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Title: The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, March, 1880
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        The Christian Foundation,


                     Scientific and Religious Journal

                              Vol. 1. No 3.

                               March, 1880.



CONTENTS


The Influence Of The Bible Upon Moral And Social Institutions.
The Influence Of The Bible Upon Social Life And Social Institutions.
Law, Cause, And Agent.
The Inconsistency Of Modern Unbelievers Or Materialists.
Materialism In Its Bearings Upon Person And Personality.
Was It Right?
It Only Needs To Be Seen, And Its Ugliness At Once Appears.
Did The Race Ascend From A Low State Of Barbarism?
The Flood Viewed From A Scientific And Biblical Standpoint.
The Mosaic Law In Greece, In Rome, And In The Common Law Of England.
Did Adam Fall Or Rise?
Did They Dream It, Or Was It So?
Miscellaneous.



THE INFLUENCE OF THE BIBLE UPON MORAL AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS.


It is profitable for us to occasionally survey the dark arena where men
have played their part, in lonely gloom, without a Savior and without a
God. Pagan morality, being without the motives and restraints of revealed
religion, and guided wholly by the passions and the lights of reason and
nature, is grossly defective. It has no settled standard of right and
wrong. It is vain to look, in all heathen philosophy for any settled
principles of duty or motives that commend themselves to enlightened
minds.

What is the basis and character of virtue? What is the law of moral
conduct? What is the object which governs it? In what does human happiness
consist? These are questions which have never been satisfactorily answered
by the unaided powers of the human mind. The annals of Pagan history show
the real results of all their speculations upon these questions. They are
comprehensively presented in the following: “They became vain in their
imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. They were filled with
all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness,
envy, murder, deceit, malignity. They were backbiters, haters of God,
despiteful, proud, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
without natural affection, implacable and unmerciful.” Their manners and
habits were the results of mere whim and caprice when they were not the
results of simple love of wickedness. The vice of one community was the
virtue of another; and refinement in one was unpardonable rudeness in
another. The public festivals celebrated in Egypt are disgraceful upon the
pages of history, being accompanied with shameful practices. Egypt was
noted for corrupt morals as far back as the times of Abraham. Asia Minor
was no better; unrighteousness, sensuality and luxury prevailed. In Greece
there was brutal savageness in its most hideous forms; in the age of its
greatest refinement sin was dressed up in the finest style. The Olympic,
Pythian and Isthmian games, which were kept up to give strength to the
body and courage in the battle, were debasing and corrupting to the lowest
degree of wretchedness. The ages of ancient heroism were filled up with
crime and debauchery. They were fruitful in incest and parricide, and all
the dark and gloomy events which were necessary to make up the most
fearful picture of immorality. The monarchs of Assyria spent their time
mainly in debasing crime and voluptuousness. The brightest and best days
of Babylon were notorious for lewdness and accomplishment in crime and
iniquity; loaded with riches, they spared no pains and withheld no means
in the production of all that gratified their lusts and fed their
passions. In Babylon there was a certain well known temple in which
adultery was legalized by _compulsory law_ for the purpose of increasing
the public revenue. The ancient Pagan religions sanctioned and practiced
the most detestible licentiousness. Cato commended young men for visiting
houses of ill-fame. Such was the very best phase of morals and public
manners in the purest state of Roman society. What must have been the
worst? The worst! Well, I will give you an idea of it. The Emperor Nero
drove through the streets of the capital with his mistress in a state of
nudity; and the Emperor Commodus first seduced and then murdered his own
sister. Here reason, blinded by lust, was their guide. These people were
not troubled with that terrible book called the Bible. Happy (?) state.
How would we like to have our homes in the midst of such fellows? Their
conscience had no fastenings, how could their doctrines excite to moral
virtue?

How much better are the principles of modern infidels? Bolingbroke’s
morality is all embraced in self-love. Hobbes claims that the only basis
of right and wrong is the civil law. Rousseau says all the morality of
actions is in the judgement we ourselves form of them. Shaftsbury says,
all the obligations to be virtuous arise from the advantages of virtue,
and the disadvantages of vice. Have such moral principles ever reformed
the world? Do they reform their advocates? Did you ever know a man to
reform after he became an advocate of such principles? Did you ever know a
man to reform after understanding and abandoning the Christian religion?
If any such ever reformed their lives after setting themselves on Pagan
ground, by opposing Christianity, I have yet to learn the fact. It is the
morality of a wicked world that simply asks for the profitable, and not
the right; which inquires not for duty, but for self-interest—for the
opinions of men; it is a body without a spirit—a whitewashed
sepulchre—splendid only in sepulchral greatness.

Morality rests not upon principles that clothe themselves in various garbs
to please the different fancies of the different ages, consulting simply
the spirit of the times. Such morality is one thing to-day and quite
another to-morrow—it is variable as the seasons. It adapts itself to the
occasion—to the hour. It is very pliant—it has no conscience, but is
always popularity-seeking. The morality of the Christian religion is very
different. In the New Testament we find a morality as pure, lofty and
unchanging as its divine author; it purifies and regulates the inner
man—“make the tree good and the fruit _will be good_.” The Bible settles
the great question of duty. It teaches us that to do right is to do that
which is right in itself, from _pure_ motives and with a _right spirit_.
These two things God hath joined together, viz: the right deed from right
motives, and the right spirit. A man’s conscience may be satisfied without
the right motives and without the right spirit, but that is not enough.

It is not enough for a man to have the right spirit and the right motives,
unless he does that which is right in itself. Conscience may be warped by
malevolence, selfishness, prejudice, or education, until the man is led to
do that which is detestable in the sight of God. The time may come when
this man will regret his foolishness, and see that he was wrong, like Saul
of old.

Right things may be done from a wrong spirit, and wrong things may be done
from a right spirit, but the morality of the Christian religion consists
in doing right things from right motives and in a right spirit.

The great motive that governs us as Christian moralists is the fact made
known in these words, _God requires it_. You may talk of the dignity of
correct morals, of their beauty and virtue, and of the terrible nature of
vice, and of the demands of a well-governed selfishness, but all these are
weak compared with the authority of the Supreme Being whom Christians love
and adore.

If we would reform men successfully we must bring the conscience under the
strong bonds of obligation; we must extend the authority of the great
Lawgiver over the understanding, over the conscience, over the memory,
over the imagination, over the entire inner man. This alone will stop the
germinations of sin, and check wickedness in its conception. This is the
tap-root of the tree of virtue—the source of virtuous principles,
demonstrating the truthfulness of the axiom, “Make the tree good and the
fruit will be good.” Simple advantage is not the foundation of virtue; it
has a nature aside from its tendencies to worldly profit. Otherwise virtue
would often cease to be virtue, and vice would often cease to be vice.
Anciently there were moral philosophers who plead that utility was the
only foundation of virtue. Paul speaks of some who supposed “Godliness was
gain.” Such a morality would be the most uncertain thing in the world;
give it what name you choose, it is mere selfishness.



THE INFLUENCE OF THE BIBLE UPON SOCIAL LIFE AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS.


Man’s entire nature forces him directly into a social state. He is
destitute of the strength possessed by many of the lower animals, and
naturally unable for want of speed to escape their attacks, so care for
life leads him into the closest alliances with his fellows. Childhood and
old age necessitate dependence, and his wants, during those periods, bring
him under obligations to others during his strength and manhood. The
social state is also necessary to the development of his intellectual
nature, and some of his natural affections can be exercised only in such a
state. Benevolence, gratitude, complacency and heroism are not exercised
in an insolated condition—they are called out only in mutual associations
with our fellow-men.

The noblest efforts of intellectual strength and of human ingenuity are
made under the most powerful influence of society. Thus encouraged, men
have collected armies, founded kingdoms and governed them. In such
kingdoms the arts and sciences have flourished in a greater or less
degree, and imperfect morals have crowned their labors and lifted their
minds as high as their unaided powers have permitted. Such has been the
best condition in which the Scriptures ever found the social state. The
structure has been incomplete, resting upon no solid basis, and only
imperfectly cemented together. Such a state of society has always been a
proper object for the modifying and controlling influences of a purer
system of morality, founded upon a pure religion.

