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Benjamin Fish Austin

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We live in a period of transitions. Old interpretations of the scripture are giving way to new ones. Old conceptions of the method of creation are no longer popular

 
Benjamin Fish Austin

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New truths in science are often condemned and 25 years ago it was very common and very popular for preachers to sneer at the evolution theory, but to-day it is no longer sneered at, for there is arising in all intelligent minds who have candidly examined the evidence the conviction that this was the method of creation, and no scientist of note to-day denies it.

 
Benjamin Fish Austin
 

My narrative may be invaded by inaccuracy and confusion; but if I live no longer, I will, at least, live to complete it. What but ambiguities, abruptnesses, and dark transitions, can be expected from the historian who is, at the same time, the sufferer of these disasters?

 
Charles Brockden Brown
 

Why should old interpretations of scripture, all of which reflect the ignorance and prejudice and limitations of the age in which they were formulated, bar the way to progress in our modern day?

 
Benjamin Fish Austin
 

What prevented Him from making His primary object a direct commandment to us, and to give us the capacity of obeying it? ...As it is the chief object and purpose of God that we should believe in the Law, and act according to that which is written therein, why has He not given us the capacity of continually believing in it, and following its guidance, instead of holding out to us reward for obedience, and punishment for disobedience, or of actually giving all the predicted reward and punishment? For [the promises and the threats] are but the means of leading to this chief object. What prevented Him from giving us, as part of our nature, the will to do that which He desires us to do, and to abandon the kind of worship which He rejects? There is one general answer to these three questions, and all questions of the character; it is this: Although in every one of the signs [related in Scripture] the natural property of some individual being is changed, the nature of man is never changed by God by way of miracle. ...it is in His power, according to the principles taught in Scripture, but it has never been His will to do it, and it never will be. If it were part of His will to change [at His desire] the nature of any person, the mission of prophets and the giving of the Law would have been altogether superfluous.

 
Maimonides
 

Another reason that I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we're going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence.

 
Martin Luther King
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