This also contains a piece entitled “Is Divorce Wrong?” Let me suppose that I am an unbeliever in Christianity, and that some friend should make me promise to examine the evidence to show that Christianity is a Divine revelation; I should then sift and test the evidence as strictly as if it were in a court of law, and in a cause of life and death; my will would be in suspense: it would in no way control the process of my intellect. If it had any inclination from the equilibrium, it would be towards mercy and hope; but this would not add afeather's weight to the evidence, nor sway the intellect a hair's breadth. After the examination has been completed, and my intellect convinced, the evidence being sufficient to prove that Christianity is a divine revelation, nevertheless I am not yet a Christian. All this sifting brings me to the conclusion of a chain of reasoning; but I am not yet a believer. The last act of reason has brought me to the brink of the first act of faith. They are generically distinct and separable. The acts of reason are intellectual, and jealous of the interference of the will. The act of faith is an imperative act of the will, founded on and justified by the process and conviction of the intellect. Hitherto I have been a critic: henceforward, if I will, I become a disciple. It may here be objected that no man can so far suspend the inclination of the will when the question is, has God indeed spoken to man or no? is the revealed law of purity, generosity, perfection, divine, or only the poetry of imagination? Can a man be indifferent between two such sides of the problem? Will he not desire the higher and better side to be true? And if he desire, will he not incline to the side that he desires to find true? Can a moral being be absolutely indifferent between two such issues? and can two such issues be equally attractive to a moral agent? Can it be indifferent and all the same to us whether God has made Himself and His will known to us or not? Is there no attraction in light, no repulsion in darkness? Does not the intrinsic and eternal distinction of good and evil make itself felt in spite of the will? Are we not responsible to "receive the truth in the love of it ? " Nevertheless, evidence has its own limits and quantities, and cannot be made more or less by any act of the will. And yet, what is good or bad, high or mean, lovely or hateful, ennobling or degrading, must attract or repel men as they are better or worse in their moral sense; for an equilibrium between good and evil, to God or to man, is impossible.
Cardinal Manning, Col Robert G Ingersoll, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1494391449, ISBN 13: 9781494391447