What has been the state of society in times past without the light of
revealed religion? There are evils in the social state where the Christian
religion exists, but they were there before the Gospel of Christ visited
those places. It is very common for unbelievers to charge the calamities
of the social state to the Christian religion, but it is a dishonorable
mode of argumentation. The proper question is this: Has humanity ever been
well organized in the social state without the presence and influence of
the Bible? Has it ever been well governed under such circumstances? Have
men respected the social rights and obligations or properly understood
them in the absence of revealed religion? Has the religion of Christ been
a disturber of the social organization where social rights were properly
understood and regarded? or has it set aside the rights and obligations of
men in social life where men were enjoying peaceable, happy relations?
Does its legitimate influence make men more wicked and miserable? An
honest answer to these questions will commend the religion of Jesus
Christ, and do honor to him as our Lord and Master. The Scriptures have
been the means of establishing institutions which have stood for
centuries. Where society has been disjointed and out of order, without
bonds or adhesiveness, the Scriptures have been introduced, banishing
disorder and bringing peace and good will to man. They have silently
operated in the social surroundings and gradually elevated Pagan lands out
of Paganism. They refine and cleanse the cruel, giving them habits which
make them at once superior to all Pagans.

Look at Rome and Persia in comparison with England and America. The
Persian’s religion was the best of all the uninspired religions. They
worshiped their unknown god in the sun, moon and stars. In two reigning
principles they sought for an explanation of the present state of good and
evil mixed, which is the perplexing problem that has always confounded
unenlightened reason. The Persian’s creed only exercised his intellect and
gratified his curiosity. It brought no power to bear upon his social
relations. Persian history is a mass of crimes, suffering and intolerance.
The government was a despotism, and polygamy gave laws to the domestic and
private relations of the citizens.

Ancient Rome stands foremost in all that moral culture and philosophy
alone can do for social institutions. Its religion was gross in the
extreme, exerting an unhappy influence upon the masses, while it was
disregarded by the priests who taught it, their sole object being to
terrify the multitude and keep them in subjection to the authorities of
the state. It was said by a Roman, “Our nation exists more by religion
than by the sword.” But upon an examination of Roman history you will find
servitude, despotism, tumult, revolt, revolution and slaughter, peace and
war. The ambitions of rivals to the throne, and new schemes of rulers,
often deluged the country with blood and carried the sword to remote and
peaceable nations, till the horrors of civil war were realized in almost
every part of the world. Every now and then the powers of some great mind,
irritated by his calamities, having all the vices and none of the virtues
of his species, would rise up and wreak vengeance in deeds which can not
be thought of without sadness of heart.

How much better was ancient Greece? How much better are modern Pagan
nations? These evils have been extinguished in the ratio of the
circulation and influence of the Bible. The relation between the state and
its citizens the Bible recognizes as of divine appointment; the foundation
of civil government is the will of God. Government is an ordinance of God.
“The powers that be are ordained of God.” The great author of our rights,
life, liberty, peace, order, public morals and religion, has not left
these interests to chance, anarchy or the social compact. Rulers were
ordained of God, and are rulers, not for their own exaltation, but for the
tranquility, virtue and peace of the governed. Where are the Pagan rulers
who were taught this great lesson so as to feel its importance? When have
they respected the rights of the people? Where have anti-Christian or
Pagan nations, in a single instance, been actuated by any motive save the
restless, factious determination to sink one tyrant for the sake of
elevating another? In Christian lands a free and virtuous people limit the
authority of rulers and assert the rights of citizens. In our country a
mass of public virtue and a weight of moral influence, that restrains the
wrath of man, keeps us from being involved in an ocean of blood at every
popular election. We are not repeating the history of Rome in this
respect. We have been taught to “Render unto Cæsar the things which belong
to Cæsar.” The apostles of Christ have enjoined upon us the duty of being
subject to the rulers of our land, to submit ourselves to every ordinance
of man for the Lord’s sake. We have been taught to pray for our rulers.
While we do this we can not be rebellious. Who is so blind as to not see
that the Scriptures will control our citizens with more benevolence than
any other book or any other maxims or set of opinions. When the Christian
Scriptures are duly regarded and their divine authenticity respected
designing, ambitious, corrupting and aspiring politicians will have but
little power to plunge us into crimes and sufferings.

The most important of all our social institutions is the marriage. It is
the paternal source of all other relations. There is no exhibition of the
divine goodness in conditioning our race that is more significant and
lovely. By it our world is a collection of families in which the tenderest
affections are cherished and the worst generally subdued. Here there is a
community of interests. Here we experience the highest motives to a
virtuous influence, especially in forming the character of the youth of
our country. The race is continually multiplying and enlarging. What
wonderful wisdom was it that consulted its honor, its virtue and eternal
destiny by the appointment of the marriage relation? It was the best
method upon which human society could be organized. There are
narrow-hearted, lustful bigots who would do away the social family
compact. They talk about “free thought,” “free love,” no restraints of
law, no protection of the mother save the voluntary. Such has been the
custom in a few heathen lands; such is the doctrine of a few modern
infidels; such are the habits of a few gregarious communities in Christian
countries. In these communities the sexes are taught from the cradle to
hate the marriage bond. Such a state of society is poisoned and polluted;
is a fearful mass of corruption and rottenness. All moral safeguards are
removed. The offspring are thrown out upon the world with no restraints of
paternal love and wisdom; no obligations of filial love and reverence;
monsters in iniquity, and in a short time equal in crime to those who were
swept from the earth by the waters of the deluge or the flames of Sodom.
Look then for one moment after the evil of polygamy. It existed for awhile
among the ancient Hebrews. Moses suffered it for the hardness of their
hearts. From the beginning it was not so. It was a perversion of the
ancient institution of matrimony. All the evils of that idolatrous age
could not be remedied in a moment; nothing was made perfect until the
appearance of that wonderful counselor—_Christ_. He restored the primitive
integrity of the marriage institution by revoking polygamy and divorce.
Polygamy was never friendly to the physical and mental character of its
population. It is demonstrated beyond the possibility of a doubt that it
is debasing and brutalizing. The Turks and Asiatics are polygamists, but
they are much inferior to the old Greeks and Romans; yet ancient Rome was
a long ways from Heaven’s will in respect of marriage ties.

The matrimonial institution of Rome was a compromise between the right and
the wrong. The institution was considered in the light of a civil
contract, entered into for expediency, and protected by the magistrates
because it was deemed a blessing to society; by the law of the twelve
tables it continued during the pleasure of the husband. The result was
that frequent, and often, rapid succession of divorces and marriages took
the place of polygamy, and introduced many of its evils.

The private history of Roman ladies of first rank is a succession of
marriages and divorces, each new marriage giving way to one more recent.
Octavia, the daughter of the Emperor Claudus, married Nero, was repudiated
by him for the sake of Poppæa; this woman was first married to Rufus
Crispinus; then to Otho; and at length to Nero, by whom she was killed.

Nero murdered Thessalina’s husband, and married her for his third wife.
Julia, the daughter of Augustus, was first the wife of Marcellus, then the
wife of Agrippa, and then the wife of Tiberius. Such examples are found
almost without number in the annals of Tacitus. The extent to which this
evil was carried may be learned from the poet Martial, who informs us,
that, when the Julian law against adultery was revived as a prevention of
the corruption of the times, Thessalina married her tenth husband within
thirty days, thus evading all the restraints which the law imposed against
her licentiousness. What is the marriage bond worth in such a state of
society?

Where is the state of society essentially better in the absence of the
Christian religion?

The Bible teaches us that the institution is of Divine origin, established
by the Lord himself. It inscribes upon every marriage altar, “What God
hath joined together let no man put asunder.” It definitely defines
marriage to be the act of uniting two persons in wedlock, and only two.
According to the Scriptures, this union can only be dissolved by crime or
death. With great tenderness the Bible prescribes the duties of this
relation. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” This love
is not the cold hearted affection that is after the fashion of free-love
philosophy, but it is after a model that has touched heavenly hearts, and
caused more admiration than all other things combined.

In the ancient dispensation adultery was punished with death. In the
Christian dispensation, it is said with _great emphasis_, “Whoremongers
and adulterers God will judge.” There is a place of which it is said,
“Whoso is simple let him turn in hither, but he knoweth not that the dead
are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” There is a sin
of which the Bible often speaks, pointing the guilty perpetrators to the
fact that they have none inheritance in the kingdom of God and of Christ.

