There are two kinds of scepticism,—that of the heart and that of the intellect. The former is adapted to make unbelievers; the latter, to make Christians. The fomer will not look at the hands and the side, because it is determined not to be moved morally and spiritually as they would move the honest soul; the latter insists on seeing the wound-marks, because it wants to know the precise truth, and therefore avails itself of whatever evidence God has given. The scepticism of the heart hates the light, and will not come to the light, lest its deeds be reproved. The scepticism of the mind is that which cannot believe without sufficient evidence. It proves all things, and holds fast that which will stand the test. It examines both sides of a question, and adheres to that which imposes the least strain on its belief. Such a mind needs only to have the evidences of Christianity fairly presented, to yield to it entire and cordial faith. Many of the firmest believers, many of the ablest defenders of the truth as it is in Jesus, belong to this class of minds. In this sense, Lardner, Paley, and Butler, whose contributions to the Christian evidences are invaluable, and will be so for generations to come, were pre-eminently sceptics. They would not believe, without examining the hands and the side, trying all the witnesses, testing the objections against Christianity with the opposing arguments, weighing coolly and impartially the evidence, real or pretended, on either side; and the result was a faith in Christ, which sight could hardly have rendered clearer or stronger.

      God has made many such minds, and they are among the noblest and best of his creation.


— Andrew P. Peabody, Christianity and Science (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1874), pp. 250-51.