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Many, however, and of a much stronger and more important sort, there now are, who will not thus take on trust the story which is made the reason for putting ourselves in connexion with the Bible and learning to use its religion; be it the story of the divine authority of the Church, as in Catholic countries, or,—as generally with us,—the story of the three supernatural persons standing on its own merits. Is what this story asserts true, they are beginning to ask; can it be verified?—since experience proves, they add, that whatever for man is true, man can verify. And certainly the fairy tale of the three supernatural persons no man can verify. They find this to be so, and then they say: The Bible takes for granted this story and depends on the truth of it; what, then, can rational people have to do with the Bible? So they get rid, to be sure, of a false ground for using the Bible, but they at the same time lose the Bible itself, and the true religion of the Bible: righteousness, and the method and secret of Jesus. And those who lose this are the masses, as they are called; or rather they are what is most strenuous, intelligent, and alive among the masses, and what will give the signal for the rest to follow.

This is what everyone sees to constitute the special moral feature of our times: the masses are losing the Bible and its religion. At the Renascence, many cultivated wits lost it; but the great solid mass of the common people kept it, and