Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 7, July, 1880
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 7, July, 1880" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



book was produced from scanned images of public domain


Scientific and Religious Journal.

  VOL. I.  JULY, 1880.  NO. 7.



THE FOUNTAIN OF HAPPINESS.


The source and fullness of created good is the knowledge and enjoyment
of God. "Give what thou wilt, without thee we are poor; and with thee
rich, take what thou wilt away." The wicked are like a ship's crew at
sea, carried by the winds upon unknown waters, without peace or safety
until they can renew communications with the shore. A man alienated from
his God is without his proper relations, and separated from the fountain
of happiness, is like a child unconscious of his father--an orphan,
forced along, the sport of accident, with no hope for the future, but
darkness that may overshadow his pathway to the tomb. If we were at once
deprived of all knowledge of God where would we find hopes for support
in the gloomy hours of adversity? What sadness would reign over the
world! What black despair! O, what a chasm it would make to strike the
Infinite One out of existence! "The angels might retire in silence and
weep, or fly through infinite space seeking some token of the Father
they had lost. With unbounded grief and despair they might wing their
way farther and farther, with their harps all unstrung, and every song
silent, and the soul-harrowing words, 'We have no Father, no God, a
blind chance rules,' might be all that would break the awful silence of
heaven. Let the glorious words once more be heard, 'God reigns, he
lives, he reigns,' and what joy would fill the heavens and the earth."
The child of sorrow would lift up his head and say, "Our Father who art
in heaven." The heavenly songsters would string anew their harps, and
send the good news far and wide, "He lives, he reigns, God over all,
blessed forever."

"We are not able to estimate the effect it would produce to blot the
knowledge of God from the universe. We can not appreciate the state of
that mind which labors under the impression that God is retiring.
Perhaps we have one momentary example of the sad gloom that takes
possession of the man under such circumstances. It is seen in the
Savior's dying words, 'My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?'"

In our nature and condition there are two sources of misery--the mind,
or conscience, disturbed by sin, and the body affected by disease and
death. Sinful emotions cause disquietude, uneasiness, sorrow and misery,
bitterness, recrimination, reciprocated treachery, infuriated rage,
malignant and stormy passions; envy, jealousy, suspicion and unlawful
desires distract the mind and quench its joys. Who can be happy in such
a condition? Disquieted and corrupted affections cause the greater part
of the unhappiness or misery of the race. The angels of light could not
be happy in such a murky sea. Our great ancestors were doomed to toil in
a world of disappointment and sorrow for yielding to such a guide. Haman
occupied a high position at the court of Persia, yet he made himself
miserable because "Mordecai the Jew sat at the king's gate." And Ahab,
on the throne of Israel, "refused to eat bread" because he could not get
possession of the vineyard of Naboth. Men can not be happy with such
passions reigning in the mind, and yet they are found in almost every
bosom, unless it has been purified by the influence of the gospel of
Jesus the Christ. The great idols of this world are fame, pleasure and
wealth, and the love of these is the strong passion of the heart. But it
is the most prolific source of individual, social and public misfortune,
the most mischievous, contentious and demoralizing passion. The
ambitious, the voluptuous, the rich and the great are not necessarily
happy. Alexander wept upon the throne of the world because there was not
another world for him to conquer.

In the midst of seminal pleasures and corrupt passions men are always
miserable. The influence of the Gospel of Christ is the only remedy for
such diseases. It saves men from aggravating selfishness and holds in
check their fierce passions until they are extinguished. Virtuous
affections are invariably the great sources of human happiness. They are
fountains of living waters, which purify the mind and make their
possessors happy. They are as rivers of water in a thirsty land.

In the teachings of Christ we learn all that pertains to true happiness,
in what it consists and how to obtain it. There we are admonished of
mere worldly blessings, because the desire for them is generally so
intense that it becomes a source of corruption, and in our successes we
often forget our highest interests. The Savior left in the background
the commonly received notions of men touching the sources of true
happiness. He said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit," referring not to
those who are temporally poor. The wicked are poor as well as the
righteous. O, how dreadfully miserable are the wicked poor! a miserable
life here, followed by a miserable hereafter. Many poor persons are
haughty, ungodly, dishonest, profligate and unhappy. Neither does it
mean voluntary poverty, or to turn mendicant monks and friars. It means
the humble, those who are deeply sensible of their spiritual or mental
and moral wants; in other words, those who feel that there is a place in
their spiritual nature for the blessings of the Gospel of Christ. It is
opposed to self-righteousness. The poor in spirit come to God through
Christ, and, putting all their trust in him, submit to the divine will
under all the trying dispensations of his providence.

The poor in spirit are always sensible of their need of salvation, but
the proud in spirit are "clean in their own eyes." Their goodness is
like the morning cloud and the early dew, yet they say, Stand by
thyself; I am holier than thou. "Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed
are the meek. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after
righteousness. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
What a sublime rebuke to the spirit of this world! It is a grand
contrast to the uneasy desires of greedy covetousness; to the
disposition of the gay; to the degradation of the impure; to the
senseless pleasures of the ambitious, when new fires ignite their hopes
only to plunge them into deeper darkness. The Bible's happiest soul is
he who has most of its peculiar mind and character. Not on account of
earthly riches, for he may be one of the Lord's poor, who, like his
blessed Master, has "no place to lay his head." Not because he has
sought and obtained honor from men, but because he sought and "seeks the
honor which cometh from God only." Not because he has much of this
world, but because he is a Christian. He may not have the greatest
capacity, but he has a state of mind that prepares him to rightly
estimate and enjoy all that is worth enjoying. "To the upright there
ariseth light in the darkness." They are wisely guided, comforted and
encouraged in the most gloomy wilderness. They are not oppressed with
doubts; sorrow does not crush them. Darkness gives place to light, and
the seeming evil turns to good. They often sip honey from the most
bitter flowers. They yield not to fear, for they believe in God, and are
assured, by a thousand contrasts, that "all things work together for
good to those who love God." One of the never-failing sources of
happiness for which we are under obligations to Jesus the Christ is the
mind and character which he requires of us. "A good man shall be
satisfied from himself."

"Man was created for an active life. Effort is the true element of a
well regulated mind. Undisturbed soil becomes hard and unproductive. Its
bosom is shut up against the dews and the rains, and also against the
warm rays of the sun. So it is with the mind when it is closed up and
deprived of healthy action; this man lives for himself alone, and only
the baser passions spring up in his breast. His soul is too narrow for
Christian benevolence; sympathy and emotion are disabled and all his
nobler faculties languish. Action, from intelligent and benevolent
principles, is a great fountain of happiness. Few streams of bliss equal
those which flow from charitable exertions. Benevolence and well-doing
are great inducements to future exertions, because of the fact that they
are their own reward in a thousand different ways. The seed thus sown
brings back an hundred fold, and a rich harvest to others, which adds to
the abundance of our own happiness. But where shall we go for those
principles of action? Shall we search for them in nature? Can reason
alone discover them? Are they found in the teachings of philosophy? Are
they gathered from observation? Does not our world need Revelation to
make known the true aim and end of our being?" Cicero said, "Those who
do not agree in stating what is the chief end, or good, must of course
differ in the whole system of precepts for the conduct of human life."
He also says there was so great a dissention among the philosophers,
upon this subject, that it was almost impossible to enumerate their
different sentiments. So it came to pass that exertions for benevolent
ends were seldom, if ever, put forth by pagans in pagan lands--they knew
nothing of the happiness springing from such a source.

Great efforts from great motives are the glory and blessedness of our
nature. In the Bible only men have learned what great motives and
efforts are. There we find food to sustain them and wisdom to guide
them. Nowhere in the pages of infidel philosophy can we find such an
injunction as this: "Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, do all to the
glory of God." Where else do we find this Christian maxim: "None of us
liveth to himself, and none of us dieth to himself; but whether we live,
we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord." He or
she alone is the happy one who is taught to consider the nature and
tendencies of human conduct, and whether it will stand the test before
God, and advance the ends of his truth and love in the world; who makes
the Lord's will the ends of his or her life and lives to please God and
show forth his praise. Such a life is necessarily a happy one, because
it is one _full_ of goodness. There is daily joy in such daily activity.
No man can be wretched while acting from the principle of communicative
goodness. Such are happy whatever their sphere or occupation may be.
Their aims are high. Their objects sustain them and their impulses
encourage or strengthen them. Their anticipations are joyous and their
reflections are tranquil. They look backward with delight and forward
with hope. Their conscience approves them. They have not buried their
talents. They are not encumberers of the ground.

