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Title: The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 8, August, 1880
Author: Various
Language: English
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Scientific and Religious Journal.

VOL. I. AUGUST, 1880. NO. 8.



THE IMPORTANCE AND NATURE OF REFORMATION FROM SIN.


This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men
shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection,
truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those
who are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than
lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power
thereof.--2 Tim. 3: 1-5.

The Savior once began his instructions with these words, "This day is
this Scripture fulfilled." They seem to be an appropriate introduction
to our lesson upon this occasion. What is the religion of thousands?
They were made the special objects of God's favor in their infancy (?),
were christened in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit (?), were dedicated to God and his service by their parents
(?), who, for them, took a solemn vow to forsake the devil and all his
works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires,
to forsake, also, all the carnal desires of the flesh, and not to follow
or be led by them. It is said that the christened took this vow when
they were children, and understood it not; when they became men they
understood it about as well as when they were children. But in all
candor, I confess that I never could believe they took this vow; their
sponsors took it upon themselves to make it for them, and usually
pledged themselves to see it fulfilled. What fearful responsibilities
are assumed just here. It is too frequently the case that those very
sponsors serve more devoutly, love more affectionately, and confide more
heartily in the profits, honors and pleasures of the world than in the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Survey the lives of many of these men, of all conditions, and then deny,
if you can, that the profits, honors and pleasures of the world are the
gods they worship. Their daily and constant employment is either a
violent pursuit of the vain pomp and glory of the world, or of its
power, riches and profits; or it may be that they are led on by pride,
malice or revenge. Such persons live, not knowing or regarding the fact
that the baptism which now saves us is "not the putting away of the
filth of the flesh, _but the answer of a good conscience_ toward God."
There are many such who live but little in advance of pagans in a
commonwealth of Christians, and know but little more of God or of Christ
than if they had been brought up in India. A great many are taught to
act over this play in the name of religion, and learned to say, "Our
Father who art in heaven," and "I believe in God the Father Almighty;"
but do they live as though they did believe in earnest that God is their
Almighty Father? Do they fear him and trust in him? Do they love and
obey him? Mere pretense, or, as Paul termed it, a _guise_ of godliness,
for such is the meaning of the original term, is so common that we meet
with it almost daily. Men have learned to tamper with the word of God
until the world is full of theorists. How many talk about religion who
set aside a great portion of the word of God as worse than useless? And
that which they profess to believe they do not believe with half the
simplicity which they manifest in believing the words of their earthly
parents. It has been said, "He who is not industrious to obtain what he
professes to desire does not desire it, and he who is not industrious to
bring about that for which he prays, prays with his tongue _only_, and
not with his heart." All such have simply a "guise" of godliness, while
they deny its power.

A great many people profess to believe the Scriptures are true, and that
they present the plain and only way to infinite and eternal blessedness,
and yet they neglect the study of the Scriptures. How is this? If there
was a book revealing a plain and easy way for all men to become rich and
enjoy health and pleasure and this world's happiness, would it not be
studied by all men? And why is it that the Bible is not studied by the
masses and regarded more? Why are so many professors of religion
negligent in this matter? May it not be because they prefer all other
business and pleasures before this? If professors of religion throughout
christendom heartily believed the Scriptures even as they profess, they
would be more diligently studied, and in many instances treated with
greater respect. The faith of many is undoubtedly very weak. If the laws
of our country provided a plain way of escape from temporal death for
the benefit of the condemned criminal, as plain and pointed as the great
commission given to the apostles of Christ, would any condemned criminal
hesitate to obey or treat the stipulations of law as men are constantly
treating the precepts of the gospel of Christ? When a man believes the
Bible contains _the facts and truths_ which concern us infinitely more
than all earthly matters, his care and diligence should be, _to some
extent_, in harmony with his persuasion. At this point men _seem to be_
most strangely careless and grossly negligent. How few people do, or
will, understand that the terms of salvation are written as with the
beams of the sun? Is the trouble a low degree of faith, approximating
unbelief? The shadows are always the longest when the sun is lowest. Is
the sun of righteousness low in your spiritual heavens? Or have you
given him the uppermost seat in your affections? What think you of
Christ? Whose son is he?

When I tell you that thousands received the baptism of repentance for
the remission of sins, even before the Holy Spirit was given, and were
clean through the words spoken unto them, many are ready to cry out,
"These are hard and strange sayings--who can hear them?" Yet, strange as
it may seem, these facts have been upon record near _nineteen hundred_
years. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he
that believeth not shall be damned." In the record of St. Luke, chapter
24, the condition of the new covenant, to which remission of sins is
promised, is expressed by the term _repentance_: "Thus it behooved
Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem." The word repentance, when used in the law of
Christ, is always equivalent to the use which the ancient martyrs made
of it, viz: "Amend your lives." We have it beautifully expressed in
these words: "If the wicked turn from all the sins which he hath
committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and
right, he shall surely live, he shall not die."

