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PAET IV. Influence of Theism on the Life. I Have proved already, on
grounds of pure reason, the existence of a Supreme Being of
matchless power, wisdom and goodness, who loves us with a
changeless love, who is the Father of our souls and our best
Friend. It is obvious that if this be accepted as true, so far as
it goes, it ought to have an enormous influence on our hearts and
lives and character. A mere cold intellectual assent to it, simply
because it is irrefutable, will have little or no practical effect.
Suppose one of us to be in some great difficulty from which he
cannot extricate himself, or under some terrible fear which he
cannot shake off, and then he were to be told of a kind and able
friend who could and gladly would release him from his fear and
overcome all his difficulties. The sufferer might believe this in a
sort of way, might not find any cogent excuse for not believing it,
and yet hemight forbear to seek the help of that unknown friend. He
might assent to the assertion of this willingness and power to help
him, but still lack sufficient conviction to avail himself of it.
It is precisely the same in regard to Theism. Its propositions may
seem reasonable and true; those who listen to them may be willing
to assent to them; but unless they are convinced, unless they feel
the truth of the assertions, they will remain unmoved and unaltered
by them. Once firmly convinced, once feeling deeply the necessity
for themselves and for all mankind of such a God of goodness and
love, the belief in Him is no longer a mere theory or set of
reasonable propositions, but becomes an intense influence on their
hearts and lives, affecting all they do, and think, and say. The
great question, " Is life worth living ? " to which so many vain
and mournful answers have been...
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