They live to bless the children of men. When they die they will to them
their counsel, their example and prayers. Benevolent habits are a great
source of happiness, for which we are indebted to the religion of
Christ.

It is vain to attempt to persuade ourselves that human misery does not
exist. We can not get away from it by arming ourselves with stoical
insensibility. Evils lie all about us; we ourselves are made to feel
them. If we open our eyes upon the pages of time we see a continuous
series of beings who appear for a short time and then pass away. Their
beds are bedewed with tears, and soon the emblems of death are hung
about their doors. O, what wonderful scenes lie between the cradle and
the grave! What hours of sadness and gloom! Here, in the midst of life,
we realize disappointments, losses, painful diseases and heart-rending
discouragements, defeated hopes and withered honors. Here are good
reasons for the interposition of redeeming love. Does the God who loves
us sympathize with us in our woes? We are liable at every step in life
to great individual and domestic calamities. No hour can be free from
the fear that what we value the most on the earth may be snatched away
to-morrow.

Trees and flowers grow to their full stature, fill up their measure of
time, and pass away. Beasts and birds are more rarely cut off with
disease. Their lives are not embittered with the expectation of death;
the knowledge of the past and the present is all they have; they have no
knowledge of the morrow; they live contented in their ignorance and
indifference, and, at last, sink into the deep, unending night, "being
made to be taken and destroyed."

But this is not the history of man. He perishes from the cradle to the
tomb--"suffers a hundred deaths in fearing one." He is conscious of the
dangers that beset him. He is hedged in on every side. Death is
constantly destroying his fondest hopes and causing him the sorest
grief. It bursts the ties that bind heart to heart, and the dearest
fellowships are severed, and the joys of a blessed life are wrapped in
the gloom of death. All there was of earthly bliss in the bygone now
makes up his anguish. Is it possible that life and death walk
"arm-in-arm?" Yes; even while we are happy in the enjoyment of one, the
other comes and casts the fearful mantle over all our earthly prospects.
Seal up this blessed volume of life, and I know not from whence the
light is to spring which would cheer this gloomy picture. Without this,
man would be in a grade of blessedness beneath the brutes that perish.
It would be better to be anything than rational without the religion of
Jesus Christ and the intelligence of the Bible. The Scriptures inform us
that these things have a cause, that they come from God's dealings with
his creatures, that the unseen hand which permits these trials is
benevolent and wise. Sorrow has its design, and it is neither unkind nor
malignant. These things have a moral cause; they are the great rebuke of
God for sin. They are also a part of the discipline of a Heavenly
Father, designed to co-operate with the Gospel in bringing back all
those who are intelligently exercised thereby to their forsaken God.

The antidote for all these ills culminating in death was the tree of
life. When man sinned against his God he was put away from the tree of
life. If he had remained with it he would have been beyond the reach of
the motive of life, and beyond the restraining power of the fear of
death. He would have lived forever, subject, like fallen angels, to
mental suffering during the ages to come. But being placed beyond the
reach of the tree of life he may be redeemed by the love of life to a
higher state. When the rebellious see and realize this great truth,
being exercised by the chastening hand of God, they are often subdued to
submission, to peace, and under the heaviest calamities they often look
upward and say, "It is the Lord, let his will be done." And this, of
itself, is a source of unbounded bliss.

We often submit to present pain when counseled to do so by those in
whose wisdom and goodness we trust. As Christians we extend this
principle to all the sufferings of this life. Doing so, we have that
feeling of quiet submission growing out of permanent confidence in God
which supports us under all the trials to which we have been subjected
by an all-wise Father. This principle is wonderfully fruitful in
consolations to the bereaved and mourning--it is the joy of all
Christian hearts. "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." What shall
we say of the hopes and prospects of bereaved souls? Is it blind
conjecture that there is an existence beyond the shadows? Is there no
life to come? No great resurrection? No comforter to arrest the current
of mourning and lamentation?

How natural it is, when reminded of our loss, to exclaim, Shall we not
meet them again? Is this parting to last forever? Is there a God? Has he
not answered this agonizing inquiry? When we sit down upon the brink of
those waters which have swallowed up our living treasures and weep and
call upon the waves of eternity to give back our dear ones, when, from
the shores of time, we look and gaze and listen, does no voice reach us?
_Yes!_ To the ear of faith there is a voice. It is the voice of our God.
We listen. The words come ringing in our hearts, "For if we believe that
Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will
God bring with him." _Our grief is allayed._ We believe and are
comforted. We look forward to a happy meeting. A reunion for eternity
hovers before us like a bright star, lights up our pathway, and leads us
forward in a living hope.

Nowhere in the Bible is human sorrow clothed with cold indifference. The
counsels of that book and its promises are so adapted to the sorrowing
that those who have passed through the furnace of affliction know best
their value. There is no such relief from sorrow found away from the
faith of God and the Bible.

There is an hour when we _ourselves_ must die? Shall we trifle with the
will of God till then? Can we trifle with death when it comes? "The
sting of death is sin." Death never fails to bring along with it a keen
sense of guilt to the guilty unless they are cut off in a moment, and
then who knows the anguish that may be experienced just beyond? What is
there to soothe the sorrow of the dying sinner?--of that wicked soul who
never obeyed his God nor did anything to make the world better for his
existence? Let none of us live at a distance from our God. Let none of
us approach death without the necessary preparation for mutual
association with him. Let none of us bear the burden of a guilty
conscience in that hour. May none of us be so cruel as to leave the
hearts that love us in doubt respecting our condition in death. May we
never tread its dark waters without the light of the glorious promises
and facts of the religion of Jesus the Christ. Let us keep our souls
pure in obeying the truth through the Spirit. Let us live with and obey
God, do good and be happy.



INDEBTEDNESS TO REVELATION--No. II.

BY P. T. RUSSELL.


Thought, Thinkers, Things--realities with their qualities or attributes.
These are all connected. If the first and second are present the others
are not far away. We only think when we perceive, and only perceive
realities. Nonentities are not perceivable, and therefore not thinkable.
Thoughts may be, and are, transferable from one to another by words, or
signs equivalent to words, yet we are only able to impart to another
ideas already in our possession.

We have no thoughts of our own but those which are the result of our
perceiving. We have no thought of color without the eye, nor of sound
without the ear, etc. Now, if we have in our possession thoughts of
persons or things beyond the reach of our powers of observation, _i.e._,
beyond the reach of the five senses--seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting
and smelling--then those thoughts can not be ours; we could not be the
first to think them; they were too high for us; they were out of our
reach. Who, then, could and did reach them and give them to us? This
ought to be the question of questions with us. Thoughts of foreign
countries have been given to us by the men who have seen those
countries. But they could only give us ideas of what they had seen or
others had told them. A man visiting England only could give us no
thought of Russia, unless instructed by some one who has seen that land;
then, and not till then, could he give us thoughts of Russia. I am now
ready for the statement of this proposition, viz: The following trio of
thoughts are beyond our reach. They are not our thoughts; we did not
think them, but we have them; then, some being who could see higher and
look farther than we must have given them to us. Those thoughts are the
following: First, the existence of God; second, the use of words; third,
the origin of religion. These I will examine in the order given above.


THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

Whence came the idea? This is now _the question_. In answering it I
shall assume no ground but that which all parties say is true. The
Christian, the Deist and Atheist will admit that we have learned all we
know, and that we have learned only through the aid of the five senses:
seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling are the porters of the
mind. One or another of these bring to the mind every thought that it
receives. We obtain thoughts of odor _only_ by the sense of smell; of
flavor only by the taste; of color by the eye alone. In these matters we
have no intuition. We brought no ideas into the world with us. In all
these things we are creatures of education. Simple or single ideas, like
simple words, represent simple thoughts or realities, and compound ideas
represent compound thoughts or realities. Therefore it follows that
every thought comes from a corresponding reality. To deny this is equal
to the affirmation that we can clearly see objects in a vacuum, that we
can see something where there is nothing.

Having stated premises in which all are agreed, I now state my first
proposition:

THERE IS A TRUE AND LIVING GOD.

