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Between Two Opinions.pdf

Between Two Opinions.pdf

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By Carl G. Doney, Ph. D.

"How LONG halt ye between two opinions?" —
I Kings xviii, 21.

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, with-
out wavering." — Heb. x, 23.
By Carl G. Doney, Ph. D.

"How LONG halt ye between two opinions?" —
I Kings xviii, 21.

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, with-
out wavering." — Heb. x, 23.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Between Two OpinionsBy Carl G. Doney, Ph. D."How LONG halt ye between two opinions?" — I Kings xviii, 21."Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, with-out wavering." — Heb. x, 23."They performed their duties, but preferred to puttheir own construction on the commands of their mas-ters, rather than execute them." — Tacitus."Obey something, and you will have a chance of finding out what is best to obey. But if you begin byobeying nothing, you will end by obeying Beelzebub,and all his seven invited friends." — Ruskin."There is no surer argument of a weak mind thanirresolution. There is nothing more pitiable in thisworld than an irresolute man, oscillating between twofeelings, who would willingly unite the two, and doesnot perceive that nothing can unite them." — Goethe."Yet half mankind maintains a churlish strifeWith Him, the donor of eternal life.Because the deed by which His love confirms.The largess He bestows, prescribes the terms.Compliance with His will, your lot insures.Accept it only, and the boon is yours." — Cowper.178
Between Two OpinionsOpinion is not unimportant: it does matter whatone believes irrespective of his sincerity. Forgedfrom the fires of a htmian soul, it may yet be greaterthan the man, or less. But it will bring the man toits own level. The fugitive thought arrested Wilbcr-force, and, when he believed with a full heart thatthe unfortunate had a claim on him, his life waslifted from self to sacrificing service. When cul-tured Oscar Wilde believed that life's meaning bestwas realized in sensuality, he soon was on the planeof sottish being. Opinion is transmissible. Garrisonhurled his opinion before the American people, andheld it there until they were forced to make it theirs,and the North rang with a thousand voices that werein earnest and would not equivocate. When FrancesWillard was possessed by love "for God and home andnative land/' she planted her opinion in the soil of consecrated womanhood and wrote thereby the doomprophetic of the liquor curse. Here is the law: Opin-ion masters man and works itself into the open deed.We recognize the compelling power of an opinion,and therefore hesitate to let it have unqualified in-179i8o The ThronC'Room of the SotUdorsement. This is the secret source of compromiseand of the weak man's shame and failure. Justopinions are constructive, but a compromise with jus-tice leaves the question still unanswered. Slavery'sante-bellum compromises settled nothing. Some thingsare either right or wrong, and any middle ground isbut the scene of further conflict God's hand will
rearrange upon the board the figures. His voice stillspeak to conscience, till the chaos of the wrong ischanged into the order of the right. Another lawthere is: Though man refuse to have opinions thereis making for him day by day opinions he must have.Each vagrant thought and deed reacts upon the mindand, growing into habit, forms its mental counterpartin some opinion. Capricious acts, instead of reason,thus become the ruler and man abdicates his rightof judgment and is a thing caught in the cycle of the laws which govern matter. He is the prey of shifting winds of doctrine, the unknown quantity inthose problems where real men countWe grant that oftentimes a fixed opinion is notreadily attained, and that delay is wisdom's betterpart Off-hand opinions may be no better than mereguesses at the truth. But a man's opinion as concernshis God ought to be worth the struggle needed to se-cure its fixed acceptance. Hesitation or compromiseBetween Two Opinions i8ihere would seem to be without explanation. But theIsrael which Elijah arraigned for indecision remainsunto this day. Natural hesitancy to make an out-and-out decision becomes a habit, and many Christians inthe face of wrong seek peace through compromise in-stead of waging righteous strife. Said Phillips inhis eulogy of John Brown, "If in a world of sinnersyou were to put American Christianity, it would becalm as oil; but put one Christian Uke John Brownof Ossawatomie, and he makes the whole crystallizeinto right and wrong, and marshal themselves on oneside or the other." John Brown was an Elijah. Suchmen make others take their places and be counted.Society always needs an Elijah to separate God'sfaithful from the aristocratic heathen. Every city

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