"Seeing is believing" is a saying as trite as it is untrue. The following occurrence proves how utterly deceived one may be while trusting to what he believes to be the sight of his eyes.
In the Department of Law in one University some time ago the lecturer stood on a platform addressing a body of some hundred students. Suddenly the front door opened and the janitor of the building came rushing to the front, shouting angrily at the professor, who leaped from the platform and met his opponent in the middle of the room. There was a quick interchange of hot words, a struggle ensued which ended with the janitor drawing a revolver. A shot rang out and the two men were with difficulty separated.
When the case was tried all the witnesses swore that it was the janitor who fired the shot, some even testifying that they saw the smoke issuing from the weapon after its discharge.
Will it surprise the reader to be told that it was not the janitor who fired the shot but a man stationed outside the building at an open window? The whole affair was prearranged, an experiment in psychology to test the value of direct evidence before the law students of the University.
And there are many who, in the realm of the spiritual, demand visible demonstration before believing. They ask for what they call tangible proofs; they will receive nothing "on trust," and refuse to believe anything that cannot be discerned by the senses-sight, hearing, or touch-their deified trinity, the only god in whom they trust. And in doing this they consider themselves exceedingly astute, and look down with affected pity, and even scorn, on those who have not seen, yet have believed. "Yes," they answer, when it is demanded of them that they have faith in God, "when we see we will believe"; and wise in their own conceits they maintain the ground that they will believe nothing except that which can be demonstrated to the senses. This they think is rational and safe ground. But is it? Is their attitude toward revealed truth really rational? In view of the above-cited incident, No. Our senses may deceive us, our reasonings are oftentimes faulty, and our deductions are frequently false as our premises are erroneous.
Law students are not, as a rule, easily gulled, nor are they more prone than others to jump at conclusions. Yet in the demonstration arranged for them by their professor they were every one of them deceived; and trusting to the sight of their eyes were ready to declare under oath to be fact that which they afterwards learned to be false.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:3).