The history of Pagan nations is little else than a record of crime. By
studying it we may learn something of our obligations to the Christian
religion, and our indebtedness to its pure spirit, which has brooded over
the darkness of the nations, and brought order out of confusion. It will,
also, learn us to value the names father, mother, husband, wife, children
and parents; these names were of little value among Romans. In the annals
of the Roman empire may be found a record of all that is shocking; a
record of all that man can be guilty of; a record of all that an enemy
could be guilty of; suspicion, licentiousness, murder, conspiracy of wives
against their husbands, and husbands against their wives; children
sacrificed by the doings of a mother; families whose peace is ruined by
intrigue and violence; men everywhere falling upon their own swords; the
wife murdering her own husband for the sake of marrying another; woman
practiced, skilled, in the art of poisoning—such is the picture of Pagan
life in the most enlightened age of Rome.

Let any man compare society in our country, or in any protestant country,
with the state of society under the reign of the Cæsars, and he will see
what the Christ has done for our race. The spirit that sustains our social
institutions does not grow cold even at the grave, but is felt beyond
death. How is it in heathen lands? The sweetest loves of life give way to
suspicion and envy; the jealousy of love, the thirst for power and
ambition, drives them away, often as soon as the flowers and beauty of
youth are gone. Where Christ reigns it is not so. Yet there are those who
would have us believe that the religion of Christ is an unsocial, selfish
religion. If it is unsocial and selfish to have no sympathy with
wickedness, to promote all that is virtuous and kind, pure and true, to
take pleasure in all that subdues the malignant and beastly, the ambitious
and cruel, then it is an unsocial and selfish affair. If it is unsocial
and selfish to take pleasure in that which elevates and moulds character
in the image of God, and fits it for angelic society hereafter, then it is
truly unsocial and selfish.



LAW, CAUSE, AND AGENT.


The word law denotes the unceasing, regular order in which an agent or
force operates. It should, consequently, be distinguished from cause or
efficiency; it being only the manner, or mode, according to which an agent
or cause manifests itself. Therefore law is neither cause or agent. Yet it
implies an agent, or an energy; for without these law is nothing—does
nothing. The laws of nature had no existence until nature existed. That is
to say, the laws of water did not exist until water existed, etc. So it is
easy to perceive the truth that the laws of nature created nothing. Nature
is said to be the aggregate of everything; therefore nature created
nothing. The laws of nature, being the rules according to which effects
are produced, demonstrate the existence of a cause or agent which
operates. As the rules of navigation never steered a ship, so the law of
gravity never moved a planet. A bare order or law of nature was not the
cause of nature. To confound order or law with cause is to speak
unadvisedly—unintelligently; it is perfectly irrational. Would you cut off
executive authority in a government and continue its existence without a
person or society to exercise, judge and execute according to law?

To say the world is governed by the laws of nature, without rising up in
our thoughts to the efficient cause and superior reason, or, that which is
always implied in the term law, viz., a legislator and executive putting
in force, is to play the Atheist and take things by halves; is to suppose
the laws of nature are beings, and imagine fabulous divinities in ignoring
or setting aside the Christian’s God, who is the source of all the laws of
nature, and who governs all things according to them. “The laws of nature
are the art of God.” Without the presence of such an agent—one who is
conscious of all upon which the laws of nature depend—producing all that
the laws prescribe—the laws themselves could have no existence. The
intelligence, or, if you prefer it, cause, which gives the laws of nature
their power, and by which they are kept in action, must be everywhere
present and always present; otherwise the whole machinery of nature would
be deranged—inertia is a property of matter. The universal presence of God
is the one great and overwhelming condition of the existence of life and
motion throughout the vast universe of nature. The laws of matter are the
laws which he has prescribed for his own action. His presence is the
essential condition of any natural course of events in the history of
matter. His universal agency is the only organ of power adequate to the
accomplishment of the wonders of nature—the only solution of its great
problems which lies within the reach of human reason. Some fools still say
in their hearts there is no God.

One of Newton’s great laws of motion is, that a body must continue forever
in a state of rest, inertia being a property of matter, or being put in
motion continues forever in a straight line, if it be not disturbed by the
action of an _external_ cause.

Now let us apply this law to our planet, as a body, and see the result.
What is the first necessary conclusion to which we are driven? Ans. Some
external agency or cause put our planet in motion. What is the second
conclusion? Ans. Some agent or cause controls its motion causing it to
depart from a straight line. Do you say the cause is in the influence of
other planets? Well, suppose, for the sake of the argument, we admit it,
are we then through with the problem? No. We have only moved the
difficulty one step backward. We can see how one billiard ball may set
another in motion, but it is only thinkable upon the supposition that
there was an agent behind the ball which put the second ball in motion.
What put the first ball in motion? Did it put itself in motion? No. The
law is this: A body must remain forever at rest without some external
agency to put it in motion. Now, you step out from our planet to its
nearest neighbor, and from thence to the next, and so on till you get to
the furthest limits of matter—carry along with you the idea that one
planet has put another in motion until you arrive at the last one
thinkable, and then ask yourself this question: Is inertia a property of
matter here? Is the law of motion, already quoted, a law of motion here?
If it is, then, of necessity, science demands an agent outside of planets,
or behind the whole of them, to put them in motion, and to control them
while in motion in order to carry them forward in _circles_—do you see?
“But the fool says in his heart there is no God.”



THE INCONSISTENCY OF MODERN UNBELIEVERS OR MATERIALISTS.


The materialistic unbeliever is necessarily bound up in a contradiction
from which there is no escape short of a denial of the eternity of matter,
space and duration, on the one hand, or a denial of the materialistic
philosophy, upon the other.

His reasoning is this: Space exists. I know it exists. I can’t set bounds
to space, therefore it is infinite.

Matter exists. I know it exists. I can’t annihilate matter, therefore
matter is eternal.

Duration is. I know it is. I can’t set limits to it; therefore duration is
infinite.

Now, it is easy to discover that the conclusion in each case rests upon
two thoughts. First, Conscious knowledge expressed in the phrase “I know.”
Secondly, Want of power to set bounds to space, to limit duration and
annihilate matter.

The other and contrary side is brought up in the following arrangement:
Mind exists. I know it exists. I can’t set limits to mind; therefore mind
is infinite, mind is eternal.

Life exists. I can’t comprehend or set limits to life; therefore life is
infinite, life is eternal.

The time was when there was no life or mind associated with or in matter,
the matter belonging to our planet. From whence came life? From whence
came mind? Do you say from the laws of nature? Well, laws are rules by
which agents act. Laws are nothing unless there is an agent to act in
harmony with them or by them. There is consequently something lying behind
the laws of nature, acting by them. What is that something? Do you say it
is force? Force is the manifestation of energy—a mere attribute. There is
something behind energy, to which it belongs. Do you say it is matter?
Inertia is a property of matter? From whence came life and mind? The time
was when they were not here.

You unbelievers say it is scientific to reason from your own conscious
knowledge upon the line of physical elements, as well as space and
duration, to the ideas of infinite matter, space, and duration. Do you not
know that there is also a line of vital and mental forces? Why is it that
you do not consider men equally scientific who reason upon that line from
conscious knowledge to the idea of an ever-living, all-powerful
intelligence? Power is a matter of conscious knowledge. Can you set limits
to it? No, never! Then power is infinite. Let us ever remember there is no
life without antecedent life; no mind without antecedent mind; and no
matter without antecedent substance. Where does power come from? Can you
tell? If you are a Theist you can. If you are an Atheist you can’t.
Unbelievers say the Infinite One, if there be such, can not be revealed to
man. This conclusion is rested upon the assumption that the finite can not
comprehend the infinite. This is regarded as a complete overthrow of
revealed religion. Can nothing be revealed to me unless I can comprehend
it? Can I know nothing without comprehending it? I know load-stone, but do
I comprehend it? I know electricity, but do I comprehend it? I am
conscious of life and mind, but do I comprehend either? We know that
matter, of itself, is inert, dead, and yet it lives. But this is our
difficulty: How does it come to live? We know it lives, but do we
comprehend the fact? We know enough about a great many incomprehensible
things for all practical purposes. Do you unbelievers know the _unknown_?
If you don’t, might it not be well to quit talking about it? Your language
is at fault. You are no more competent to talk about the _unknown_ than we
Christians. Turn that word _unknown_ out of doors and adopt the word
_incomprehensible_, and then talk about it, for it is revealed to all who
talk about it. You and I apprehend the INFINITE ONE. You talk about
infinite space, infinite duration, infinite substance. Yes, and I talk
about infinite life, infinite power and infinite mind. We all know there
are infinities in existence. We apprehend them, knowing enough about them
for all practical life purposes. You talk about the infinities known in
science, and I talk about the infinities known in religion. After all our
reasoning may it not be true that mind is infinite in its capacities? May
it not, in the future, comprehend many things which are now
incomprehensible? My increase of knowledge, consequent upon the capacities
of my mind, enables me to comprehend a great deal that I could not
comprehend a few years ago. If I could not have apprehended those things
prior to comprehending them, I never would have learned enough about them
to comprehend them. I always apprehend a thing, know it is, before I begin
to investigate it. Now, I know God, but I do not comprehend him. He is too
great in his majesty for my present knowledge. I may never comprehend him,
still I apprehend him and know enough for all practical life purposes. I
believe that I shall know a great deal more about him in the future; yes,
more even in this life, if I am only faithful in “going on to know the
Lord.”