In sustaining this proposition I shall introduce no witnesses but those
whose perfect reliability is vouched for by the Atheist himself; so we
shall have no dispute concerning the credibility and perfect reliability
of witnesses. For the Atheist, claiming to be a votary of reason, as
well as a boasted free and fearless thinker, certainly can not impeach
the testimony of his own mind. And, being a free and fearless thinker,
he will not try to conceal or prevent the witness, when on the stand,
from telling the whole truth. I am now ready for the evidence.

The scene changes; Christian is alone in his studio, and a rap is heard
at the door. It is opened, and Mr. Atheist is invited to enter, and
being seated, Christian addresses him thus:

Mr. Atheist, I am glad you have called, and if you have the leisure time
and are perfectly free to do so, I would like to talk with you on the
evidence of the existence of God.

_Atheist_--I am not only willing, but as anxious as you can be to
examine this question.

_Christian_--Very well. I suppose you have examined the evidence in the
premises, and from all the testimony, carefully analyzed, made your
decision.

_Atheist_--You do me justice in thus supposing, for I claim to be a
reasonable being, and to follow fearlessly the lamp of reason; and,
doing this on scientific and philosophic principles, I have become
satisfied that there is no God.

_Christian_--Will you allow me to state my analysis of the mind and ask
you if it is correct?

_Atheist_--You, Mr. C., are approaching from a singular yet a pleasing
stand-point; will you please give me your analysis? If it is good, I
will say so; if defective, I will point out its errors.

_Christian_--It is this: The mind of man may be divided into ten parts
or powers; five external, or the five senses; and five internal. The
external I need not name. The internal may be presented thus: First,
perception; second, reflection; third, memory; fourth, reason; fifth,
judgment, or decision; each of these entirely dependent upon its
immediate predecessor for support and action. We can not judge of that
upon which we have not reasoned, nor reason where we have not
remembered, nor remember that of which we have not first thought;
neither can we think of that which we have not perceived, nor perceive
without the action of some one of the five senses.

_Atheist_--I admire your analysis--it is scientific; but, Mr. C., I
should not think that you, with your present belief in the existence of
God, would adopt this system of mental philosophy.

_Christian_--Why?

_Atheist_--_Did you ever see a God?_

_Christian_--If you please, I will test the question with you, and, in
order to do so, I will personify these powers. I will suppose them to
represent ten men, all of whom are Atheists, and we will rely upon their
testimony.

_Atheist_--That is an honorable offer; I will accept it most cordially.

_Christian_--Then, we are to consider the powers of the mind as so many
men, and hear their testimony?

_Atheist_--Yes.

_Christian_--Will you examine the witnesses?

_Atheist_--You would more properly do that; I wish to hear you.

_Christian_--Very well; I will, then, call on Mr. Judgment, and ask,
Have you given a decision on the question of the existence of God, and
if so, what is your decision?

_Judgment_--There is no such being.

_Christian_--Tell us whether you created the idea of a God, or brought
it into the world with you, and how you obtained the material from which
you manufactured your verdict?

_Judgment_--"Did I bring the idea into the world with me, or create it?"
_What a question!_ Had anybody but a Christian asked it I would have
thought it an insult; but, then, Christians are never thinkers. You
ought to have known that the thought could not have been created by me.
To say I created it would be an endorsement of your foolish idea that
_something_ was made of _nothing_. I have no creative power, much less
the power _to make something out of nothing_; neither did I bring it
into the world with me. _We have no innate ideas._

_Christian_--Then where did you get the material from which you made
your decision that there is no God?

_Judgment_--"_Where!_" I have but one porter, Mr. Reason. He gives all
the material upon which I ever act. If you doubt this try and judge of
anything upon which you have never reasoned. If you can not do this you
must agree with me that judgment can only act and decide by the aid of
reason.

_Christian_--Your argument is conclusive. Now, as you have decided that
there is no God, and also claim that your only aid, Mr. Reason, gave you
the material out of which you made your decision, will you call him and
allow me to ask him a few questions?

_Judgment_--Most willingly. We all are free thinkers, and delight in
investigation. Brother Reason, please call in; Christian is here and
wishes a little information of you.

_Reason_--Mr. Christian, Brother Judgment informs me that you wish some
information from me. Please state your question.

_Christian_--Did you present the idea of the existence of God to your
brother Judgment, and if so, where and how did you come by it?

_Reason_--I received it from Brother Memory, and opened it out and held
it up so that Brother Judgment could scan it thoroughly, and he decided
there was no such being, and I agree with him.

_Christian_--Will you call Memory, that I may learn where and how he
obtained the idea? (_Memory enters._)

_Christian_--Mr. Memory, are you an Atheist, and did you give Reason the
idea of a God? If you did, how did you get it? Did you bring it into the
world with you?

_Memory_--"Bring it into the world with me." _What an absurd question!_
I never had an idea only as it was given me by Brother Reflection. If
you doubt this, try and remember something you have never thought of, or
think of something you never perceived. This, then, is the truth:
Reflection received the idea from Perception and gave it to you, and you
gave it to Memory, and he held it up to the eye of Reason, who, with
your aid, spread it out before the mind of your brother Judgment, and he
gave the decision, that there is no God; so we are all Atheists. Have
you any more questions?

_Christian_--Yes, one more at least; I wish _now_ to know how your
brother Perception obtained the idea of a God--will you tell me, or call
him?

_Memory_--Oh, I can tell you; he has five porters who bring him all he
ever gets, and they, with us, are all Atheists. But one or another of
these must have brought him the idea.

_Christian_--Will you ask them which one gave it to your brother
Perception?

_Memory_--You, for some reason, are very particular. I will, however, to
gratify you, call them, or at least some of them. Brother Eye, Christian
wishes to know if you gave the idea of a God to Mr. Perception?

_Eye_--_What a foolish question!_ You, an Atheist, ask me, another
Atheist, if I have ever seen a living God where there is none to look
at--you have let Christian lead you out until he has almost drawn from
you the proof that David told the truth about us when he called all
Atheists fools. I have seen all visible things, but _nothing_ is too
small a mark for me to discover!

_Christian_--Mr. Eye, don't be in a hurry; just let me ask, do Free
Thinkers get scared and refuse to think?

_Eye_--I will leave you now, and tell the other porters what a fix your
philosophy has led us into.

_Christian_--Good-bye; I will call one month hence and hear your
conclusion.



DO WE NEED THE BIBLE?


The only creed consistent with the rejection of the Gospel of Christ is
an eternal tomb, with the heart-shivering inscription, "Death is an
eternal sleep." Americans who reject the Scriptures are as uncertain
about the future as the poor heathen of other lands. Some of our
unbelievers have gathered the information from heathen oracles that the
future consists in being a poor, empty, shivering, table-rapping spirit,
flying to and fro over the country in response to the sigh of some silly
waiting-girl, or at the bidding of some brazen-faced, unscrupulous "free
lover." And this, "O, ye gods!" is all that ever shall be of the noblest
spirits that ever left human flesh! Others, to gain rest from this
horrible and unsatisfying fate, fly to the theory of everlasting
silence, as a result of the idea that mind is simply brain action, and
ceases to exist when the brain ceases to act. Their appropriate motto
is, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." It has been said that
even this brute philosophy is reasonable compared with the dogma of a
large portion of unbelievers, to wit., that blasphemers, thieves,
profane swearers, murderers and adulterers, will all go straight to
heaven when they die; that men with their hearts steeped in blood will
sit down with Abraham and Isaac in the kingdom of God. But
Spiritualists, Pantheists, Atheists, and Deists inform us that an
external revelation is useless. Their common exposition of the sentiment
is too well known to need comment. We hear them saying, "You need say
nothing about the Bible to me; I know my duty well enough without it;
and as for miracles, they will never prove anything to me. Can thunder,
repeated daily through centuries, make God's laws and his wisdom and
goodness more God-like? No! I am grown, perchance, to manhood, and do
not need the thunder and terror. I am not to be scared. It is not
_fear_, but _reverence_, that shall lead me! _Revelation!_ Inspiration!
And thy own God-like spirit; is not that a revelation?" See Carlyle's
"Past and Present," page 307.

