face of the earth, that we are to forgive injuries and to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us, that we all have one origin, and must all stand at one judgment seat; and the volume which contains such truths surely cannot be charged with being sectarian. It is a singular thing that Roman Catholics and Secularists are both agreed in their opposition; the first, because they will have no creed taught but their own, and no Bible reading without priestly interpretation, the latter, because they disbelieve in creeds altogether. The advocates of Bible readimg hold against both, that there are eternal principles of truth in the bible which lie at the basis of religion, and which, apart from creeds and formularies, ought to find place in the school.

In point of fact the differences among denominations is not a sufficient excuse for the exclusion of the Bible, seeing that religious teaching is successfully carried out by the School Boards at home. That the Bible is not sectarian appears from the result of