Paul summed up the whole matter of his preaching in the sentence,
"Repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." In some of
the best Latin translations this passage in Acts 20th is rendered,
"_Conversion to God_;" also in Hebrews, 6th chapter, we read, "And
_conversion_ from dead works." Such is more clear and natural; but if we
should read, according to modern theology, _sorrow_ towards God, and
_sorrow_ from dead works, it would sound very unnatural, and almost
ridiculous. This is a grand argument in favor of the reading of the
_Geneva text_, which reads, "_Amend your lives_ and _turn_, that your
sins may be blotted out." But if heaven may be gained at an easier and
cheaper rate, how is it that we are so frequently and so plainly assured
that without actual newness of life, holiness and sanctification unto
obedience, there is no hope, no possibility of salvation? John the
Baptist, preaching repentance, said: "Every tree that bringeth not forth
good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire." It is not the leaves,
simply, of a profession, nor the blossoms of good purposes and
intentions, but the fruit, _the fruit only_, that will save us from the
fire. "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and
cast into the fire."

Our Savior said, "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of my father
who is in heaven." After he had delivered all the beautiful precepts
found in the lesson given upon the mount he closed up all by saying, "He
that heareth these sayings of mine and doth them not I will liken him to
a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand, and when the rain
descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that
house, it fell, and great was the fall of it." They that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If they have not
done this, and so attained fitness of character to dwell with God, it
matters not what their sorrow has been, nor their intentions, they will
not enter the kingdom of God.

Paul says, "The works of the flesh are these: adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance,
emulations, wrath, strife, seditious, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revelings, of which I forewarn you, as I have told you in
time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God." He does not say they who have done such things shall not be saved,
but just the contrary, for he adds: "Such were some of you, but ye are
washed, but ye are sanctified;" but he teaches the doctrine that those
who do such things and do not amend their lives shall not be excused by
any pretense of sorrow and good purposes; they "shall not inherit the
kingdom of God." "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth
anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature"--a creature living by
a faith, which worketh by love. It is not simply wishing you were a new
creature; not simply wishing for a working faith; nor sorrowing because
you are not a Christian; but "keeping the commandments of God," that
will permit you to enter heaven.

In the final closing of the New Testament writings it is said: "Blessed
are they who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree
of life and enter in through the gates into the city."

Paul says, "Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man
shall see the Lord." And Peter says, "Add to your faith virtue, and to
virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance
patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly
kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity"--and finally says, if ye do
these things ye shall never fall, for so an abundant entrance shall be
ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. And John says, speaking of the Christian's hope, "Every
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure;"
then the impure may flatter themselves, and presume upon the favor of
God without "purifying their souls in obeying the truth," but they are
without hope in the world. And again he says, "Little children let no
man deceive you, he that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is
righteous."

So all the writers and teachers of the New Testament, with one consent,
proclaim the necessity of obeying the commandments of the gospel. What a
vain whim it is to think that sorrow and mere intention without
reformation of life will admit you into heaven. This golden dream of
heaven has sent thousands out of this world unpardoned and unsaved.

A great many persons satisfy themselves with a mere confession and
acknowledgement of their sins. They seem to think they have done enough,
if to confession of sins they add some sorrow for it. They think all is
well if, when their fit of sinning is past and they are returned to
themselves, the sting remains, breeding some remorse of conscience, some
complaints against their wickedness and folly for having done so, and
some intentions to forsake it, though never carried into effect. There
are many persons in the churches of our country who seem to think the
church is a stage, whereon they must play their parts, who make a
profession every day of confessing their sins with humble hearts, and
yet, after having spent twenty, thirty or forty years in this manner,
their hearts are as stubborn as ever, and they as impenitent and
disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If giving thanks to God for
the blessing received at his hands is performed with words only, with
simple hosannas, and hallelujahs, and "_gloria patris_," and psalms, and
hymns, then I presume it is done very efficiently, (?) though our lives
are provoking to his majesty. _It is not the office of a friend (?) to
bewail a friend with vain lamentation._ To be thankful to God is not to
say God be praised, or God be thanked, but it is to remember what he
desires and execute what he commands. A dying Roman once said, "It is
not the office of a friend to bewail a dead friend with vain
lamentations, but to remember what he desires and execute his commands.
It is the office of the friends of Christ to remember his desires and
carry out his instructions. If we do so we are thankful, and if we do
not our thankfulness is nothing more than mere talk."

Jesus said to his disciples: "Ye are my friends if ye do what I command
you." And again: "If a man love me he will keep my words; he that loveth
me not, keepeth not my sayings." Again: "If ye continue in my word, then
are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free."