Now, if Mr. Carlyle was in no need of the fear of God, somebody else
may be in a different mental and moral condition. There is nothing in
which men differ more. If one man is above the weakness of fearing God
(?) all men are not. Say what we may of fear, it is nevertheless true
that we are greatly influenced by fear. We are greatly indebted to the
fear of sickness for health, to the fear of poverty for wealth, and to
the fear of death for life. Fear is to caution what knowledge is to a
wise choice. Where there is no fear there is no caution. The love of
life and bliss is natural, therefore we fear sickness, poverty and
death. Why say with your lips, "I am above fear," while away down in
your heart you know it to be a lie?

Love and fear, like the Siamese twins, live and perish together. Do we
not _need_ "revelation?" Where is the shadow, and where is the sunshine?
May we not contrast them? The very wisest of heathen legislators
approved of vice in some of its most heinous forms. The Carthaginian law
required human sacrifices. When Agathoclas besieged Carthage two hundred
children of the most noted families were put to death by command of the
Senate, and three hundred citizens sacrificed themselves to Saturn. See
Diodorus Siculus, b. 20, ch. 14. The laws of Sparta required theft and
the death of unhealthy children. The laws of Rome allowed parents to
kill their child, if they pleased to do it. At the headquarters of
heathen literature it was recommended that maimed infants should be
killed or exposed to death. Aristotle's Political Library, 7, chapter
17. In Plato's Republic we discover an advance of society, but a
community of wives continues, and what was termed woman's rights was
maintained upon the condition that the women were trained to war. In war
times the children were led out to look upon the struggle, and become
accustomed and hardened to blood. The teachings of the best minds were
immoral. "He may lie," says Plato, "who knows how to do it." Profane
swearing was enjoined by the example of their best writers. Oaths are of
common occurrence in the writings of Seneca and Plato. Aristippus
taught that adultery and theft were commendable in a wise man, and
Cicero plead for the last dreadful tragedy--_suicide_. Such immoralities
are eulogised in the writings of Virgil, Horace and Ovid. When Rome was
in her glory and greatness, Trajan had ten thousand men to hew each
other to pieces to amuse the Romans. In the face of all these facts,
modern Spiritualists advance along with Deists, Atheists and Pantheists,
and gravely inform us that we have no need of any external
revelation--that men are wise enough without it.

They argue, that as we have physical senses to take hold of earth's
material blessings and appropriate them; so we have intellectual
faculties to take hold of all else that is necessary to supply our
mental and moral wants. It is most certainly true that we have physical
senses and intellectual faculties. I can not tell how it is with all the
infidels of our country, but I do know persons having physical senses
who are in great need of some of the substantials of life. I have also
known persons who have destroyed their physical senses to such an extent
as to be miserable objects of pity and compassion, needing some external
help as well an internal. Now, if, in spite of physical senses, men and
women do starve in this world on account of want, it is certainly
allowable that persons may fail of the enjoyment of needed mental and
moral culture in spite of intellectual faculties. And if it is a matter
of charity for men to put forth their hands and assist their fellow men
when they are in want of material blessings, surely it is a matter of
love, the love of God, to present to weary, burthened souls mental and
spiritual blessings which correlate with man's spiritual wants. Do you
deny the existence of such wants?

Tyndal said there is a place in man's soul-nature for religion. This
fact is acknowledged by all leading writers in unbelief. He who calls it
in question experiences the fact. Why say it is not true against the
testimony of your own conscience?

"Tell me," said a rich Hindoo who had given all his wealth to the
Brahmans surrounding his dying bed that they might obtain pardon for his
sins, "tell me what will become of my soul when I die?" "Your soul will
go into the body of a holy cow." "And after that?" "It will pass into
the body of a divine peacock." "And after that?" "It will pass into a
flower." "Tell me, oh! tell me," cried the dying man, "where will it go
last of all?" "Where will it go last of all? Aye, that is the question
reason can not answer," said the poor Brahmans.

Where there is no vision the people perish. "Life and immortality was
brought to light through the Gospel." Without a revelation from God, men
know neither how to live or die. Our ancestors trusted to the powers of
magic, to incantations, for health, for success in tilling the ground,
for finding lost articles, for preventing accidents, etc. They
superstitiously regarded certain days of the week. If an infant was born
upon a certain day it would live; if upon another it would live, but be
sickly.

Do you unceremoniously reject the Gospel of the Christ? "Yes," you say,
"if it depends on Jesus it is not eternally true, and therefore is not
true at all." But, I ask in all candor, is eternally true and
sufficiently revealed _one_ and the _same_? Are we under no obligations
to the man who first informed us of vaccination as a preventive of
small-pox, simply because it would always have prevented it? Are we
under no obligations to men on account of scientific discoveries, just
because the truths discovered are eternal truths? _Nonsense!_ You know
it is nonsense. Then we may be under lasting obligations to the Christ
for the revelation of the Gospel, with its sublime precepts and
principles, consolations and promises, which fill up the human spirit
with undying love and the hope of eternal glory.

Let parents look well to this question. Let infidels set themselves to
work and get up some law of man capable of regenerating the hearts of
those men who, at their bidding, renounce the law of God and his
authority, and also with it all human authority. Will they do it? Can
they do it? Oh! There are no means outside of the sanctions of religion
by which the heart may be reached and purified from the love and
practice of sin.

What right, says the Pantheist, the Atheist, the Deist, and
Spiritualist, have you to command me?

The rejectors of the Bible made an experiment, an attempt, in trying to
govern France without religion. Shall the scenes of Paris and Lyons be
repeated, re-enacted in our own beloved America? No, we don't want it,
and we do not think we shall experience it, for the framers of our
Declaration of Independence laid the rights of God in the bed-rock of
our republic, believing that the rights of God are the basis of human
rights. "All men are born free and equal, and are endowed by their
CREATOR WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS, AMONG WHICH IS LIFE, LIBERTY
AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, ETC."

Nations destitute of the Bible ever were, and are, ignorant and wicked.
There are peoples in the world decently clad, well fed, and living in
comfortable mansions, with well tilled lands, who make powerful streams
turn powerful wheels and run great machinery; who yoke the iron horse to
the market train and drive their floating palaces against the floods;
who erect churches in every village, and make their children more
learned than the priests of Egypt, or the philosophers of Greece; even
many of their criminals are more decent and upright than were the sages,
philosophers and heroes of lands destitute of the Bible. These peoples
have that wonderful book; and they claim that it contains a revelation
from God to man; and that it teaches us how to live, and how to die.

"EVERY TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUITS."

      *      *      *      *      *

"The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." He claims, however,
that something without life or intelligence produced organic nature.
That BLIND, DEAD, SOMETHING IS THE FOOL'S GOD.



THE WAY INFIDELS TREAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE BIBLE.


The unreasonableness and unfairness of infidels, or otherwise their
ignorance, is manifested in their unwillingness to interpret the
literature of religion as they do the language of the sciences. In
scientific literature we speak of the earth as a sphere, and infidels
never think of objecting that it is "pitted with hollows deep as ocean's
bottom," and "crusted with protuberances high as the Himalaya," in every
imaginable form. "There is not an acre of absolutely level ground" known
on the face of the earth, and yet when we speak of land, saying it is
level, no infidel demurs. The waters pile themselves in waves and dash
in breakers, yet we say, "Level as the ocean," and none object.

The smallest formations present the same regular irregularities of form.
Crystals approach the nearest to mathematical figures, but they break
with compound irregular fractures at their bases of attachment. Nature
gives no perfect mathematical figures; they only approximate
mathematical perfection. Infidels do not trouble themselves with science
on this account. "The utter absence of any regularity or assimilation to
the spheroidal figure, either in meridianal, equatorial or parallel
lines, mountain ranges, sea beaches or courses of rivers, is fatal to
mathematical accuracy in the more extended measurements. It is only by
taking the mean of a great many measurements that an approximate
accuracy can be obtained. Where this is not possible, as in the
measurement of high mountains, the truth remains undetermined by
hundreds of feet; or as in the case of the earth's spheroidal axis,
Bessel's measurement differs from Newton's by fully eleven miles." See
Humboldt's Cosmos, vol. 1, p. 7, 156. "The smaller measures are
proportionally inaccurate." All these irregularities and imperfections
in science are overlooked, considered not in the least objections to the
use of language which would, upon the most rigid application, cut them
out as fables on the one hand or destroy science upon the other; but no
sensible man thinks of either as a matter allowable.