MATERIALISM IN ITS BEARINGS UPON PERSON AND PERSONALITY.


Personality is individuality, existing in itself, but with a nature as its
ground.—_Coleridge._

Paley says: The seat of intellect is a person.

Lock says: Person stands for a thinking, intelligent being, that has
reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, ... which it
does only by that consciousness which is inseparable from thinking, and as
it seems to me essential to it, it being impossible for any one to
perceive without perceiving that he does perceive.

Henry Taylor says: The quality of intelligence is essential in order to
person. That which is not intelligent we call a thing, and that which is
intelligent we call a person. By the word person we therefore mean a thing
or substance that is intelligent, or a conscious being; including in the
word the idea both of the substance and its properties together.

Oldfield says: Person is a subsisting substance or “_suppositum_,” endued
with reason as a man is, that is capable of religion.

Thompson says: Person as, applied to Deity, expresses the definite and
certain truth that God is a living being and not a dead material energy.

Jouffroy says: Personality, in jurisprudence, denotes the capacity of
rights and obligations which belong to an intelligent will.

A person is a being who is intelligent and free. Every spiritual and moral
agent, every cause which is in possession of responsibility and
consciousness, is a person.

Webster says: Person is an individual human being consisting of body and
soul. We apply the word to living beings possessed of a rational nature;
the body when dead is not called a person.

The Biblical ground nature of the word person is in these words: “What man
knoweth the things of a man but the spirit of man which is in him.”

Intelligence is an essential attribute of person, but it is not a property
of matter. If intelligence is a property of matter, then the distinction
between person and thing is of a necessity a distinction without a
difference. But no greater absurdity could possess the human mind for one
moment than the thought that intelligence is a property or quality of
matter. Nothing short of the fact expressed in Bible language that the
spirit of man is a gift from God, will account for the distinction between
person and thing. Man in his physical nature is enslaved to the laws of
physical nature in common with all organized things; is subject to the
laws that control matter. The law of organic existence is such that he can
not live without a continual supply of food, which the nutritive process
continually provides in order to make up for the wastage consequent upon
disintegration of parts. But there are impassible limits fixed to the
nutritive process by the most certain of all laws, viz: those of gravity
and chemical action. To abolish these laws would insure the destruction of
all organic existence, because it would be the abrogation of the essential
conditions of organized being. Yet it is true that when a certain point is
reached a change and dissolution of the molecules always takes place, and
this change is the sure introduction of death. Hence, nothing short of
union with God, through his own appointed means, by which he brings his
own omnipotence to bear for the purpose of controlling the essential
condition of organic existence, could ever be an antidote of death. Man in
his original innocence enjoyed such means in the fruit of the tree of
life. Being removed from this he dies by the essential laws of his
existence. So man in his physical nature is enslaved in common with all
things that are under the reign of physical laws. Yet he is a free
intelligence. He is conscious of his freedom. There is in his history an
abundance of evidence to demonstrate his freedom. There is also a
sufficient amount of evidence to demonstrate the slavery of his physical
nature. But why refer to evidence here? These are facts of consciousness.
Man’s personality is, in view of all that has been said, grounded upon his
mental or spiritual nature, which was always free, otherwise his identity
is lost forever in the grave. I have said, if the attributes of person are
properties of matter, there is no distinction between persons and things;
in such a case persons would be things and things would be persons. Here
it is easy to see that the materialistic philosophy upon the subject of
man’s identity changes the ground nature of personality, and destroys all
distinction between persons and things.



WAS IT RIGHT?


Scientists are the last men upon the earth that should deal unfairly with
the Bible. They profess to investigate, to analyze, to demonstrate. In one
word, they profess to be in the lead of thought in a very progressive age;
therefore we expect just a little more from them than from the
unscientific. But, alas! many of them are mere socialists, and many who
are scientists have never investigated the Bible, do not understand its
facts, and are also averse to its claims.

“Science takes account of phenomenon, and seeks to understand its law.”
Now let us apply the test to some of the objectionable facts of the Bible,
and note the result.

Moses said to the children of Israel, Understand, therefore, this day,
that the Lord thy God is he who goeth over before thee. As a consuming
fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face;
so shalt thou drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath
said unto thee. Deut. 9: 3. This language has reference to the inhabitants
of the land of Canaan. Their wickedness appears in the following
quotations. Deut. 12: 29, 31. When the Lord thy God shall cut off the
nations from before thee, take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by
following them, and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How
did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt
not do so unto the Lord thy God: for _every abomination_ to the Lord,
which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and
their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. The destruction
of these idolators, who were burning their own sons and daughters in the
fire, furnishes unbelievers and skeptics with a great deal of capital,
which can be used with ignorance, but not with intelligence.

What was the law governing in the case? The answer is in these words: The
course of conduct which is for the greatest good of the greatest number is
right. This law is known in the science of civil government. It has its
place in the history of all civil governments. Without it we are unable to
account for the facts known in the history of our own government. It is a
law that lies at the foundation of all moral and social institutions.
Those wicked tribes in the land of Canaan, and upon its borders, were in
the way of the establishment of any civil institution. It is to be
remembered, also, that the children of Israel did not forfeit their rights
in the land by going down into Egypt in the time of a famine.

The land was theirs by right of preoccupancy and by gift. Upon their
return from Egypt they found no civil institutions in the land, but, on
the contrary, the people were burning their own children in the fire. They
were also guilty of every abominable thing that was hateful in the sight
of God. They were utterly unqualified for citizenship in any civil state,
so they were cut off as cankers upon the body.

To the same end, the greatest good to the greatest number, our government
has cut off thousands of better men. When the children of Israel went into
the idolatrous worship of those wicked heathen and burned their sons and
daughters in the fire to Molech, the Lord gave them statutes and laws
which were not good, and whereby they might not live. He served them
right. How can civil government be perpetuated, or even exist, in the
midst of such heathenish idolatry? If infidel objections, based upon the
destruction of such wicked hordes as were put to death in Canaan, are
worth anything they are worth enough to sanction, by the protection of
civil government, all manner of abominations that are known among
barbarous heathen.

These enemies of God and the Bible talk as though such an outrage as
burning sons and daughters in the fire to idol gods should not be visited
with such punishment. Would they do any better? Could they manage such
barbarous murderers better for the general good? If it was possible for a
civil government to allow such characters the rights of citizenship it
would be at the expense of giving license to all other crimes, for there
are no crimes greater in their heinousness than _murderous idolatry_. If
infidels ever get the power in this or any other civil government, and
carry out the spirit of their lectures against the God of the Bible, the
government will soon come to an end, and crime of every grade and
character will prevail. American citizens have seen many better men than
old Amalek die. It is possible that a few unbelievers who were out in the
late civil war have seen better men die. It is possible that a few
unbelieving colonels have killed better men upon Southern battle-fields,
and it is possible that a few of them are traveling over the country
abusing Moses and the God of the Bible for putting worse men to death.

Let us ever remember that the eternal laws of right, sometimes,
necessitate the destruction of human life. The greatest good of the
greatest number is an object that should always govern the action of a
nation. This law should never be disregarded. Murder, having no connection
with the general good, is a very different thing. When an individual is
put to death by an individual to gratify malice its relations are not with
the general good.

