ways past finding out. But in this way he can never come to know Him as a man knows his friend,
as a little child his mother. He may learn that God is good, and that His tender mercy is over all
His works, for truly has the poet said:
Means and methods manifold did God the Truth devise,
That for thee in thy mother's breast some tenderness might rise.1
Hence, long ere earthly mother was, there lived the Truth of God:
Whoso this truth then knoweth not, what is he but a clod?
From contemplation of the Power that causes the law-observing movements of the planets in their
orbits, and from consideration of the Wisdom which has bound creature to creature in bonds of mutual
help and dependence, and from observation of the care and foresight which has provided each animal
with the limbs and weapons needed for its life and work, one may learn some of the glorious
attributes and something of the kindness and character of the Almighty Creator. Hence the Psalmist
He that planted the ear, shall He not hear?
He that formed the eye, shall He not see?
He that chastiseth the nations, shall not He correct,
Even He that teacheth man knowledge?
(Ps. xciv. 9, 10.)
The consonant voice of creation should suffice to teach men that God is Almighty, All-Wise,
All-gracious. And, through the light of the reason and conscience which God Most High has given him,
man should be able to perceive the difference between right and wrong, justice and injustice, and to
distinguish that which is pleasing to God from that which displeases Him. He should also perceive
that justice demands the punishment of crimes and the reward of virtuous deeds. He should learn that
God, who has placed in man's spirit the recognition of these things, must be just and holy, and that
He rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Man ought to be able to learn at least all this about
God's Will and Attributes from his own reason and conscience. But experience teaches us that he has
not done so, apart from Divine Revelation. The very existence of the heathen is a sufficient
evidence of the truth of this assertion. Many of them possess learning and keen understanding and
great sagacity; yet in all past ages, and even at the present time, such men in India and China and
other lands have remained enchained in the slavery of idolatry, and have never realized that God is
One, Living, Eternal, All-Wise, Almighty, Holy, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things
visible and invisible. Religion after religion has grown up in various lands, and in most of these,
though there may be found a feeling after God, an acknowledgement of the necessity of worship, yet
men have been led astray by the Evil One and seduced by their own desires to worship the Host of
Heaven, or senseless idols, or dead men, or even brute beasts. Moreover, although man may understand
some things through his own intellect, yet, since he cannot feel assured of its correctness, he
remains disturbed in mind and uncertain what to believe and what to do. Even Plato and Aristotle in
Greece, though renowned as among the wisest of men, never realized the unity and personality of God,
still less His Holiness.
Let it not be overlooked that what influences man's actions and beliefs is not his intellect
alone. He has also a sensual disposition, and fleshly desires have gained such power over him that
they often blind the eye of his perception. On this account also man has never attained, and can
never attain by the mere exercise of his reason, even to that degree of the knowledge of God which
has been already mentioned. Nor has he ever by his own power overcome his passions and been able and
willing to do what he knew to be right.