Those who love God love his cause. When that cause prospers they
rejoice; when it declines they are hurt. When clouds and darkness are
round about the church it is time to double our diligence and pray to
God for help. Circumstances, over which no human being can have control,
sometimes cause sluggishness in the character of a church. The hearts of
God's people are often deeply affected by witnessing the indifference
and carelessness of the people, and still more affected by a falling off
in their numbers. When the godly man ceaseth and the faithful fail from
among the children of men, it is distressing; but such is the lot of man
that we are often called upon to witness the truthfulness of the
prophet's statement. All true Christians love the godly because they are
faithful. The term _faithful_ implies truth, sincerity and fidelity.
Christ, our great example, is called the faithful and true witness. The
use of the term in our religion indicates believers in Christ--_obedient
believers_--_faithful brethren in Christ_. Col. i: 2. Sometimes it is
equivalent to the word _true_, as in 2d Tim., ii: 2--"Faithful men;" the
fidelity of the persons alluded to had been tried--_proven_. And again,
it means a Christian, in opposition to an infidel, as in 2d Cor. vi:
15--"What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" A good man is
faithful in his business transactions; faithful to his _profession_,
adhering to the principles of the gospel and laboring to be faithful to
death; faithful in the discharge of his duties; faithful in the
employment of his talents; faithful in all things committed to his
trust; faithful to his promises; faithful in his friendship. These men
fail and cease by means of death. The fathers, where are they? And the
teachers, do they live forever? The visitations of death are often
mysterious to us. Sometimes the most brilliant in intellect and the most
useful in talent, also the most pious and useful in the church, are cut
down, while mere cumberers of the ground remain.

The profession of some is only transient; they soon disappear from the
assembly of the saints. Some improper motive, some peculiar excitement
may have moved them, or their goodness of heart may have left them. They
have possibly been stony ground hearers or thorny ground hearers. The
world allures thousands and kills the vitality of their religion.

Judas betrayed his master from the love of worldly gain; and Demas, an
acceptable preacher and companion of Paul, abandoned his profession,
"having loved the present world."

Many fail by endeavoring to unite the world and their religion,
maintaining a good moral character, but are destitute of energy in
Christianity.

When this spirit gets hold of a man, and he is disposed to secularize
his religion, or subordinate it to his worldly interests, he is sure to
fail sooner or later. Some fail by falling into temptations of various
kinds, and disgrace their profession; and some fail through
intemperance. Many fail through the influence of error and the enemies
of Christianity. These frequently beguile the unwary.

There never was a time in our history when unbelief and skepticism was
more determined in its opposition to the Christian religion than at the
present. There is an incessant attempt to instill into the minds of the
young principles in opposition to, and destructive of Christianity. Many
have split upon the rocks of infidelity, and stranded upon the
quicksands of doubt and skepticism, in spite of the fact that
Christianity presented them an example, which is the light and life of
men--a character without a blot! And this example is the only foundation
upon which to build a moral and pious temple in which the Lord does, and
the creature may dwell.



OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO REVELATION--THE TEN ATHEISTS IN COUNCIL--No. II.

BY P.T. RUSSEL.


A rap is heard at the door. It being opened, Christian enters. "Good
morning, gentlemen. I am very glad to find you all here. Since our
former interview I have been very anxious to continue our investigation
of the evidence of the existence of God. I presume, as you are
'_Free-thinkers_' and lovers of truth, you are by this time ready to
give a scientific reason for the existence of the idea of God, and, as
you agree with me that we only obtain ideas through the aid of the five
senses, our only idea of color by the eye, of sound by the ear, etc., I
wish to ask you to account for the idea of God. Will you oblige me?"

_Atheists_--Certainly. We have consulted on this theme since our last
interview, and now declare it to be the work or nature of the
imagination. It is a scientific truth, as you will readily admit, that
imagination can and does get up some singular and unreal forms. We now
assume that the idea of a God is but the thought of an imaginary being.

_Christian_--True, gentlemen. Fancy, or imagination, does, in active
moments, bring for our amusement some fantastic pictures. Her work,
however, is never simple, but always complex. This that we are in search
of is the idea of a simple being--a being that is single, and not
duplex. I will now illustrate the extent of the power of the
imagination. Taking a walk through nature's flower garden, we gather one
of every variety, and examining them closely, one by one, we notice
their difference in form, color and size by the eye. Their fragrance we
note by the smell. Thus, by the aid of the senses, we note all their
sensible properties. Now, allowing that memory is perfect, we have in
store all the peculiarities of each and every individual flower.
Gentlemen atheists, am I correct in this conclusion?

_Atheists_--Well, yes.

_Christian_--Very well; then I'll proceed. Having learned, by what we
saw, the art of combining, we can and will imagine all these single
flowers blended in one large conglomerated flower, containing all the
peculiarities of each and every single flower. Now, gentlemen, is not
this all that the imagination can do?

_Atheists_--It is.

_Christian_--Very well. Is this a simple or compound idea?

_Atheists_--It is a compound idea. It is simply the blending of the idea
of each single flower.

_Christian_--And this is all the imagination can do? Then, gentlemen, do
you not see that as the idea of God is the idea of a single person, it
would be utterly impossible for imagination to be its author? It is not
a conglomerate idea, but a single one. Now, if there is no God, we have
a clear, definite idea of _nothing_. How will you account for this? Are
you not now unable to give a reason for your premises? Is it not the
truth that fools are wiser in their own conceit than men who can give a
reason?

_Atheists_--Mr. Christian, we did not think that you would thus call us
all fools, and as our investigation has taken such an unlooked for turn,
we must ask time for consultation before we proceed further.

