Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.…
The argument for this is founded on —
I. THE NATURE AND CONDITION OF MAN. He is imperfect, and therefore should also be tolerant. There is nothing more universal than ignorance, and hence there should be no virtue more universal than toleration. The facility with which we all absorb error and fall into prejudices, should make us always ready to tolerate many shades of religious opinion. It is folly to demand a unity of belief in a world where there is no one wise but God, and no one good except God. Some of the best men have been the victims of great errors. All intolerance is based upon egotism. It proceeds from the assumption that you have reached the ideal. The dreadful Popish persecutions all originated in a human egotism that cried, "I have found it!" They had become the exponents of God. Whereas now history shows that in all cases the persons exiled or put to death held a better creed at the time than those who forced upon them the bitter fate.
II. IN THE FACT THAT THE IDEAS OVER WHICH MOST BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY BEEN PROVEN EITHER USELESS OR FALSE. But one might have premised that the most intolerance would always be found gathered about the least valuable doctrine, because the most valuable doctrines are always so evident that no thumb-screw or faggot is ever needed to make the lips whisper assent. No man has ever been put to death for heresy regarding the Sermon on the Mount. But when a church comes along with its "legitimacy," its Five Points, its Prayer Book, or its Infant Baptism, then comes the demand for the rack and the stake to make up in terrorism what is wanting in evidence. When witnesses were wanting, the high priests rent their clothes. If God has so fashioned the human mind that all its myriad forms can agree upon doctrines that are most vital; and if, as a fact, persecution has always attached itself to the small, then we would seem to have the curse of God visibly revealed against intolerance.
Parallel VersesKJV: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.