All sensible men, who are acquainted with the Bible, know that the facts
of the Bible, known in the ancient wars of the nation of Israel, like the
facts known in the wars of our own nation, would look terrible in the
relations of murder. Things out of their relations are always ugly. A man
and a woman living together as husband and wife outside of the marriage
relation, would be in adultery, while others living in the same manner,
but inside of the matrimonial relation, would be in a grand and
praiseworthy union. Why is it that sensible men will wrest the Scriptures,
taking things out of their proper relations, and do it to their own
condemnation? “Happy is the man who condemneth not himself in that thing
which he alloweth.”



IT ONLY NEEDS TO BE SEEN, AND ITS UGLINESS AT ONCE APPEARS.


“Are such shams of rights, as caucus-and-ballot-boxism can give us, worth
spending any more time and money and agitation upon? I ask, and I appeal
to what has been most lyingly named free government in Greece, Rome,
England, Venice, France, the United States, and wherever else it has been
attempted to _make permanent the crisis stage_ of progress which marks the
departure from monarchy. No, my friends, art-liberty _alone_ can be of any
avail.... By art-liberty, my friends, I mean the _practical application_
of _all_ science and art _systemized_ as fast as unfolded. The only law
which can govern a free state must be _discovered_; it must be drawn from
the _whole of science and art_—not ‘enacted.’ Human law can no more be
‘enacted’ than can physical law.” ... “Man’s leaders must find out how to
satisfy man’s highest aspirations, instead of catering for his prejudices;
instead of confirming him, by flattery and cajolery, in his false,
supernaturalistic notions; instead of studying the trickery of
representing and plundering him. And they will rapidly find this out, as
soon as a knowledge (already attained) of the _unity of science_ spreads
among them, and along with it its correllate, that all mankind are one
organism, no individual of which can be indifferent to _each_ and _all_ of
the others. Enlightened, far-seeing, _all-benefiting selfishness_ will
then take the place of short-sighted, suicidal, penny-wise pound-foolish
cunning; and that barricade of hypocrisy, duty, that most fallible of all
guides, conscience, and ‘virtue’ and ‘vice,’ those most unscientific and
mischievous expressions that have ever crept into the vocabulary of human
folly, will be obsolete.”

Here is the outcome of the liberty that infidels talk so much about.
“Art-liberty” is to ANNIHILATE CONSCIENCE and the distinction between
virtue and vice so completely that there will be no more use for the
words, “they will be obsolete.” “All benefiting selfishness will then
govern humanity.” Reader, are you prepared for such a state of society?
“If all _contracts_ in accordance with present ‘law’ were fulfilled to the
letter, and if all the ‘_duties_’ enjoined by present moralism were
unflinchingly performed, and if all which ‘virtue’ styles ‘vice’ was
entirely abstained from, and if what is now ‘free trade’ according to
‘law,’ had a ‘fair field,’ how long would it take a millionth of the
earth’s inhabitants to accumulate _all_ its wealth? In my opinion, it
would not take ten generations to produce that reign of ‘law,’
‘principle,’ ‘morality,’ ‘virtue’ and ‘free trade,’ or
mind-your-own-business, and every-one-for-himself-ism, on the earth.” Are
infidels down on law, down on virtue, down on principle, down on morality,
etc.? _It seems so._ “But there must be no stealing, swindling or robbery,
as _legally defined, on any_ account; and there must be no sexual
intercourse out of the bonds of monogamy, _even for bread_, and, above
all, there must be no acts, or even words of _treason_. The laboring man
and the laboring woman must patiently and slowly (nay, not very slowly,
I’m thinking,) die on such wages as they who, _in perfect security_, hold
all the wealth, choose to give; and those out of work must brave martyrdom
to ‘principle,’ by starving straightway, unless they can obtain a ‘permit’
to drag out a few months, possibly years, in sack-cloth and on water-gruel
in an almshouse.... Was Thomas Paine here to-day his old remedies,
religious and political _popular_ free discussion and reasoning, would be
thrown aside or only used to assist science and art to displace them in
religious and state affairs.” Truth will come to the surface! Here it is
speaking for itself. The office of “art-liberty,” the liberty for which
infidels plead, is to destroy _popular free discussion_ and _reasoning_,
allowing them _only_ in order to destroy themselves, that is, allowing the
infidels to use them to displace them in RELIGIOUS and STATE _affairs_.
This is called “art-liberty;” liberty in art and science, and despotism in
religion and politics OR STATE. Such a society, plus the absence of
conscience, virtue and vice, is the infidel’s ideal of free government.
All this means is simply “intolerance” by law; intolerance in “religious
and state affairs.”

When such a state of society is brought about in this country the infidels
will have more _hell_ than they will relish. Listen once more, “Man’s
right to be self-governed is, equally with his desire to be so,
_self-evident_.” How are these infidels going to have self-government and
intolerance by law in matters of religion and state? This Godless infidel
says, “But what is most insultingly _termed_ ‘elective franchise’ is the
farthest thing possible from self-government.... The _popular_ free
discussion of affairs of the last degree of complication, religious and
state affairs, except during the _crisis_ period of revolution, only
renders that worst of despotisms, anarchy, chronic; it seats in the social
organism that political gangrene, demagogism, which has always hitherto
sooner or later required the cauterization of military despotism in order
to save even civilization. Despotism is the most inveterate of all the
diseases of the social organism which ignorance has inflicted; nay, it is
a complication of all its diseases. What, my fellow-man, would any of you
think of the physician who should consult with an individual organism with
a view to taking that organism’s opinion as to what course he (the
physician) had best pursue in order to cure him (the organism) of
scrofula, complicated with every other bodily disease to which flesh is
heir?... Evidently, church and state management require art and skill
infinitely superior to what ‘supernaturalism’ and its legitimate child
monarchism, or its bastard issue, caucus-and-ballot-boxism, are capable
of. From the dissecting-room, the chemical laboratory, the astronomical
observatory, the physician’s and physiologist’s study—in fine, from all
the schools of science and arts should human law be _declared_, instead of
being ‘enacted’ in legislative halls by those who in every respect besides
political trickery, fraud and ‘smartness,’ are perfect ignoramuses.” How
is all this to be reconciled with the ideas of self-government set forth
by this author and copied in this article? Who are to be the doctors, and
who are to be the patients? When _popular_ discussion is confined to art
and science, only as it may be used in order to keep it out of religious
and state affairs, who are to be the _popular_ free disputants? When
legislative halls are done away, along with their _progenitors_, elective
franchise and representation, and law emanates from all the schools of
science and art by “declaration,” will men be more ready to obey?

Give the sore-headed, politically gangrened, conscienceless, virtueless,
Godless applauders of Tom Paine what they ask, and it will simply amount
to abandoning our posterity to the lowest, vilest sensualism known in
Pagan geography along the line or borderland of a foul lust-gratifying,
brutalizing _hell_. May all Christian people, and every lover of our
humanity, wake up to the importance of giving these wide-mouthed, blatant
infidels, who are traveling over our country howling about “liberty of
man, woman and child,” a wide berth. They would like to be the “doctors,”
and treat the “orthodox” people so as to purge “_popular_ free discussion”
out of them, and at the same time have their own stomachs crammed full of
that grace, and so “steal heaven’s livery to serve the devil.” The above
_infidelism_ is copied _verbatim_ from the “concluding application” of the
life of Thomas Paine by Calvin Blanchard, published in 1879, and being now
peddled over our country. What do our infidel friends mean by so much ado
about liberty as opposed to the present state of society in our country?
Free thought belongs to all. You can’t chain the mind. What is it that
they want? Will they be so kind as to inform us? Is Calvin Blanchard a
representative of the liberty sought for? Then may we long live to keep
our heels upon it.



DID THE RACE ASCEND FROM A LOW STATE OF BARBARISM?


The fact that the human mind abhors a contradiction is an evidence of the
Godlike nature of man, and an objection to the old tenet of total
depravity; it is also the secret of the effort, upon the part of
errorists, to systematize. One assumption creates a demand for another,
and thus men who start wrong, in science or religion, labor under great
disadvantages. When an idea is once consecrated to science or religion in
the human heart it is hard to eradicate. When you find that you have made
a wrong start remember that it is the part of true manhood to make a frank
surrender, and start anew.