On the other side, Infidels are "eternally" mouthing about
irregularities in the lives of the ancient men of the Bible, which are
exceptions to the general rule, just as though religious persons could
live lives of absolute perfection. The language, also, of the Bible,
which, like the language of science, takes no notice of irregularities
that must be expected in the lives of the very best men upon the earth,
is by them abused. For instance, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is
perfect," is construed to mean that God is a man God, clothed with human
imperfections, or, otherwise, man is imperatively required to be
absolutely perfect. All such abuse of language is contemptible. Many
other examples might be adduced--such as the irregularities in the words
employed by the witnesses of the resurrection of Christ, which do not
affect the evidence of the fact to be established in the least degree,
and which are just such irregularities as are witnessed in evidence
given in court rooms almost daily, and passed without so much as being
noticed. For example, one witness says Mary Magdalene "came very early
to the sepulchre," and another says she came "about sunrise." If all
Christians were to treat the literature of science, and science itself,
as these would-be wise Infidels treat the literature of religion, and
religion itself, it would be surprising to run over the absurdities as
well as irregularities of scientific history. There are irregularities
in nature, and their name is legion; they all belong to that wonderfully
boasted harmony of nature so much talked of in our day. As for the
mistakes made in religion since the days of the apostles of the Christ,
they are many; but what have they to do with the _genuine_?

How many mistakes have scientists made in the same period of time? I
shall not try to ape the infidel, but I must be permitted to call
attention to a few of the many scientific blunders.

Perhaps the greatest blunder of the present day, upon the part of
scientists, is their attempt to bring into disrepute the cosmogony
given in the Bible by a scientific cosmogony, which leaves off as
"unknown" the only active world-forming force. They arrogantly assume to
be acquainted with the entire history of our planet from the atoms to
the globe. Yet they acknowledge that the "force which was and is in
operation was and is unknown; that unknown force had its influence in
framing the world," and its omission is always fatal to the theory which
knows nothing about it or neglects it. There are laws also far-reaching,
whose omission must be equally fatal.

Infidels, being sensible of this truth, have endeavored to simplify
matters to the level of our ignorance, by reducing all primordial
elements to one, or at most two, simple elements, and all forces to the
form of one universal and irrational law; but the progress of science
utterly blasts the effort. No scientific man now dreams of one
primordial element. Chemistry reveals a great many different elements,
which can not be reduced or changed from their simple forms, much less
identified as one and the self-same "substance." The idea of "one
substance" _only_ is a very great error, which grew out of an abuse of
language in confounding the two words, matter and substance. The latter
word is equally applicable to _matter_, or _spirit_, but the former
always contrasts with spirit; so to confound the two is to ignore a
distinction upon which everything depends in any, except the
materialistic, philosophy. When the term substance is used in the
currency of the term matter it admits of the plural form as well as the
singular. Indeed, all the primordial elements known in chemistry are
known as so many different substances. It is unscientific and absurd to
confound all these elements by claiming the one-substance theory. It has
been called "the hog philosophy," on account of its swallowing down so
many _different_ substances in the single form of the word.

"Eighty theories, hostile to Christianity, developed in the course of
forty or fifty years, were brought before the Institute of France in
1806, all of which are repudiated"--dead. It is useless to go further
into details. Science has been as much abused as religion. What benefit
would accrue to the human family from an effort upon our part to bring
to the foreground all the blunders made in scientific researches which
are to-day numbered with the old effete errors in religion? And where is
the propriety of infidels making a set of asses of themselves by playing
upon the little irregularities of language and character in religion, as
they _themselves_ allow no man to do in science and morality.

"EQUAL HANDED JUSTICE" TO ALL, IS OUR MOTTO.



GEOLOGY IN ITS STRUGGLES AND GROWTH AS A SCIENCE.


The science of Geology in its early history is like all other sciences,
an infant. It was not a Hercules at its birth. On the contrary, it was
childlike and rather crooked in many of its ways; but chastisement and
criticism have brought it very far toward real manhood. Its early nurses
were standing continually on the dark line separating the comprehensible
from the incomprehensible, without any guides. They were out upon an
unexplored sea in the mere twilight of the morning. They were opposed at
every step by the combative tendencies of human nature, which are ever
seeking too much for their own gratification to admit any strange,
startling propositions as intruders among old and long cherished ideas.
In its history it appears before us, first as an enemy to religion, and
then as an unobjectionable science, a neutral. But since the publication
of "The Footprints of the Creator," by the lamented Hugh Miller, it
appears in front as a fast friend and abettor. And now, since it has
approached so near to its manhood, we do not see how we did without its
aid so long. Its first grand position touching the immense masses of the
rock formations as results of second causes, in operation away back
yonder before organic life appeared upon our planet, was looked upon by
intelligent Biblical scholars of those times with suspicion, as a
system at variance with the records of the Bible. This, along with
difference of sentiment among its friends, has been the means of a very
rapid growth towards perfection. Curiosity was aroused and observations
multiplied, errors corrected and the untenable removed, until the
science now stands before us with its bases settled in unquestionable
facts. Let us all learn from this circumstance the bearings of the times
in which we live, for a double process of elimination is now going on
under the providence of God, by means of which both Christianity and
science will have more beauty and strength of manhood to command the
respect of our children.

Geology is exercising a wonderful influence on the side of religion in
the minds of those who are acquainted with its facts. In the hands of
Miller it gives a very decisive answer against the evolution hypothesis,
which is by no means a new speculation. It was, in its general form, a
very prominent doctrine of the Epicurean philosophy. "The author of the
'Vestiges,' with Professor Oken, regarded the experiment of the
formation of cells in albumen by electric currents as the leading fact
of the system." They claimed that currents of electricity in the earth's
surface generated and vitalized the cells, and that all organic life
thus originated. There is nothing to save this speculation, when it is
undressed, from contempt. "The only patronage it ever received grew out
of the fact that there is a species of superstition which causes people
to take upon credit whatever assumes the name of science, and is opposed
to the old superstition of faith in witches and ghosts." With this
speculation before us, seemingly plausible, yet false, being fraught
with error, we are reminded of the fact that it has been eagerly
embraced by many who seem to think that it has a firm foundation in the
science of Geology, which they regard as presenting the order in which
created beings appeared. The author of the "Vestiges" claims that the
first step in the creation of life upon our earth was a
_chemico-electric_ operation, forming simple germinal vesicles. Page
155.

This is an item wholly unknown in the geological record and lies before
the beginning of any kind of similitude alluded to in this article. "The
idea which I form of the progress of organic life upon our earth," says
the author of the Vestiges, "is that the simplest and most primitive
type gave birth to the type next above it, and this again produced the
next higher, and so on to the very highest." Page 170.

On account of the mere similitude existing between the doctrine of
progressive creation, as it is set forth in the geological record, and
the idea of progressive evolutions, as claimed by the advocates of the
speculation, we deem it our duty to scrutinize severely the teachings of
geology. But in doing this we do not concede that there is no other
ground upon which such authors may be successfully met. There is no one
point in their system which is not hypothetical. It is a system of
_ifs_. There is no proof, in any single instance, that a higher has been
developed from a lower species; but the question, in proper shape, is
this: Has there been a succession of improvements from one geological
period to another in the several divisions of the animal and vegetable
kingdoms amounting to a change of species? Species are very similar in
structure and capable of some improvement, but this is no evidence of
the higher being developed from the lower. It is well known that the
lowest forms are those found lowest in the geological series. Commencing
at the bottom and running up we find, first, mollusks, then fishes,
reptiles, birds, quadrupeds, monkeys, and at last man. But this does
not, by any means, settle the issue. The question naturally arises
whether one of those divisions, on its first appearance, was of the
lowest organization of its class and reached the highest by a gradual
development through successive geological periods. The geological
testimony is this: First, there were no animals having any structural
resemblance to the fishes prior to their creation, and when they appear
they are already in possession of the highest organization and the
largest cerebral development.

During the long periods of geological history there has been no advance
in this class of animals. The science testifies to no successive steps
here. "They stood at the head of the icthyic division at the outset; but
there has been, during these periods, a progressive _degeneracy_, so
that though all possessed a high organization at first, there is found
in the after creations a _succession of lapses_ until the division of
fishes now contains species ranking little above the earth-worm." "A
single well defined placoid fossil in the Bala limestone as fully proves
the existence of placoid fishes, during the period of its deposition, as
if the rock were made up of placoid fossils, for it is not a question of
numbers, but of rank." The question, now, comes home to us with all its
force, how did fishes of this high order come to exist before any of the
inferior class? Let some of our evolution savans answer.

