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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 42

16.—"Without Morality."

16.—"Without Morality."

"In morals blameless, as in manners meek."

"I apprehend that without morality the race would not exist. The race has existed without the Bible." Therefore the Bible is not the highest source of morals. Who ever denied that there was a possibility of man discovering, even in his savage and poorly developed condition, the necessity of morals of a certain order? Were the morals of Greece, however, to be compared with those of Palestine? Had the enlightened Romans as high an appreciation of morality as the Jews? But does Mr. Stout mean to imply that the millions who bow down to the religion of the Koran draw no sense of morality from the Bible? Then he errs. Does he mean to imply that the Vedas have running through them no wisdom imparted to the ancestors of the Eastern Asiatics by the Creator of the human family? Then he has to bring forward his proof. I contend that God communed with man before a line of the Bible was written, and this communication has been transmitted down the course page 31 of time, by precept and practice, more or less, through every diverging family of the species. The Bible teaches this. Further, it gives a higher and a purer motive for morality than is anywhere else presented. Spencer and others would make the observance of morals a mere matter of social policy, a policy prompted by sheer selfishness and personal prosperity. "If to be good will aid me, then I must be good." Hence a natural definition is formed, "Good, is that which best serves my purpose." The Bible, looking at our relation to Deity, shows that our duty to others and our allegiance to God, require us to act strictly what is right, and at the same time shows us what right is, which is love to God and man. It is not enough to say good is good, and produces good, bad is evil and generates evil, and still leave both good and evil undefined. That is just the point where philosophers disagree. What one has called a vice another has praised as a virtue; what one denounces as evil another extols as good. They have never by the simple means of experience been able to define what moral rectitude means. Now, one of the most conspicuous characteristics of the Bible is the "truth and justness of its moral distinctions," and one of the distinguishing features of the Book is that it contains the "only perfect standard of moral rectitude" known to man. Human reason is too circumscribed, to furnish such a standard. Nor is conscience honest enough to do so. It requires a perfect mind to arrange a perfect code of moral precepts. And the marvel is, that throughout the entire volume there is no deviation from the perfection of its definition. "It does not sever the outer from the inner man, but regards his principles and motives, as the germ of which the outward conduct is the development.. It identifies the love of God with keeping His commandments, and keeping His commandments with the love of God. It condemns the boasted rectitude of principle which is without the visible outward morality, as well as the Pharisaic morality that is destitute of right principle." True morality, therefore, is not without Divine inspiration.