The assumption of the “evolution of species” lays all its advocates under
the necessity of assuming that a low state of barbarism lies behind the
civilization known in the history of the race as the primitive or first
condition of intellect. Now, as this is a question of fact, an examination
of the evidence pertaining to this second assumption is a matter of
primary importance. What are the facts bearing upon the question? With
Darwinians the “primeval savage” is a stereotyped idea, finding expression
in every-day language; and an idea that some scientists (rather sciolists)
never get tired of promulgating. With them primitive man was little
removed from the brute beasts, devoid of knowledge, art, and language—a
creature in a small degree above; and in a great degree below, the
anthropoid apes, from whom it is claimed he has descended by evolution. Is
there any proof of this primitive inferiority, or savagery, as opposed to
civilization? How does the voice of history speak? It doubtless shows many
instances of improvement, of an advance from a low condition to a higher
one; but what does the earliest history say as respects the _primitive
condition of mankind_? Waiving an examination of the Bible history, we
will at once proceed to other sources. In Egypt there are no indications
of an early period of barbarism. All authorities agree that we find no
rude or heathenish time in the far off history of Egypt out of which
civilization was evolved. The first king known in Egyptian history, Menes,
changes the channel of the river Nile, makes a great reservoir, and erects
the Temple of Phthah at Memphis. His son Athothis is known as the builder
of the Memphite Palace, and as a physician, who wrote books on anatomy.
The pyramid times are early in Egyptian history; the portrayed scenes in
the tombs of this early period reveal the same habits which existed in
after times. That writing had been long in use is demonstrated by the
hieroglyphics in the Great Pyramid. Go as far back as you may in Egyptian
history, you will find no primitive barbarous mode of life. Sir Charles
Lyell admitted, in “Antiquity of Man,” p. 90, that “we have no distinct
_geological evidence_ that the appearance of what are called the inferior
races of mankind has always preceded in chronological order that of the
higher races.”

George Rawlinson says Mr. Pengelly made a similar confession at the
meeting of the British Association at Bristol, in August, 1875. So far as
this question of evolution is concerned, it is just as easy to establish
involution of civilization into barbarism as evolution of civilization out
of barbarism. Herodotus gives an account of the Geloni, a Greek people,
who were driven from the cities on the northern coast of the Euxine, and
retiring into the interior, lived in wooden huts, and used a language half
Scythian and half Greek. We follow this people down to the times of Mala
and find them fully barbarous, using the skins of those slain in battle as
coverings both for themselves and their horses. The Copts, of our times,
are degraded descendants of the ancient Egyptians. In North and South
America the descendants of the Spanish conquerers are poor representatives
of those Castilians who, under Pizarro and Cortez mastered the Peruvian
and Mexican kingdoms, and planted the civilization of the old world in the
new. Civilization is liable to decay, to wane, to deteriorate, to sink so
low that it may be a question whether it is any longer civilization. In
the cases we have alluded to we have a low degradation retaining evidences
of something higher. In comparative philology we have cases where it is
presumed by the best of critics that a higher state of civilization sank
to the lowest conceivable state of heathenism. The race existing in
Ceylon, known as the “Weddas,” is of this type. The language of the Weddas
is regarded as a base descendant of the most complete and first known form
of Aryan speech, the Sanskrit; and the Weddas are set down as descendants
of the Sanskritic Aryans, who conquered India. There are no savages of a
more debased type. They do not count beyond two or three; they have no
idea of letters; of all the animals the dog alone is domesticated; their
art consists in making bows and arrows and constructing rude huts; they
are dwindling and threaten to become extinct. See “Report of the British
Association for the advancement of science, for the Year 1875,” part 3, p.
175.

Civilization and barbarism are states between which men oscillate, passing
from one to the other with equal ease, according to the influences brought
to bear upon them.

The mythical traditions of almost all peoples place at the beginning of
the history of the race, a “golden age,” which is the opposite of savagery
and barbarism. The Chinese speak of a “first heaven,” an age of innocence
and a state of happiness, when “all was beautiful and good, and all beings
were perfect.” Mexican tradition speaks of the golden age of Tezcuco; and
Peruvian history commences with two “Children of the Sun,” who established
civilization on the borders of Lake Titicaca. The Greeks described their
golden age as follows:


    “The immortal gods, that tread the courts of heaven,
    First made a golden race of mortal men.
    Like gods they lived, with happy, careless souls,
    From toil and pain exempt; nor on them crept
    Wretched old age, but all their life was passed
    In feasting, and their limbs no changes knew.
    Nought evil came them nigh; and, when they died,
    ’Twas but as if they were o’ercome by sleep.
    All good things were their portion; the fat soil
    Bare them its fruit spontaneous, fruit ungrudged
    And plentiful; they, at their own sweet will,
    Pursued in peace the tasks that seemed them good,
    Laden with blessings, rich in flocks, and dear
    To the great gods.”—_Hesiod._


Such is the light that shines from the region where myth and history meet
and wed. Can we go beyond this? There is no people, east or west,
characterized by an uninterrupted _progress_ from barbarism to
civilization. So the theory of time based upon such an idea is altogether
without foundation.



THE FLOOD VIEWED FROM A SCIENTIFIC AND BIBLICAL STANDPOINT.


Unbelievers usually pass over the events of the flood with mockery. There
is something about them that is only reconcilable with the mental
condition of the man who says in his heart, “There is no God.” The old
methods of their interpretation of the Scriptures have been abandoned in
many particulars. This is the result of two things: first, progression in
scientific knowledge; and, second, the Bible was always ahead of science
in its scientific allusions. Now, it is known to scientists that there is,
at the lowest calculation, forty-eight times more water in our seas and
oceans than Keill was willing to allow when he made the objection that it
would require the waters of twenty-eight oceans to give us Noah’s flood.
The objection was, “there is not water enough.” Men seemed to think that
the earth contained the water; that the water was standing in the earth.
This was very natural, for people generally live upon the land. The Bible,
however, presented a different idea, saying, the earth was “standing out
of the water and in the water.”

When the Scriptures speak upon this subject they refer to the waters just
as a man would who never had any misgivings upon the subject of their
sufficiency. Their teachings are in harmony with recent scientific
discovery, and against old-fashioned unbelief.

Before Galileo’s time men would have been regarded insane if they had
asserted the gravity of the air, but the Bible contained the fact. It was
laid away in Job 28: 25: “For he looketh to the ends of the earth and
seeth under the whole heaven to make the weight for the winds; and he
weigheth the waters by measure.”

The force that is required annually in nature to give us the upper waters,
to form the clouds, is estimated by Arago to be more than the labor of
four hundred million of able bodied men, continued two hundred thousand
years.—_Aunuaire du bur. des. longit._, 1835, p. 196.

The Scriptures speak of floods and disorders that unbelievers of the
bygone considered incredible, but in the present time geologists feel that
the half was not told, for they are unable to account for all the
destructions found in their investigations. The events known in the
geological history are only in harmony with the fact that our planet has
been subjected to immense submersions. They are scientifically described
thus: An internal fire which, raising the temperature of the seas and of
the deep waters, caused on the one side an enormous evaporation and
impetuous rains, as if the flood-gates of heaven were opened; and, on the
other, an irresistible dilation, which not only raised the waters from
their depths, broke up the fountains of the GREAT ABYSS, and raised its
powerful waves to the level of the highest mountains, but which caused
immense stratifications of calcareous carbonate, under the double pressure
of a great heat and a pressure equal to eight thousand
atmospheres.—_Gansen_, p. 195.

The same author gives us the following, which will be beneficial to the
scholar: “Water is dilated 1-23 in passing from the temperature of ice
melting to that of water boiling. An elevation of from sixteen to
seventeen degrees Reaumer will then increase its volume 1-111. Now, we
find by an easy calculation that the quantity of water necessary to
submerge the earth to the height of 1-1000 of the radius of our globe is
equal to 1-333 of its entire volume, or 1-111 of its third. If, then, we
suppose that the one third of the terrestrial globe is metallic (at the
mean specific gravity of 12-1/2), that the second third is solid (at the
weight of 21), and that the remaining third is water; then, first, the
specific gravity of the entire globe will be equal to 5-1/2 (according to
the conclusions of Maskeline and of Cavendish); and, secondly, it will
have been sufficient for the submersion of the earth to the height of
6,368 metres, or 1,546 metres above Mount Blanc; that the temperature of
the mass of the water in the days of the deluge should have risen to
sixteen degrees Reaumer is a reasonable conclusion.” This calculation also
has reference to the unnecessary idea that the flood was universal. But
why is it that a few men recognize the existence of a God omnipotent and
ridicule the flood?