The same thing may be said of other organic divisions. It has gone to
record that the shell-fish of the Silurian system are the lowest
division of the molluscous animals. While the statement is received as
true, it must be remembered that there is some diversity of structure in
this lower division, and that the earliest molluscs are not the lowest,
but the highest in the division. The most important point, however, is,
that while Brachiopoda were most abundant, the highest molluscs existed
also, their remains being found in the Bala limestone, which is the
lowest bed of molluscous fossils. (See Silurian System, p. 308.) The
number of these higher species is not important. They existed, few or
many, as early as any other of the mollusca. If the lower had not an
anterior existence, the higher were not developed from them. It is also
a conclusive argument against the system, that while the intermediate
mollusca are very numerous, the cephalopoda, which were so early
introduced, and are the higher forms that were so numerous at certain
times, are now narrowed down to a few species.

Lyell was the first to drop a word of caution against "inferring too
hastily from the absence of mammalian fossils in the older rocks that
the higher class of vertebrata did not exist in those remote times."
"The remains of vertebrate animals are already found in the lowest
fossiliferous rocks, and, in addition to that, the highest forms of
each class appear first."

There is nothing so well evinced in all the realms of scientific
investigation as the utter impossibility of getting, by the light of
nature, away from the idea of the Christian's God. _Everywhere_ we trace
his footsteps. Traveling through the ages to the beginning, in thought,
our first view is that of "an unlimited expanse of unoccupied space,"
or, if aught exists, it lies hidden in the invisible state. But all at
once, as if by magic, and in obedience to the will of the Eternal
Intelligence, the invisible becomes visible, worlds exist and become
obedient to law. The divine perfections are to be displayed through
future ages. And now, if we look out upon the surging billows of the
ocean, our mind swells with the thought that God is there in all his
majesty. With our thoughts confined to our earth we pass from age to age
tracing the divine power from the laws of motion to chemical action and
crystallization, until we behold a wonderful change upon the face of
nature. And now, for the first time, a new principle is manifested, a
new order springs into being--it is vegetable life and being in all its
lovely grandeur. It matters not to us whether it came about gradually or
all at once, for wisdom is there. All nature seems to turn to this new
principle. "The elements of the inorganic world are subserving the
purposes of organic life." The Creator has bound them to organic life.
Every plant selects its food from the elements of earth by a chemistry
of its own. The atmosphere around us is no less to the vegetable kingdom
than a great pasture field. Every leaf is feasting, and every fiber is
touched by the light. What wonderful correlations meet us at every turn!
What adaptation of means to ends! Above all the beauty and grandeur of
the vegetable kingdom we find the glorious animal, with man at the head,
as lord over all below him. With man the moral government of God begins;
physical creation is over. The subsequent manifestations of the divine
glory are to be realized in the training and discipline of men and women
as moral beings; and their mutual association with him, in the eternal
world, is the ultimate.

  C. R.



PANTHEISM IS DECEPTION AND HYPOCRISY.


"Understand, ye brutish among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be
wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the
eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall he be not
correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not know?"--Psalm
xciv, 8, 9.

Pantheism, personified, is a hypocrite, a deceiver. The name God, as a
proper name in the English language, means the Divine Being, Jehovah,
the Eternal and Infinite Spirit, the Creator and Lord of the universe.
Pantheists say they believe in God, but they tell you, when pressed,
they mean by that name "everything"--_God is everything._ The term
"Pantheist" is from _pan_, all, and _theos_, God. Webster defines the
term thus: "One that believes the universe to be God; a name given to
the followers of Spinoza."

Has any man the right to pervert language, fixing new meanings to words
in common use which are in direct opposition to established usage? The
man who knows the meaning of a word and uses it in a contrary sense is
guilty of an abuse of language; and if he fails to make known the fact
that he is using the term in a sense differing from established usage,
he is, then, a deceiver. Pantheists are simply Atheists in disguise, the
only difference being in their professions. The Pantheist says, "I
believe in a God;" but this saying is only a distinction without a
difference. The atheist is the frank, outspoken man of the two.

What must we think of the man who says, "I believe in God," and then
explains himself to mean, by the name God, heat, steam, electricity,
force, animal life, the soul of man, magnetism, mesmeric force, and, in
one word, the sum of all the intelligences and forces in the universe,
at the same time denying the proper currency of the term God by denying
the existence of a personal God. All Christians should demand that
Christian terms be used in their own proper currency. But infidels will
always do as they have hitherto, will often get out of their own "ruts,"
by the most perfect abuse of language. They can not, it seems, leave off
the use of language which is only appropriate to the Christian idea.
Their divinity, by their own confession, differs essentially from God,
and let them use a different word to describe it. Let them do like their
heathen brethren in India, call it Brahma, or whatever else they please,
and cease "stealing Heaven's livery to serve the devil." Let them cease
to profane religion and offend common sense by giving the name of the
glorious Father of Spirits to their million-headed nondescript.
Pantheism dethrones Jehovah and places no other intelligence in his
place as Creator and Ruler of the universe; and, being conscious of the
odium that necessarily attaches itself to Atheism, on account of its
everlasting foolishness, they steal the name of God to cloak their
Atheism.

_Pantheism is demoralizing._ It cuts a man loose from all the sanctions
of moral law, by denying the resurrection, the judgment and the future
retribution. It annihilates from the mind of its votary the idea of
God's moral government. If man, as it avows, be the highest intelligence
in the universe of worlds, to whom will he render an account? Who will
call upon him to answer? If men and women are simply developments of
God, will God be offended with himself? "Evil is good," we are told, "in
another way, we are not skilled in." See the author of "Representative
Men," Festus, page 48. "Evil" was held by some of the old heathen
philosophers to be "good in the making." They argued that it was the
carrion in the sunshine, converting into grass and flower. And then, to
apply their figure, man in the brothel, jail, or on gibbets, is in the
way to all that is lovely and true. Such reminds us of the ravings of
lunatics. It is the climax of profanation of the moral government of
God. Let those who fear no God, but have wives and children and property
to lose, reflect upon the propriety of lending their influence to a
system fraught with such consequences. The system positively denies the
distinction between good and evil. It declares that we can not sin;
that we are God, and God can not offend against himself; that sin is all
simply an old lie; that impiety, immorality and vice of frightful mien
are wedded in eternal decrees, and that man can not sever them.

_Pantheism is veiled Atheism._ It is not necessary to argue this
proposition at length. Pantheists often speak of the great being, which,
according to Pantheism, is composed of all the intelligences of the
universe. Can any man conceive of such a being? Can intelligences be
piled one upon another, like brick and mortar, and thus be compounded?
And if my spirit be the highest intelligence in the universe, did it
create itself? Does it govern itself? Did it create the universe? Does
it govern it? Some Pantheists have gone to this length! M. Comte says:
"At this present time, for minds properly familiarized with true
astronomical philosophy, the heavens display no other glory than that of
Hipparchus, or Kepler, or Newton, and of all who have helped to
establish these laws." "Establish these laws!" They were laws governing
the planets thousands of years before these astronomers were born.

