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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
J. C. Shairp
 
  Criticism is not religion, and by no process can it be substituted for it. It is not the critic’s eye, but the child’s heart that most truly discerns the countenance that looks out from the pages of the gospel.  1
  It is quite certain that, if from childhood men were to begin to follow the first intimations of conscience, honestly to obey them and carry them out into act, the power of conscience would be so strengthened and improved within them, that it would soon become, what it evidently is intended to be, “a connecting principle between the creature and the Creator.”  2
  That image, or rather that Person, so human, yet so entirely divine, has a power to fill the imagination, to arrest the affections, to deepen and purify the conscience, which nothing else in the world has.  3
  The ground of all religion, that which makes it possible, is the relation in which the human soul stands to God.  4
  The main condition is that the spiritual ear should be open to overhear and patiently take in, and the will ready to obey that testimony which, I believe, God bears in every human heart, however dull, to those great truths which the Bible reveals. This, and not logic, is the way to grow in religious knowledge, to know that the truths of religion are not shadows, but deep realities.  5
  We are not called on to believe this or that doctrine which may be proposed to us till we can do so from honest conviction. But we are called on to trust—to trust ourselves to God, being sure that He will lead us right—to keep close to Him—and to trust the promises which He whispers through our conscience; this we can do, and we ought to do.  6
 
 
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