Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Infidel's Error is in the Heart

A selection from a letter by James A. Haldane to Captain Patrick Gardner, a friend in his days as a sailor. Prior to his conversion, Haldane himself was in command of the ship, Melville Castle. In those days he undertook a careful study of the Bible and was convinced that it was God’s Word. He later became a preacher of the gospel and a successful author to the surprise of all who had known him. In this portion of the letter, he speaks of the strength of the evidences which confirm the Christian faith. The letter was written June 29, 1801.

The more I read [the Bible] the more worthy it appeared of God; and after examining the evidences with which Christianity is supported, I became fully persuaded of its truth. There is no man who considers the evidences with the smallest impartiality but must come to the same conviction. Even Rousseau admits the strength of the evidence, but he says he remains in suspense, because there are many doctrines which he thinks unworthy of God. In other words, he will not submit his pride of understanding to a book which himself allows is supported by the strongest evidence as coming from God. This suspense is now over [Rousseau died in 1778], and neither he nor any other man shall be able to complain they have been hardly dealt with. The Infidel, whether by profession or practice, shall be convinced they meet with no more than they deserve. The error lies in their heart, not in their understanding; they choose the darkness; they determine to live in sin, and they persuade themselves while here, being blinded by passion, they shall escape punishment.

The Lives of Robert and James Haldane, by Alexander Haldane, first published in 1852, reprinted by The Banner of Truth, 1990, pp. 71-72.

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