The sufficiency of the ark is also called in question. Buffon says the
various species of four-footed animals may be reduced to two hundred and
fifty. And Dr. Hales shows conclusively that the ark had the capacity of
bearing forty-two thousand four hundred and thirteen tons. He says: Can we
doubt of it being sufficient to contain eight persons and about two
hundred and fifty pair of four-footed animals, together with all the
subsistence necessary for twelve months, with the fowls of the air and
such reptiles and insects as can not live in water? Besides places for the
beasts and birds and their provisions, Noah might find room in the third
story for thirty-six cabins occupied by household utensils, instruments of
husbandry, books, grains and seeds, for a kitchen, a hall, and a space of
about forty-eight cubits in length to walk in. In addition to all this, it
is conceded, by the very best minds conversant with ship building, that
Moses’ description of the dimensions of the ark are the descriptions of
one of the very best floating vessels that ever rested upon the waters.
This fact has puzzled the minds of many unbelievers who seem to think
there was but little scientific knowledge in that early period. They do
not believe that God was with Noah. HE WAS.



THE MOSAIC LAW IN GREECE, IN ROME, AND IN THE COMMON LAW OF ENGLAND.


There is no logical reason against the thought that God gave to man law in
the gift of speech or language. Speech is not natural to man. He does not
express his feelings and passions with sighs and groans systematically and
invariably as do the lower animals. The speechless child has no order of
this kind; the lower kingdom differs widely from man in this respect; the
same animals have the same manner of expressing their feelings and
passions throughout the world; but man has language to express _ideas_.
Infants learn to speak by imitation; they do not speak naturally. Language
is the result of education, of the imitative faculty of man. “It has been
experimentally demonstrated that a man who has never heard the
articulations of the human voice can never speak.” So deafness always
carries dumbness along with it when that deafness is from birth, or
contracted in early childhood. I have in my mind at the present moment two
bright-eyed girls in their “teens,” who contracted deafness in infancy
from the spotted fever; both are destitute of speech. If there ever was a
language of nature it was abandoned when artificial language was taught.
The greatest philosophers have failed to account for the origin of
language or speech. The Pagans have declared that it was a gift from the
gods. If all the inhabitants of the world could be congregated, and all
would consent to the use of one and the same vocabulary, then we might,
through universal training in that vocabulary, have an universal language.
How could such a convention be assembled? The truth is, the origin of
language or speech is neither natural or conventional, but imitative, and
it is a fact, beyond the possibility of cavil, that the thing must have
existed before it could have been imitated. With whom did it exist? “We
think by words, and infants think by things.” Words were from God.

Two lessons we must have as a capital to work with, and all else that we
need will grow legitimately out of exercise in those two. “First, The
elementary ideas. Second, The elementary words significant to them.” Such
was doubtless given man, as the Bible teaches, as a capital stock, and all
languages are, directly or indirectly, from this original stock, and its
results upon the human understanding; for who can set limits to
possibilities of the human mind when once it is furnished with a capital
stock and learned the art of its use? In Europe twenty-seven languages are
known, which are kindred branches from three roots, and these three roots
are scions of one stock; all languages are traceable to one stock. The
Bible _alone_ accounts for the origin of speech, which was, doubtless, the
origin of law. Chaldea, Media, Persia, Phœnicia and Egypt, under the
sovereignty of Chedorlaomer, had everything in legislative knowledge to
learn from the Hebrews. This “Chedorlaomer was king of Elam, in Persia, in
the times of Abraham. He made the cities in the region of the Dead Sea his
tributaries; and on their rebelling he came with four allied kings and
overran the whole country south and east of the Jordan. Lot was among his
captives, but was rescued by Abraham.” _See Zell’s Encyclopedia._
Lycurgus, a celebrated legislator of Sparta, who was born 926 years before
Christ, gave an agrarian law that finds its prototype, without its
defects, in the agrarian law of the Hebrews. Solon, one of the seven wise
men of Greece, who died 558 years before Christ, transcribed, from the
laws of Moses, the laws prohibiting certain degrees in marriage. The laws
of descent, among the Grecians, are almost identical with the laws of
descent among the Jews. The Grecians borrowed many laws from the Hebrews.
They had their harvest vintage festival; the presentation of the best of
their flocks; the offering of their first fruits, and the portion
prescribed to their priests; the law against garments of divers colors;
protection from violence to the man who fled to their altars; the law
prohibiting all from the altar who had touched a dead body or any other
impurity; the law prohibiting from the priesthood all those having
blemishes upon their persons. All these laws, found in the Athenian code,
had their origin with the laws of the Hebrews—were taken from Moses.

During the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the brother of Darius,
and who ascended the throne of the kingdom of Persia in the year 465
before Christ, the Jews were scattered all over the kingdom of Persia, and
their laws were the subject of conversation and notoriety. Haman speaks of
them to the king as differing from the laws of all other people.

The oldest and most noted legislators and wise men took their laws from
the law of Moses. The Egyptians and the Phœnicians borrowed from the
Jewish laws. Ancient and modern writers affirm that the individuals
commissioned by the Senate and tribune under Justinian to form the “Twelve
Tables” were directed to examine the laws of Athens and the Grecian
cities. This took them at once to the consideration of many of the laws of
Moses. Zell, in his Encyclopedia, says: The glory of Justinian’s reign is
the famous digest of the Roman law, known generally as the Justinian code,
which was compiled out of the Gregorian, Theodorian and Hermogenian codes,
by ten of the ablest lawyers of the empire, under the guiding genius of
the Jurisconsult Tribonian. Their labors consisted, first, of the “Statute
Law.” Second, The “Pandects,” a digest of the decisions and opinions of
former magistrates and lawyers. These two compilations consisted of matter
that lay scattered through more than two thousand volumes, now reduced to
fifty. Third, The “Institutes,” an abridgement in four books, containing
the substance of all the laws in the elementary form. Fourth, The laws of
_modern date_, including Justinian’s own edicts, collected into one volume
and called the “New Code.”

The word “Pandects” is a term of great importance in the investigation of
the origin of the Roman laws; it points directly and certainly to the fact
that the Roman laws, known as the _Pandects_, were gathered from all laws,
for such is the import of the term itself when it is associated with the
term _laws_. Moreover, it is a Greek term, showing at once that the
Grecian laws contributed largely to the _Pandects_ of the Roman laws. The
term is defined by Liddel and Scott in the words, _all-receiving,
all-containing_, so the _Pandects_ were gathered from _all laws_,
consequently from the laws of Moses as well as from the Grecian laws,
which were largely from the laws of Moses. This relationship, existing in
the science of law, between the laws of the Bible and the Roman laws
gotten up under Justinian, can be set aside by the infidels when stubborn
facts, as well as similitude, are set aside.

Sir Matthew Hale says: Among the many preferences which the laws of
England have above others, the two principal ones are, the hereditary
transmission of property and the trial by jury, which originated with the
Jews, for, by the law of Moses, the succession in the descending line was
to the sons, the oldest having a double portion. If the son died in his
father’s lifetime, the grandson heired the portion of his father. Trial by
jury was first suggested in the administration of penal justice among the
Jews. Such trials came off publicly in the gates of the city, and their
judges were elders and Levites, taken from the general mass of the
citizens. “A part of the common law, as it now stands, was first collected
by Alfred the Great, youngest son of Athelwolf, or Ethelwolf, King of the
West Saxons, who took the crown in 871. It is asserted by Sismondi, in his
history of the fall of the Roman Empire, that when the above named prince
caused a republication of the Saxon laws he inserted several laws taken
from the Judaical ritual into his statutes to give new strength and
cogency to the principles of morality. So it is a common thing in the
early English reports to find frequent references to the Mosaic law.
Sismondi also states that one of the first acts of the clergy under Pepin
and Charlemagne, of France, was to introduce into the legislation of the
Franks several of the Mosaic laws found in the books of Deuteronomy and
Leviticus. It is truthfully said that the entire code of civil and
judicial statutes throughout New England, and throughout the States first
settled by the descendants of New England, were the judicial laws of God
as they were delivered by Moses. From God himself one nation, and one
only, received their laws, and they are worthy of being regarded as models
for all succeeding ages. The learned Michaelis, who was professor of law
in the University of Gottingen, says that a man who considers laws
philosophically, who would survey them with the eye of a Montesquieu,
would never overlook the laws of Moses.”

