Saturday, 14 July 2012

James Simpson: excerpt from a speech of 1854

"Why did Moses permit them to put away their wives? Christ says, Moses permitted this for the hardness of their hearts, showing that these things were permitted when the Jewish nation was not perceptible of a higher level of truth and morals. What we found in the Bible was, therefore, to be carefully looked at in connection with other circumstances, or we might follow fallen examples instead of high principles. It was in this way that slavery was justified by the slaveholder, and so the capital punishment man drew his sanction; but if they went further they would find other principles taught, such as the command to do good to those who hate us and ill treat us. The great thing, then, was not to look at the facts and history of Scripture apart from the principles of Scripture, and they would thus find that there were many things recorded that they were not obliged to act out, but that they had to follow the great and high principles of truth and goodness." From a talk on vegetarian values and experience of the diet given on October 6th, 1854 at the New Jerusalem School, Accrington by the first President of the Vegetarian Society. Text taken from The Vegetarian Messenger (November 1854)

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