Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Morbid Condition of Society - Gaussen

Thus it is that, in giving a higher character to all branches of study, theology has often ennobled that of a whole people.

But, on the contrary, when theology and the people have become indifferent to each other, and drowsy flocks have lived only for this world, then theology herself has given evident proofs of sloth, frivolity, ignorance, or perhaps of a love of novelties; seeking a profane popularity at any cost; affecting to have made discoveries that are only whispered to the ear, that are taught in academies, and never mentioned in the churches; keeping her gates shut amid the people, and at the same time throwing out to them from the windows doubts and impieties with the view of ascertaining the present measure of their indifference; until at last she breaks out into open scandal, in attacking doctrines, or in denying the integrity or the inspiration of certain books, or in giving audacious denials to the facts which they relate.

Let a man beware of believing that the whole people do not before long feel the consequences of so enormous a mischief. They will suffer from it even in their temporal interests, and their national existence will be compromised. In degrading their religion, you proportionally lower their moral character; you leave them without a soul. All things take their measure, in the nation, according to the elevation that is given to Heaven among the people. If their Heaven be low, everything is affected by it, even on the Earth. All there becomes before long more confined and more creeping; the future becomes narrowed; patriotism becomes materialized; generous traditions drop out of notice; the moral sense loses its tone; material well-being engrosses all regard; and all conservative principles, one after another, disappear.

[Louis Gaussen, God-Breathed: The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. (The Trinity Foundation, 2001), 34. Good book for those stale business flights to and fro Texas, hint hint.]

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