_Christian_--Very well. When will you be ready to resume? this I am
anxious to know; as you are "liberalists" and "free-thinkers," you will
be equally anxious to reach the truth in the premises?

_Atheists_--At two P.M.

It is two o'clock, and all are present.

Mr. Reason, who was an atheist, opens the discussion as follows:

"Mr. Christian, we have held a council on the subject under discussion,
and our conclusion is that you are right. There must be, and is, such a
being as God. Were this not so, we never could have had the idea of him.
We are now deists. We deny that he has ever imparted knowledge to man by
revelation."

_Christian_--Gentlemen, do you think your present position is a
scientific one?

_Deists_--We think it is both scientific and invulnerable, and we also
think that if you continue this investigation with us you will find it
so. How did you obtain this idea? Have you seen God? No. Have you heard
him speak? No. If we had we could not be honest without being
Christians?

_Christian_--Gentlemen, have you not contraband goods in your warehouse?
As your eyes have not seen, nor your ears heard, nor your powers of
observation perceived him, and as you acknowledge that every one of your
ideas entered the mind through the aid of one or another of the five
senses, now, I ask, are you logically any better off than before you
found yourselves obliged to relinquish your atheism? Do you not now, as
well as then, occupy unreasonable ground? Having rather conceded that
atheists are fools, and turned _deists_, are you really any better off?
Can you give a reason for your present infidelity? Out of your own
mouths you stand condemned as unreasonable and foolish. You pretend to
venerate reason, while you discard her first principles. You need not
try to evade me at this point by an appeal to nature. Here you can find
no aid, for nature tells us of no first cause. The apple tree, before
this window, now so richly laden with fruit, tells not of its first
cause. If you say it came from an apple-seed, and that from an apple,
and that from another tree, another seed, and another tree, and so on,
in a circle you may always go, for nature does not tell you of a first
tree as a cause uncaused, nor of a Creator, a God. She does not go
behind herself. Gentlemen, have you any reply? If you have, I would like
to hear it.

Reason timidly says: "Mr. C., in your very severe strictures on the
deists, are you not condemning yourself? You pretend to place full
confidence in the teachings of your Bible, and does it not say: 'The
heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his
handiwork?' Can nature thus declare and not make known?"

_Christian_--Yes, your quotation tells the truth; yet in this also you
have taken too much for granted. There stands a clock; it keeps correct
time, but does it declare the glory of any one?

_Deists_--Yes, that of its maker.

_Christian_--But who was its maker. You say you do not know. That is
true, and, for ought you know, or can learn from its mechanism there
might have been several makers connected with its origin. If you had
stood by and seen it made, then you might have told me all about it. In
that which you call the works of nature, neither you, nor I, nor any of
our fellows, are instructed by actual observation consequent upon being
present when they were made--we were not standing by when the heavens
were made; so that source of information is closed up. There is now but
one resort left to us--but one reasonable means of information. That is,
the maker of all things must, necessarily, have told man that he created
all these things. Then, with David, he could sing, "The heavens declare
the glory of God." Man first learned from God that he was the creator of
all things, for God alone could tell it. Gentlemen, the Christian is
the only reasonable being upon the earth, and the only _fearless
free-thinker_. The atheist, you see, is proved a fool, and the deist is
no better. Think this over, then call again.

_Deists_--We will. _Good evening._



THOMAS PAINE

WAS NOT AN INFIDEL WHEN HE WROTE HIS WORK CALLED COMMON SENSE.


"In the early ages of the world, according to the Scripture chronology,
there were no kings, the consequence of which was there were no wars. It
is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion. Holland,
without a king, hath enjoyed more peace for the last century than any of
the monarchical governments of Europe. Antiquity favors the same remark,
for the quiet and rural lives of the first patriarchs have a happy
something in them which vanishes when we come to the history of Jewish
royalty." (Common Sense, p. 12.)

Mr. Paine, did the God of the Bible approve of the Jewish royalty?

_Ans._ "As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest can not be
justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended
on the authority of Scripture; for the will of the Almighty, as declared
by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by
kings." * * * Near three thousand years passed away, from the Mosaic
account of the creation, until the Jews, under the national delusion,
requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in
extraordinary cases, where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of
republic, administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. King
they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under the
title but Lord of Hosts. * * * Monarchy is ranked in Scripture as one
of the sins of the Jews, for which a curse in reserve is denounced
against them. The history of that transaction is worth attending to. The
children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched
against them with a small army, and victory, through the divine
interposition, decided in his favor. The Jews, elate with success, and
attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king,
saying, "_Rule thou over us, thou and thy son, and thy son's son._" Here
was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but an
hereditary one. But Gideon, in the piety of his soul, replied, "_I will
not rule over you; neither shall my son rule over you._ THE LORD SHALL
RULE OVER YOU." (Common Sense, pp. 13 and 14.)

How many Gideons are there among leading infidels whose soul-piety would
resist such a temptation as that? Say, was Thomas Paine an infidel when
he wrote that?

