636 TALKS ON " AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "
that w&y. They would nevef- think of keeping the
wljole of the book. They take out, here and there,
what they think is suitable; and in just'the same way
we should treat the ancient Scriptures. We should
take from them what is noble and beautiful and grand
and good for all time. There is plenty of it. But
we may, with great advantage, leave aside those parts
which do not come up to the level of modern require-
ments. There will no doubt be, in process of time, a
new Scripture compiled, that will be made to suit us
of the present day; but in a thousand years that will
be out of date also. There will be new ideas and
new discoveries; and so, although the great truths are
the same, the method of putting them by means of
scripture or of sermons will have to differ, and it is
foolish to imagine that one particular set of words
must be sacrosanct and valid for all times.
With regard to the whole question of the Deity, it
seems to me that there are only three fundamental
views that you can take about God and His attitude
towards men. (i) You can suppdse Him to be ab-
solutely indifferent. You can suppose Him to have
started the whole business and not to care in the very
least what happens to it. That is, of course, the.
materialistic idea, except that the materialists do not
usually accept the idea of God at all. But if they
did accept the idea of God, they would say that He
lets everything take its own course. That is a theory
which could be maintained.