Pantheists often express very high respect for the Christian religion.
Some of the more vulgar sort, however, speak of it as a superstition.
But the wiser ones have reached the perfection of Jesuitism, that is to
say, they indulge in hypocrisy and deception to effect a purpose. They
grant that the Christian religion is the highest development of humanity
yet attained by a majority of the race. The heathen of every grade of
character, and the Christian, with all others who may not be classified
by us with either, are all, in their scheme, so many successive
developments of humanity. It is a trick of their trade to clothe their
abominations in Bible language by wresting the Scriptures. They speak of
the "beauty of holiness in the mind, that surmounted every idea of a
personal God;" and of "God dwelling in us, and his love perfected in
us," when they maintain that he dwells in every creature and thing. They
say they can accept the Bible--that is their phrase--notwithstanding it
pronounces death upon the fools who, "professing to be wise, change the
truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature more than
the Creator," as a mystic revelation of the Pantheism which leaves us to
"erect everything into a God," provided it is none, inasmuch as "every
product of the human mind is a development of Deity." So the Bible, in
the conclusion of their system, is on a level with Thomas Paine's
writings as respects inspiration and origin. The great Pantheistic
divinity is spoken of by Pantheists as the great soul of the universe,
while the more materialistic look upon it as the universe itself, body
and soul. With them the soul is the fountain of all the imponderable
forces, vegetable and animal life, the mesmeric influences, galvanism,
magnetism, electricity, light and heat; and the body the sum of all the
ponderable substances; in one word, "God is everything, and everything
is God." This system is called "Monotheistic Pantheism." It is a vast
generalization of everything into a higher unity, which exalts men and
paving stones, and cats, dogs and reptiles, and monkeys, to the same
level of God-head, or divinity. Man, the soul of men, as the system
would term it, is the greatest manifestation of the divine essence. Yes!
DIVINE ESSENCE! for, with Pantheists, there is no _personal_ hereafter.
This system of Pantheism is an old, worn-out theory; it has putrefied
and rotted with the worshippers of cats, monkeys, and holy cows and
bulls, and pieces of sticks and stones on the Ganges more than two
thousand years ago. It is now dragged up from the dung-hill and
presented as a new discovery of modern philosophy, sufficient to
supplant the Ruler of the universe. How strange it is that men of
ordinary intelligence will embrace the idea, rather than submit to the
dictates of conscience and the Bible! This world of ours is not an
abstraction in philosophy that consists of one simple substance called
matter, nor yet of one substance, for there are many different material
substances, such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, sulphur, aluminum and
iron, and more than fifty others already discovered.

Now, let us suppose that all these elements or substances existed as a
cloud of atoms millions of ages in the past; are we, then, any nearer
the solution of the great problem of world making than we were before?
The atoms must be material, for a material world is to be made of them;
and they must have extension; each one of them must have length, breadth
and thickness; and, as inertia is a property of each and every atom, the
Pantheist has only multiplied the difficulty by millions, for matter can
not begin, _of itself_, to move. Did the dead atoms dance about and
jumble themselves together as we now find them? Is the one substance
theory correct? Monotheistic Pantheism _is scientifically false in
fact_. Some of these men who tell us of a world without an intelligence
in the past, who have such implicit confidence in the powers of matter,
tell us, that "millions of ages" in the past the world existed as a
great cloud of fire mist, which, after a long time cooled down into
granite; and this, by dint of earthquakes, broke up on the surface, and
washed with rain until, after ages upon ages had passed, clays and soil
were formed, from which plants, of their own accord, sprang up without a
germ; in other words, germs came into being spontaneously and grew up,
as we see them, developed in all their grandeur. This chance life,
somehow, chanced to assume animal form and fashion until, in the
multitude of its changes it reached the fashion of the monkey; and then,
at last, the fashion of man, both male and female. Truly, the Atheists
and Pantheists of our country need not complain of any want of power to
believe while such is their basis of faith upon the subject of world
making. But they, to avoid the difficulty that nothing made something,
tell us "the fire mist was eternal," that it did not make itself. Very
well, let us have it that way; then we must be allowed to ask, how an
eternal red hot mist cooled off? And also what there was to cool it,
when it was all there was, and it was red hot, and always had been? In
other words, how could an eternal red hot cool down without something
else in existence to cool it? Why should it cool at all? And why did it
begin to cool just when it did? The utmost that any scientist can do is
to show that such a change took place, but he can not tell you why it
took place. Change _it did_! But change is an effect, and requires a
cause. And, according to their theory, there could be no cause outside
of the fire mist; for they say there was nothing else in the universe.
Then the cause was inside of the fire mist. But how can red hot cool
when all there is, is red hot? Had this first mist, to say nothing of
organic life, a mind? Did it become sensible and resolve to cool off a
little, and settle itself into orderly worlds? What became of its mind?
Did it divide, and a part go to each planet? Has each planet a great
"soul of the world," as well as our earth? If so, had we not as well
build an altar to each planet and go back to the religion of our
banana-fed ancestors, who burned their children alive in sun worship?

The Christian religion is so fearfully demoralizing (?) that it is a
great pity that these Godless, Christless souls called Pantheists and
Atheists can't get some solution of the great problem of world-making
that would dispense with the Bible. How well they could get along
if--if--if--they only had this great question settled.

"IN GOD WE TRUST."



SUBSTANCE OR SUBSTANCES--WHICH?

OR,

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE AND MIND.


"_Substance_ is that which is and abides;" "that which subsists of or by
itself; that which lies under qualities; that which truly is--or
_essence_." "It is opposed to _accident_." "In its logical and
metaphysical sense it is that nature of a thing which may be conceived
to remain when every other nature is removed or abstracted from it; the
ultimate point in analyzing the complex idea of any object. _Accident_
denotes all those ideas which the analysis excludes as not belonging to
the mere being or nature of the object." It is said that our first idea
of _substance_ is, possibly, derived from the consciousness of self, the
conviction that, while our sensations, thought and purposes are
changing, we continue the same. "We see bodies also remaining the same
as to quantity or extension, while their color and figure, their state
of motion or rest may be changed." It has also been said that
_substances_ are either primary, that is singular, individual
_substances_; or secondary, that is genera, and species of _substance_.

Substances have been divided into complete and incomplete, finite and
infinite. But it is to be remembered that these are merely divisions of
being. Substance is properly divided into matter and spirit, or that
which is extended and that which thinks.

"The foundation principle of substance is that law of the human mind by
which every quality or mode of being is referred to a substance," or the
consciousness of a cause for every effect. "In everything which we
perceive or can imagine as existing, we distinguish two parts, qualities
variable and multiplied; and a being one and identical; and these two
are so united in thought that we can not separate them in our
intelligence, nor think of qualities without a _substance_." So it is a
self-evident or first truth, that there is a subjective or inner man
which thinks, reflects and reasons, for memory recalls to us the many
modes of our mind; its many qualities and conditions. What variety of
mental conditions have we not experienced? These are all so many
evidences of an internal _substance_ that we call spirit. That spirit is
to be distinguished from thought as cause is from effect is evident; and
also from matter lying in the accident or quality of body, is certain,
from the fact of its being subject to such rapid and instantaneous
changes of condition. Amidst all the different modes, qualities, or
accidents of mind, we believe ourselves to be the same individual being;
and this conviction is the result of that law of thought which always
associates qualities with things.

In the world around us phenomena, qualities or accidents are continually
changing, but we believe that these, all, are produced by causes which
_remain, as substances, the same_. And as we know ourselves to be the
causes of our own acts, and to be able to change, within a moment, the
modes of our own mind, so we believe the changes of matter, which take
place _more slowly_, to be produced by causes which belong to the
_substances of matter_. And underlying all causes, whether of the
qualities of matter or mind, we conceive of one absolute cause, one
substance, in itself persistent and upholding all things in nature. This
substance we are pleased to call spirit; and this spirit we call God. To
deny this is to strike down a grand law of thought, the foundation
principle of substance, and make the testimony of our own consciousness
A LIE! The inorganic forces, about which "unbelievers" have so much to
say are altogether operative in the realm of _substance_; that is to
say, they belong to the _invisible_. Organic and inorganic are the same
as visible and invisible. We know matter by its qualities, and we know
mind by its qualities. These two, in qualities or attributes, contrast
with each other like life and death. One is extenuated and the other
extended; one is invisible the other is visible. Of the existence of
these substances and their laws we have evidence in conscious knowledge,
in that we know that we have no control over the involuntary or
sympathetic nervous system, and have the most perfect control over the
voluntary nerves. The forces controlling are as different as these
qualities themselves. If man is simply a material organism, why this
contrast? We are told that _life itself_ is a group of co-ordinated
functions. But what correllates that force?

It is very common for the advocates of the evolution hypothesis to
measure the period between this and the origin of life by the phrase,
"Millions and millions of years." The only object that such writers have
in view in so doing is to bridge the gulf between the _assumed_ origin
of life and mind and the evidence necessary to its establishment as a
fact in science. They tell us that "life is a property which certain
elements of matter exhibit when united in a special form under special
conditions." But when we ask them to give us those certain elements of
matter, they immediately inform us that "matter has about sixty-three
elements; that each element has special properties, and that these
elements admit of an _infinite variety of combinations_, each
combination having peculiar properties." This, as a fort, is a stand
behind the dark, impenetrable curtain of an _infinite variety of
combinations_. It is just as dark and as destitute of proof as any
pope's assumed infallibility.