"In short, monarchy and succession have laid, not this or that kingdom
only, but the world in blood and ashes. 'Tis a form of government which
the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it."
(Common Sense, p. 19.) "'But where,' say some, 'is the king of America?'
I'll tell you, friend; he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of
mankind like the royal brute of Britain. Yet, that we may not appear to
be defective in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for
proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth, placed on the divine
law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world
may know that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America _the law
is king_." (Common Sense, p. 33.)

After quoting sundry passages of Scripture against a kingly form of
government, Thomas Paine says:

"These portions of Scripture are direct and positive. They admit of no
equivocal construction. That the Almighty hath here entered his protest
against monarchical government is true, or the Scripture is false. And a
man hath good reason to believe that there is as much of kingcraft as
priestcraft in withholding the Scripture from the public in popish
countries." (Common Sense, p. 15.)

From the foregoing _verbatim_ quotations it will be seen that Thomas
Paine was no infidel until he PARTED WITH "COMMON SENSE," which bears
date of February 14, 1776. Common Sense is of noble worth. We cheerfully
concede to Thomas Paine all the honor due him for services rendered in
behalf of our country while he was Thomas Paine the Quaker. He did
nothing for our country after he avowed his infidelity that deserves
being mentioned by any intelligent Christian.



A CLUSTER OF THOUGHTS,

GATHERED FROM JENYN'S INTERNAL EVIDENCES, WITH ADDITIONS AND
MODIFICATIONS.


When the religion of Christ made its appearance it was entirely new,
infinitely above, and altogether different from any other which had at
any time entered into the mind of man. Its object was new. It was to
prepare us with fitness of character, through a state of trial, for
mutual association with the pure and lovely in the kingdom of heaven.
This is presented in all the gospel, as the chief end of the Christian's
life. Until Christ, no such reward was offered to mankind, nor means
provided for its attainment.

Many of the philosophers in old times had ideas of a future state, but
they were mixed with a great deal of uncertainty and misgivings.

Ancient legislators endeavored to inculcate the idea of rewards and
punishments after death, to give sanction to their laws. This was the
sole end in view, and when their laws were virtuous, it was a noble, a
praiseworthy end. But the religion of Christ is related to the same
object, brings it about; and, also, has a nobler end in view, and that
is to prepare us here for a more noble society among the citizens of
the kingdom of God in the great hereafter.

In all the older religions the good of the present was the direct, and
the first object, but in the religion of Christ it is the second. The
first great object of the gospel of Christ is to prepare us for the
realities of eternity.

There is a great contrast between adhering to morality from the motive
of present profit, in expectation of future reward, and living such a
life as to qualify us for the realization of future happiness.

The character of those who are governed by these different principles is
not the same. On the first principle, present utility, we may have mere
moralists, men practicing simple justice, temperance and sobriety. On
the second, we must add to those graces of moral nature faith in God,
resignation to his will, and habitual piety. The first will make us very
good citizens in a civil government, but will never be sufficient to
make us Christians. So the religion of Christ insists upon purity of
heart and benevolence, or charity, because these are essential to the
end proposed.

"That the present existence is one of trial with reference to another
state of being, is confirmed by all that we know in what is termed the
course of nature. Probation is the only key that unfolds to us the
designs of God in the history of human affairs, the only clue that
guides us through the pathless wilderness, and the only plan upon which
this world could possibly have been formed, or upon which its history
can be explained."

This world was not formed upon a plan of unconditioned happiness,
because it is overspread with miseries. Neither was it formed upon a
plan of unconditioned misery, for there are many joys interspersed
throughout the whole. It was not formed for the unconditional existence
of both vice and virtue, for that is no plan at all, the two elements
being, as we know, destructive of each other. By the way, in this very
fact we find the grand necessity for the remedial scheme.

The mixture of vice and virtue, of happiness and misery, is a necessary
result of a state of probation, trials and sufferings consequent upon
offending or violating the will of heaven.

The doctrine of the religion of Christ, with its ultimate object and its
ideas of God and man, of the present and the future life, and of the
relations which these all bear to each other, was and is wholly unheard
of until you come to the teachings of Christ. No other religion ever
drew such pictures of the worthlessness of earthly-mindedness and of
living merely for this present world. And no other ever set out such
beautiful, lively and glorious pictures of heavenly-mindedness, along
with the joys of a future world, nor such pictures of victory over death
and the grave, nor of the last judgment, nor of the triumphs of the
redeemed in that tremendous day. The personal character of the great
author, Christ, is as new and peculiar to this religion as anything else
that we can possibly name--"He spake as never man spake."

He is the only founder of a religion which is "unconnected with all
human policy and government," and, as such, should not be prostituted to
any mere worldly purposes whatever. Numa, Mohammed, and even Moses,
blended their religious institutions with their civil, and by such means
controlled their adherents. Christ neither exercised nor accepted such
power. He rejected every motive which controlled other leaders, and
chose those which others avoided. Power, honor, riches and pleasure were
alike disregarded. He seemed to court poverty, sufferings and death.

