6. The Bible contains statements that our reason, which has been developed by science, will not allow us to accept; and also others which seem strange and repugnant to us, because they are connected with customs which are not ours. But, notwithstanding this, it would be wrong not to recognize the grand and beautiful thoughts which it contains. Allegory holds a conspicuous place in it, and under its veils conceals sublime truths, which appear, if one seeks for them, in the foundations of ideas contained in them.
Why has this veil not been sooner lifted? On one side it has been for the want of light which science and healthy philosophy alone could give, and, on the other, the belief in the absolute immutability of a creed, consequent upon a too blind respect for the letter, to which reason bent blindly, fearing that science might not accord with the lattice-work of beliefs which were built upon their literal sense. On account of the antiquity of these beliefs, it has been feared that, if the first ring of the chain should be broken, all the meshes of the network would at length separate. Commentators, therefore, have shut their eyes when doubt arose. But we cannot evade danger by shutting our eyes to it. When the foundation of a building falters, is it not more prudent to immediately replace defective stones by good ones, rather then to wait out of respect for the age of the edifice until there is no remedy for the evil other than its reconstruction from the foundation?