The Creeds

The discussions which arose upon the Revelation of Himself, which God

gave in His Son Jesus Christ, were carried on between people who lived

far apart round the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Nature of Almighty God could not possibly be easily understood by

man. We might as well expect a horse to understand the nature of man.

When a man tries to make a horse understand kindness, he is often

nted with the lower nature which seems unable to appreciate it:

but he perseveres, and expects some response to his efforts.

In like manner we may believe that God expects us to respond when He

reveals something of His own Nature to us.

Assuming that He is perfectly Wise, we must own that what He tells us

about Himself it is good for us to believe, and to try to understand.

The Revelation is itself a claim upon our Worship. We start with a

grain of Faith: that is, we believe that there is a Revelation--an

unveiling of the mystery of God's Being.

It was necessary that argument should just fail to prove this; because

it is God's Will that men should be equal before Him: the man who can

argue very cleverly was not designed to have an advantage over the

stupid or ignorant man in their dealings with God. The meaning of our

Lord's words, The poor have the Gospel preached to them, is not to be

confined to poverty in money and clothes: the man who is poor in

opportunities, learning, intellect, can believe if he makes the

needful effort: the intellectual man who is poor in humility has also

to make an effort, and to endeavour to believe. They and all others

are made equal when God makes His Claim upon them. Moreover, the

difficulties of Faith are in proportion to the Aids to Faith. There is

no compulsion of Reason, any more than there is compulsion of

Authority, or of Imprisonment. We are all free; we all have

difficulties; and we all have the call of God to Believe in Him.

Reason is one of God's best gifts. Reason shows nothing contrary to

Faith, when the balance comes to be struck. The Intellectual argument

is with us all, and is slightly in favour of Belief. But Faith is the

atmosphere in which we must move, if we are to see the Invisible God.

Revelation, then, appeals to Faith, and is not opposed to Reason. The

Summary of Revelation which is found in the Christian Creeds is

compiled from the Bible. Reason is incapable of assuring us that God

has a Son, and equally incapable of assuring us that He has not a Son.

The Revelation assures us that He has a Son: and Reason cannot, in the

{91} nature of things, contradict that assurance. Reasoning can tell

us, and does tell us, that the Epistles (say) of St Paul to the

Galatians, Romans, and Corinthians were written, as they claim, by St

Paul; that the Gospels and other New Testament books are compositions

of the first century; that Christianity was accepted as true by

multitudes of the people of that century, and so on. But the

acceptance of the Faith was then, and still is, left to your choice--a

choice whether you will listen to God's Call to be His faithful son, or

reject it.