1.Accept your limitations. Be humble. It is surprising how many great minds have bowed before the Christian religion in all ages. It does not follow a thing that is contrary to reason because it is beyond reason. It may transcend the power of reason, as an ob-ject may be beyond the vision, but it may be no less a fact than what is beyond the reach of sight. While great minds accept great truths, small minds often construct idols, not of wood or of stone, but, as the Duke of Argyle says, “of their own abstract conceptions”
2.Be intellectually honest. Mental candour is something rare. Tennyson long ago said that “the truthful man generally has all virtues.” Sin is born of presumptuous intelligence. Satan is the embodiment of intellect without God, and he is the father of lies. We know few things so rare as absolute intellectual integrity—a type of manhood where there is an honest desire and determination to follow truth wherever it leads, and at any cost to one’s self; but it pays. There is much that is seen, which will soon pass away like the vapour or cloud which envelopes the mountain; but the unseen mountain, itself glorious, like the Great White Thorne, will stand unmoved when fifty centuries of cloud and mist have fled Into nothingness. The man who desires to look for truth, and, when he finds it, sticks to it whatever it may cost him, has the essentials of the Eternal in him.
3.Be independent. If necessary, dare to stand alone and not blindly follow the multitude, or even some so-called great men, Francis Bacon long ago said that there were four idols that men follow-those of the tribe, the den, the market place, and the theatre; in other words, the national idols, the scholar students, the demagogues, and the orators. If one would keep his beliefs he must guard his company. It is far easier to suggest a doubt than to answer it. Any fool can ask questions which no wise man can answer, but no wise man can propound a question which he will not find some fool ready to attempt answer. One needs to guard himself against the subtle influences of current, doubt which is in, the very air we breathe. Dare to stand, as we have said, if necessary, alone.
Devotional by Dr. AT Peirson
Taken from ‘The balance of truth’ August 1961 issue.