Mr. Hæckel says: "As a matter of course, to the _infinite varieties_
presented by the organic forms and vital phenomena in the vegetable and
animal kingdoms, correspond an equally _infinite variety_ of chemical
composition in the protoplasm. The most minute homogeneous constituents
of this life substance, the protoplasm molecules, must in their chemical
composition present an _infinite number_ of extremely delicate
gradations and variations. According to the plastic theory recently
advanced (?) the great variety of vital phenomena is the consequence of
the _infinitely delicate_ chemical difference in the composition of
protoplasm, the sole active life substance." What a multitude of
infinities. But then, an _infinite number_, and an _infinite variety_ of
_infinitely delicate_ gradations and variations, with millions and
millions of years, do not remove further from sight life in its origin
than does the materialistic philosophy of one substance. They constitute
the _web_ and _filling_ of the _blanket of oblivion_ used by
materialistic doctors to cover up their ignorance of life and its
origin. A half dozen "INFINITIES," and "MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF YEARS!"
What! should I care if my ancestors were "tadpoles," when they are HID
AWAY IN THE CENTER OF INFINITIES, and laid _away back yonder_, so far
off as "MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF YEARS?"

When we ask our friends for the proof necessary to establish this
speculation as a fact among facts, they find it very convenient to
betake themselves to _infinities_, and _millions_ and _millions of
years_.

But we Christians do not ask them to give us an _infinite variety_,
etc., but to give us the "certain elements" of which "life is a
property," and the "special form in which these certain elements were
united," and the "special conditions" that existed when life first made
its appearance by spontaneous generation. When we do this we are
immediately carried away into the _infinities_. The result is that the
solution of the problem of the origin of life by spontaneous generation,
as a property of "certain elements of matter, united in a special form,
under special conditions," is buried forever out of sight. This same
definition of life is found on page 69 of a work entitled, "The System
of Nature," published by D. Holbach, a French Atheist, in 1774, in these
words: "Experience proves to us that the matter which we regard as inert
and dead assumes action, intelligence and life when it is combined in a
certain way."

Voltaire answered: "This is precisely the difficulty. How does a germ
come to life? Is not this definition very easy--very common? Is not life
organization with feeling? But," says Voltaire, "that you have these two
properties from the motion of matter alone: it is impossible to give any
proof, and if it can not be proved why affirm it? Why say aloud, 'I
know,' while you say to yourself, 'I know not?'"

Our Atheistic friends say: "The forms of life vary because of the
difference in their molecular construction, resulting from different
physical conditions to which the various forms have been subjected."

Wonderful discovery! Does it explain the evidence of design which is
presented in pairing off male and female in the same form of life?

Dr. Parvin is often referred to as "frankly admitting that the doctrine
of the evolution of species is accepted by three-fourths of the
scientific men," and that this doctrine has, in their minds, "rendered
nugatory the hypothesis of a vital immaterial principle as a causal
factor in the phenomena of life and mind." Allowing this statement its
full force, it is still true that none but Atheists can possibly be
included in the "three-fourths." So much the worse for them. But it is
an Atheistic trick to try to succeed by a misrepresentation of facts.
One of their number recently said, "It is now almost universally
believed by those who have investigated the subject that life
originated from natural agencies without the aid of a creative
intelligence. Then those who have investigated the subject are almost
universally _Atheists_?"

It is said that "vital activity, whether of body or mind, is a mode of
motion, the correllate of antecedent motion." But what correllated the
force? According to this logic life came from the antecedent motion;
that is, from the motion of dead atoms. But motion itself is the
manifestation of energy, and there must of necessity be something behind
it to which it belongs as an attribute. Do you say it was dead atoms, or
matter without life? Then dead atoms set dead atoms into motion and
produced life! Can you believe this? If you can, you need find no
trouble in believing in the most orthodox hell. Can you get more out of
a thing than there is in it? We don't think so. But we do think that
there is credulity enough, even blind credulity, in the advocates of
spontaneous generation to enable them to believe anything they may
happen to wish true. We are told that "life in its higher forms is not
an immaterial entity, _nor the result_ of a special form of _force
termed vital_, but, that it is a group of co-ordinated functions." Then
what correllated the force? If it was not vitality what was it? But this
is just equivalent to saying that life does not proceed from life. So,
in the realm of inertia or death, without a God and without life, some
kind of a mechanical operation among dead atoms took place which
produced "a certain chemico-physical constitution of amorphous
matter--on that albuminous substance called sarcode or protoplasm,"
which evolved more than was involved, or brought organic life out of
dead inorganic matter. But life is simply a "mode," or "degree of
motion?" But we are curious to know just here whether the advocates of
this system of things do not believe that there always was a degree of
motion. Perchance they do, but then they certainly can't believe that
this particular degree or mode of motion which they called _life_ was
eternal. So, then, a degree of motion is life, and a degree of motion is
not life. This thing of confounding life with motion I'm thinking leads
to difficulty. I can see how motion may be the result of life, but just
how it is _life itself_ I can't see quite so well. Is cause and effect
the same?

We have a most remarkable, and yet a natural, concession made in the way
in which men who feel the weakness of their cause generally make
concessions. It is a statement said to be made by Baron Liebig; it is
this: "Geological investigations have established the fact of a
beginning of life (?) upon the earth, which leaves no doubt that it can
only have arisen naturally and from inorganic forces, and _it is
perfectly indifferent whether or not we observe such a process now_."
This statement is untrue as respects geological facts. But the
concession is, that spontaneous generation is not to be an observed
fact. "Perfectly indifferent whether or not we observe such a process
now?" Well, it never was observed. Mr. Liebig's statement doubtless
proceeds from the conviction that the system is never to be established
by observation. It is simple imagination. Virchow says: "We can _only
imagine_ that at certain periods of the development of the earth unusual
conditions existed, under which the elements entering into new
combinations acquired in statu nascente vital motions, so that the usual
mechanical conditions were transformed into vital conditions." In this
statement it is well for us to remember that it is not only simple
imagination, but also that vital motions were the cause, bringing about
vital conditions, that is to say, life, before life was, transformed
mechanical conditions into vital conditions. So, in this very singular
imaginary hypothesis touching the origin of life we have the usual
circle suicide of the system. "Vital motions transform mechanical
conditions into vital conditions," and vital conditions fill the world
with "vital motions," and life itself is only a degree "or mode of
motion." _Such_ is their travel around the circle.

      *      *      *      *      *

Can you believe that _vital motion_ transformed mechanical conditions
into _vital conditions_, without _life_ being the cause of those _vital
motions_?



DIFFICULTY WITH FIRE.


La Place, in his solution of how our planet was made, supposed that the
cooling, and consequently contracting rings of the fire cloud planet,
earth, did not break up into pieces, but retained their continuity; but,
in opposition to all experience and reason, he supposed that the cooling
rings kept contracting and widening out at the same time. According to
the nebular hypothesis--_or guess_--the fire mist was cooling and
shrinking up, while the rings of the same heat and material were cooling
_faster_ and widening out from it: a piece of disorder equal to a
miracle, for it can not be duplicated among solids or fluids in heaven
or earth, or under the earth; for everything narrows down upon
cooling--_contracts_!

      *      *      *      *      *

THE INFIDEL'S OFFSET.--An unbeliever once said to a man who advocated
the doctrine of total depravity: "The ground for my rejection of all
responsibility for belief is the acknowledged necessitated nature of
belief. Show me," said he, "that it is not necessitated, and I am
answered. When you show me that it is controlled by a will, equally
necessitated, I am not answered. If a necessitated faculty or operation
can not be responsible, then neither will nor volition can be
responsible. You," said the infidel, "go through the whole circle of
mental faculties, and find necessity everywhere and responsibility
nowhere."

      *      *      *      *      *

Through the kindness of Brother J. M. Mathes we are in possession of a
copy of the life of Brother Elijah Goodwin. It has the merit of being
mainly Brother Goodwin's own production. His many friends will regard it
as a grand "keepsake." It is neatly bound in cloth, contains 314 pages,
and is in beautiful type. Send $1.50 by postoffice order to Elder J. M.
Mathes, Bedford, Lawrence county, Indiana, and receive a copy in return.


Transcriber's Note

The punctuation and spelling from the original text have been faithfully
preserved. Only obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 7, July, 1880" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home