Many impostors and enthusiasts have tried to impose upon the world with
pretended communications from the world of spirits--some of them have
died rather than recant; but no history is found to show one who made
his own sufferings and death a necessary part of his plan and essential
elements in his mission. This distinguishes the Savior of the world from
all mere enthusiasts and imposters. He declared his death in all its
minutia; with a prophet's vision he saw it, declared it was necessary,
and voluntarily endured it; and he was neither a madman nor idiot. Look
at his lessons, his precepts and his wonderful conduct, and then
imagine him insane if you can. Still, if he was not what he pretended to
be, he can be viewed in no other light; and yet under the character of a
madman he deserves much attention on account of such sublime and
_rational insanity_. There is no other person known in the world's
history so _rationally_ and _sublimely_ mad.

In what madman's career can you find such a beautiful lesson as his
instructions given upon the mount. What other leader enforced his
precepts and lessons upon men's credulity with such assurances of reward
as, "Come, ye blessed of my father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungered, and ye gave me
meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took
me in; I was naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I
was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him,
saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee; or thirsty,
and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or
naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick and in prison, and
came unto thee? Then shall he answer and say unto them, Verily, I say
unto you, inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my
brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Before the appearance of Christ there existed nothing like the faith of
Christ and Christianity upon the face of the earth. The Jews alone had a
few of its types and shadows, but the great mystery of Christ had been
kept hid since the world began. All the Gentile nations were wrapped up
in the very worst idolatry, having little or no connection whatever with
morality, except to corrupt it with the infamous examples of their gods.
"They all worshiped a multitude of gods and demons, whose favor they
sought by obscene and ridiculous ceremonies, and whose anger they tried
to appease with the most abominable cruelties." With them, heaven was
open only to legislators and conquerors, the civilizers and destroyers
of mankind. This was the summit of their religion, and even this was
limited to a few prodigies of genius and learning, which was but little
regarded and understood by the great masses. One common cloud of
ignorance and superstition involved them. At this time Christ came as a
teacher; his appearance was like a rising sun, dispelling the darkness
and blessing the earth with light and heat.

If any man can believe that the son of a carpenter, together with twelve
of the meanest and most illiterate mechanics, unassisted by any
superhuman wisdom and power, should be able to invent and promulgate a
system of theology and ethics the most sublime and perfect, which all
such men as Plato, Aristotle and Cicero had overlooked, and that they,
by their own wisdom, repudiated every false virtue, though universally
admired, and that they admitted every true virtue, though despised and
ridiculed by all the rest of the world--if any man can believe that they
were _impostors_ for no other purpose than the promulgation of truth,
_villains_ for no purpose but to teach honesty, and _martyrs_ with no
prospect of honor or advantage; or that they, as false witnesses, should
have been able, in the course of a few years, to have spread this
religion over the most of the known world, in opposition to the
interests, ambition and prejudices of mankind; that they triumphed over
the power of princes, the intrigues of states, the forces of custom, the
blindness of zeal, the influence of priests, the arguments of orators,
and the philosophy of the world, without any assistance from God, he
must be in possession of more faith than is necessary to make him a
Christian and continues an unbeliever from mere credulity. If the
credulous infidel, whose convictions are without evidence and against
evidence, should, after all, be in the right, and Christianity prove to
be a fable, what harm could ensue from being a Christian? Are Christian
rulers more tyrannical and their Christian subjects more ungovernable?
Are the rich more insolent _when Christianized_? Are poor Christians
most insolent and disorderly? Does Christianity make worse parents and
worse children? Does it make husbands and wives, friends and neighbors
less trustworthy? Does it not make men and women more virtuous and happy
in every situation in life? If Christianity is a fable, it is one the
belief of which retains men and women in a regular and uniform life of
virtue, piety and devotion to truth. It gives support in the hour of
distress, of sickness and death.

"If there were a few more Christians in the world it would be very
beneficial to themselves and by no means detrimental to the public."



THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST.

  "He, who gave life to man at first,
  Can restore it when it is lost."


Our Savior claimed to be the Son of God, and put the validity of his
claim on this, that he should die openly by crucifixion, be buried, and
rise from the dead upon the third day. Among all the impostors known in
earth's history there is not one instance of a _plot_ like this fact. A
mere plot of this nature would be hard to manage. That the first part of
this prophesy was fulfilled even our enemies admit. It has not been
alleged by infidels of any note that the crucifixion was a fraud, and
did not take place, and that Jesus, as a consequence, did not die.

The chief priests seem to have had considerable concern about the
prediction of the resurrection. Why this? Was it because they had
discovered in the person of Christ an impostor, a mere cheat? No; this
alone would have caused them to utterly disregard the prediction of his
resurrection. Those priests saw something in the character of Christ
which caused them to fear the fulfillment of his prediction. What other
person ever created such a concern about such an event? There is not a
similar case in the world's history. What other dead person was ever
known to create such a feeling as that which moved his enemies to
confront him, if possible, in his rising power. Those priests had,
doubtless, witnessed his miracles again and again. It is beyond all
question true that they feared him in his death. If they had seen no
wonderful power exerted during his life they certainly would have feared
none after he was dead. The fear of the chief priests over the Savior's
dead body is an insurmountable evidence of the mighty works which he
accomplished during his life. Those priests addressed themselves to the
Roman governor, and requested a guard placed around the tomb; three days
and nights would settle the question, for the prediction would terminate
on the third day. Pilate granted the request, and a guard was set to
watch; they sealed the door of the sepulcher, placing the seal of the
state upon the great stone. The object of the seal was, doubtless, for
the satisfaction of all parties concerned in this matter.

