“There has always been a secret prejudice against miracles…there is still a reluctance in many minds to admit these departures from the order of nature predicated in miracles… A modified form of this feeling may be seen in many honest believers in their disposition to overlook the miracles as the wonders of a distant age, answering an important purpose in the first introduction of Christianity, but of little use now as evidences of their religion.
“It is vastly more important to know what the Reformation retained than what it overthrew; for the overthrow of error, though often an indispensable prerequisite to the establishment of truth, is not truth itself; it may clear the foundation simply to substitute one error for another, perhaps a greater for a less.
“There is a strait gait of knowledge through which [everyone] must pass on entering the kingdom, and many of the results of his reasonings must be abandoned at that entrance, while he confesses himself a mere disciple all the way in his progress.
“In the primitive church there was a private and public catechization. The private was practiced by parents according to Eph. 6:4… The public was held in schools, churches, and other places, and the pupils were called catechumens, from κατγχουμενοι, learners, the word that is used in the New Testament passages before quoted.
“Never were pious resignation to God’s will — complete subjection to His sovereignty – perfect patience under disappointment and sorrow more beautifully and impressively uttered… We do not think it possible for human language to express a more thorough acquiescence in the decrees of Providence.
“The prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Gentiles had been so numerous and diversified that nothing but the partial blindness of Israel could have prevented them from entertaining a general expectation of the speedy accession of all nations to the kingdom of God…