Goguet, in his learned treatise upon the origin of laws, says: The more we
meditate on the laws of Moses the more we shall perceive their wisdom and
inspiration. They alone have undergone no changes, amendments or
retrenchments for more than three thousand years, while all others have
been receiving amendments and additions.

Milman, in his history of the Jews, says: The Hebrew law-giver exercised a
more extensive and permanent influence over the destinies of mankind than
any other individual in the annals of the world. The late Fisher Ames, a
distinguished statesman and jurist, said, “No man can be a sound lawyer
who is not well read in the laws of Moses.” The seat of this law is the
bosom of God, and her voice is the order, peace and happiness of the
world.



DID ADAM FALL OR RISE?


The old scholastic ideas of “total hereditary depravity, and miraculous
conversion,” with their correllates, have driven more minds into doubt and
skepticism than most of men are apprised of. The reasons are evident.
First. Common sense shrinks from them as ideas which are destructive of
every principle of human responsibility. Second. They are opposed to the
testimony of consciousness which asserts the soul’s freedom. Third. They
are opposed to correct ideas of justice as it is administered in all
governments, both human and divine.

“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us to know
good and evil.” Our fathers, of Calvinistic type of faith, used to tell us
that this language only asserted Adam’s experience of conscious guilt;
that he knew good before he transgressed, and had experimental knowledge
of evil after he transgressed. This was the best they could do and save
their Calvinism, and even this would not have saved it in the days of
investigation like ours. The Lord did not say, “The man is become as one
of us knowing good and evil,” but “the man is become as one of us _to
know_ good and evil.” The old view of the subject virtually says, The Lord
had experimental knowledge of both good and evil, and that the way in
which Adam became Godlike was the way of the transgressor. Then the
greatest Godlikeness is the result of the greatest sinning. _What
nonsense!_ The Bible says: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and
they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made
themselves aprons.” The account also asserts that the “tree of knowledge
of good and evil” was “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” Total
depravity and its correllates could never have been found in this context.
This history is not responsible for it, nor for the mischiefs it has
produced.

The Heavenly Father knew, when he created man, that he would fail upon
trial. To have prevented this would have been nothing short of an
interference with man’s freedom, and consequently his responsibility,
without which he could not have been man. The Lord saw man in his alien
state and in his return to holiness. He “made of one blood all nations of
men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and determined the times
before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they _should
seek the Lord_.”—See Acts 17: 26. It was necessary that man should become
as God _to know good and evil_ in order that he might be continued upon
trial in a world of good and evil. To this end the Divine Ruler placed in
the test fruit, the fruit of the tree that was forbidden, a mental lever
to endow man with wisdom as God to know good and evil, without which the
man’s responsibility in relation to good and evil could never have been.

The fruit of the tree of life was for man’s physical nature; was to
control the law of organic being, regulating waste and supply so as to
prevent the present effects of old age, and keep man in perpetual
conditions of youth. After man had sinned, with the knowledge of good and
evil, he was master of his position, and now, lest he “put forth his hand
and take of the tree of life, and eat and live forever,” subjected to
shame, to torment, to anguish and tribulation, mental suffering, a lost
being in the state of abandoned fallen angels, with a possibility of
corrupting his conscience until it should be past feeling, seared as with
a hot iron, and so glory in his shame; or, otherwise, be beyond the motive
power of life and the restraining power of death, the Infinite One placed
him beyond the reach of the tree of life. All of these ways or doings of
the Heavenly Father were right, were merciful, were best for man. THE WAYS
OF GOD ARE RIGHT. THE WAYS OF GOD ARE BEST. Farewell to “total hereditary
depravity, and farewell to all its necessary correllations, such as
miraculous conversion,” etc.

Man is mentally endowed with wisdom by the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil; is kept from ruining himself forever by being placed beyond the
reach of the tree of life; is continued upon trial in a world of good and
evil; is responsible through his knowledge of good and evil, and the
motive power of life, and the restraining power of death is preserved to
control him for his own eternal good; and, blessed be the name of our
Heavenly Father, his eyes are open; so if man goes to perdition he must go
_with his eyes open_. In all this we have perfect harmony with all Bible
duty and truth, and also with science and universal consciousness of
freedom and ability to choose and act. Not by a hair’s breadth has God
ever infringed upon the freedom of the soul to shape and mould its own
moral character, and shape its own moral destiny; but he has done many
wonderful things to better the condition of the free soul—not forsaking it
in the hour of greatest need.

The soul’s free, voluntary service is that which constitutes the
requirement of religion in all the ages.



DID THEY DREAM IT, OR WAS IT SO?


That there was such a person as Jesus Christ living in the land of Judea
at the time allowed by all Christians is no longer disputed by
unbelievers. That he lived a life far superior to the lives of all other
men is also conceded. If the powers of life and death were under his
control he was more than human. If he rose from the dead he was the Son of
God. Did he rise? This is a question upon which the whole Christian scheme
hinges. What was the nature of the fact? Was it one about which men could
be mistaken? Was it a fact which, occurring, addressed itself to the
senses? If it was the witnesses could not be mistaken. There is not a
court in the universe that would allow it.

There are things about which wise men may be mistaken, but they are not
things which address themselves to the senses. Those are things in which
fools may not, can not, be mistaken. It is impossible for my wife to be
mistaken about my presence at this moment, but it is just as possible as
it was for any of the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection to be
mistaken. They were not, they could not be mistaken. Then what becomes of
Strauss’s mythical idea. What folly it is to allow that those witnesses
were perfectly honest, enthusiastically and proverbially honest in all
they said, and yet mistaken.

This moral honesty and enthusiasm which Strauss and others allow to the
credit of the witnesses is undoubtedly designed as a feeler—a mere
catering to the views of Christians upon the character of the first
Christians. Very good fellows (?) after all. How is that? If one of my
neighbors would go into a court room to-morrow and testify under oath that
he was with me yesterday, and the court was in possession of the fact that
I was not with him, or near him at all, would it allow honesty to the
witness? Would not every sensible man say, in his heart, he is a perjured
witness? If he was with Walker he knew it; and if he was not with him he
knew it.

Gentlemen, exercise all your shrewdness, adopt Strauss’s idea of a
mythical origin of the gospel of Christ, both as respects his miracles,
which were either seen or not seen, and as respects his resurrection, then
spread the blanket of honesty and warm-hearted enthusiasm over those men
who sacrificed everything, life not excepted, for the testimony which they
bore, and the next day any well-instructed judge of our courts would say,
it is nonsense; they could not be mistaken about any fact which addressed
itself to their eyes and ears. Christ rose from the dead if the witnesses
told the truth; and the witnesses told the truth if they were honest men;
and if they were not honest, labor, toil, suffering and martyrdom are no
evidences of sincerity.



                  -------------------------------------



Can you believe in harmony without believing in a harmonist?

Can you believe that all things in nature adjusted themselves to each
other?

Can you believe that life, and mind, and moral nature, each and all came
from where neither existed?



MISCELLANEOUS.


Voltaire built a church to God at Ferney.

Can you believe that your great ancestors were apes?

Do you oppose the Bible and prefer its legitimate effects?

Huxley wants the Bible introduced into boarding schools.

Can you believe in design without believing in a designer?

Tyndal says the theory of evolution of species is utterly uncredited.

Can you believe that the type which made these letters set themselves up?

The _Saturday Review_ says Hume used to go to church sometimes in
Scotland.

Can you believe that mind is the result of blind, unintelligent,
mechanical forces?

Tyndal says spontaneous generation is the one essential pillar of
evolution of species.

Tyndal says the failures to produce spontaneous life by experimenting are
lamentable.

Collins insisted on his servants going to church “that they might not rob
or murder him.”

Can you believe that worlds hung themselves together and move themselves,
as one grand whole, through space?

Can you believe that the correllation of things in nature was without
design? that such adaptations as light to the eye was unintended?

Can you be honest in exerting your influence against the religion of Jesus
Christ while it is your candid conviction that a country is better off
with it than without it?

Do you sometimes say you prefer to live where there are churches and
Sunday-schools, and all their appliances for the bettering of the
condition of humanity, and at the same time constantly find fault with the
Bible and religion which creates such things? If such is your course, are
you strictly honest?





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