It was a precaution against fraud. If the seal upon a door or box is
broken we know at once that it has been meddled with. When Darius thrust
Daniel among the lions he put his seal upon the door of the den, to
satisfy himself and his court that no human hand had interfered for
Daniel's delivery. When he came to the den and found his seal unbroken,
he was satisfied. A seal thus used is of the nature of a covenant. If
you deliver sealed writings to an individual his acceptance amounts to a
covenant between you that the same shall be delivered just as they were
received. If the seal is broken, it is a manifestation of attempted
fraud. There is no special agreement needed in order to the existence of
covenants by seals; it is an agreement which men are placed under by the
laws of nations. The sealing of the sepulcher where the body of Jesus
lay was to impose, by all the solemnities of the Roman state,
obligations upon all the parties interested in the person of Christ. It
was a grand effort on the part of the authorities to prevent any
interference with the dead body.

When impostors are known they become odious, and are but little noticed.
How was it with Christ? When the popular sentiment was that he was a
prophet the priests and scribes sought his life, believing that his
death would end his cause? When they and the people learned that he was
an impostor (?) they thought him unsafe after he was dead.

The prediction of Christ that he would rise the third day was publicly
known throughout Jerusalem; but why the chief priests should concern
themselves so much about it as to take all the steps to prevent its
fulfillment, is a puzzling question with infidels. Was it because they
had detected him as a cheat and an impostor? No, this is an unreasonable
conclusion. It must have been a secret conviction touching his mighty
power. The seal was a proper check upon the guards; the Jews could have
no other object in having it placed there. They were not so foolish as
to think, that by this contrivance they would outstrip Providence.

Guards were set to watch, and, doubtless, did their whole duty. But what
are sentinels when the power of Omnipotence is put forth? An angel of
the Lord makes his appearance. The keepers saw him, and fell down like
dead men. The angel rolled away the stone, and the conqueror came forth
to live in the hearts of millions, and to live forevermore.

The disciples, receiving power from on high, soon make their appearance
in Jerusalem, and boldly assert the fact of the resurrection. The
murderers of the Savior were there. What do the priests do next? They
had bribed the soldiers to tell a lie which was so base that it only
needed to be told in order to be known as a lie. Next, they arrest the
apostles; they beat them, they scourge them, and bid them shut their
mouths, and insist that they shall say no more about this matter. They
did not seem to regard them as liars and impostors, else they would
doubtless have charged them with the fraud. They try to assassinate and
murder these witnesses of the resurrection. They prevailed with Herod to
put one of them to death; but they never seemed to think of charging
them with stealing the body away. Their orator, Tertullus, could not
have missed such a topic as imposition and fraud if any had been
practiced. He did not seem to think of anything of the sort, but
contented himself with the charge of sedition, heresy, and the
profanation of the temple. Yet the very question of the resurrection was
under consideration; for Festus tells Agrippa, that the Jews had
"certain questions against Paul of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul
affirmed to be alive." After this Agrippa heard Paul's testimony, and so
far was he from suspecting imposition, that he said, "Almost thou
persuadest me to be a Christian."

Not long after the resurrection the apostles were taken before the
council and sanhedrim of the Children of Israel. They make their own
defense, a part of which is in these words: "The God of our fathers
raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." The first impulse
of the council was to slay them all; but Gamaliel, one of the council,
stood up and related the history of several impostors who perished in
former days, and said: "If this work be of men it will come to nought,
but if it be of God ye can not overthrow it." He advised them to refrain
from the men and let time tell the story. The tree shall be known by its
fruits. The council acquiesced; they gave the apostles a whipping and
let them go.

A resurrection is a thing to be ascertained by men's senses. We all know
whether a man is dead by the same means by which we know whether a man
is alive. There are those who claim that "a resurrection could not be
proven by any amount of testimony, because of its being contrary to the
course of nature." But this is mere prejudice and ignorance. First: Who
can measure the extent of natural possibilities? Are they generally
known? Is it a greater thing to give life to a body once dead than to a
body that never was alive? The objection rests upon the thought that
testimony should be respected only in such cases as seem to us possible,
or in the ordinary course of nature. According to this, no amount of
evidence could establish the fact that water freezes and becomes solid
in a country where such is not the ordinary course of nature. Does a
man's ability in discerning and his truthfulness in reporting depend
upon the skill or ignorance of those who hear? We know facts that seem
to be as much contrary to the course of nature as anything could
possibly be. But, in all candor, I must claim that in appealing to the
settled course of nature, in a case like the one under consideration,
the question is referred not to the laws of evidence or maxims of
reason, but to the prejudices of men and to their mistakes, which are
many. Men form a notion of nature from what they see; so, under
different surroundings, their notions about the course of nature will
differ. The objection falls worthless at the feet of the INFINITE ONE.
There is no greater difficulty in accounting for the fact that the dead
live again than there is in accounting for the fact that they did live.



PUBLIC NOTORIETY OF THE SCRIPTURES.


Origen was born in the year one hundred and eighty-five of the Christian
dispensation, and lived sixty-eight years. He gives in his writings five
thousand seven hundred and sixty-five quotations from the New Testament.
Tertullian gives eighteen hundred and two quotations from the New
Testament. Clemens, of Alexandria, labored in the year one hundred and
ninety-four. He gives us three hundred and eighty-four quotations from
the New Testament. Ireneus lived in the year one hundred and
seventy-eight. He gives us seven hundred and sixty-seven quotations from
the New Testament, making a grand total of eight thousand seven hundred
and twenty-three quotations, given by four ancient writers.

If all the copies of the New Testament in the world were destroyed, the
whole, with the exception of eleven verses, could be reproduced from the
writings of men who lived prior to the Nicene Council. Unbelievers quote
from all ancient heathen authors as though they were books of yesterday,
without manifesting the least doubt in reference to their authenticity
or authorship. The evidences necessary to establish genuineness of
authorship are ten-fold greater in the case of the New Testament
Scriptures than in the case of the histories of Alexander, Julius Cæsar
and Cyrus, as given by ancient writers.

The notoriety of the New Testament writings during the first centuries
is without a parallel among all ancient writings. Their effect upon
society during those centuries can never be explained in harmony with
unbelief. But this is not all that is to be considered. Their notoriety
extends over the centuries between us and the times of the apostles.
Such notoriety is the grand support upon which the New Testament stands.
All other ancient writings stand upon the same kind of evidence, but
this kind of evidence is more than ten-fold greater in the support of
our religion than it is in the support of any other ancient documents.

We may obtain some idea of the influence of the New Testament Scriptures
during the first centuries from the statements of Gibbon. He says there
were "six millions of Christians in existence in the year three hundred
and thirteen." It is reasonable to allow that there were three millions
in the year one hundred and seventy-five. Under the best emperors of the
second century books were cheap. Thousands of persons engaged in writing
histories for a livelihood. It is allowed that there were as many as
fifteen thousand copies of the four gospels in circulation among the
people in the last quarter of the second century. This state of things
seems to convey the idea that it would be hard work to introduce
successfully any corruption into the text after this period of time. It
would be too easily detected.

There is also a grand argument in favor of the genuineness of our
religion, which is in the fact that it was in deathly opposition to both
Judaism and Paganism, its success being the destruction of both. If
Christianity was an imposition, its success during the first three
centuries of our era is utterly inexplicable.



WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN AND DONE WITHOUT THE BIBLE.


Our ancestors complained of the reign of wickedness; we complain of it
and our posterity will complain of it. I sometimes think we are all a
set of complainers and grumblers.

Of ancient pagans it is said: "They worshiped and served the creature
more than the Creator." Of their idols Persius, who was a Roman
satirical poet, born A.D. 34, said:

  "O, cares of men! O, world all fraught
   With vanities! O, minds inclined
   Towards earth, all void of heavenly thought!"

Sedulius, an ancient Christian poet, and by nativity a Scotchman, says
of the same:

  "Ah! wretched they that worship vanities,
    And consecrate dumb idols in their heart--
   Who their own Maker, God on high, despise,
    And fear the works of their own hands and art!
   What fury, what great madness doth beguile
    Men's minds that man should ugly shapes adore
   Of birds, or bulls, or dragons, or the vile
    Half-dog, half-man, on knees for aid implore."

One of their own poets jests them thus:

  "Even now I was the stock of an old fig tree,
   The workman doubting what I then should be,
   A bench or god, at last a god made me."

The Romans, for a time, were without images for any religious use, but
afterwards they received into their city the idols of all the nations
they conquered; and as they became the lords of the whole earth, they
became slaves to the idols of all the world. Seneca says: "The images of
the gods they worship, those they pray unto with bended knees, _those_
they admire and adore, and contemn the artificers who made them."

The character and condition of their gods was worse than their own. The
common opinion touching their god of gods, _Jupiter_, was that he was
entombed in Crete, and his monument was there to be seen. Lactantius
_wittily_ says: "Tell me, I beseech you, how can the same god be alive
in one place and dead in another; have a temple dedicated to him in one
place and a tomb erected in another?" Callimachus, in his hymn on
_Jupiter_, calls the Cretians liars in this very respect. He says:

  "The Cretians always lyars are, who raised unto thy name
   A sepulchre, that never dyest, but ever art the same."

Lactantius informs us in book 10, chapter 20, that they gave divine
honor to notorious common prostitutes, as unto _goddesses_, to _Venus_,
or _Faula_, to _Lapa_, the nurse of _Romulus_, so called among the
shepherds for her common prostitution, and to Flora, who enriched
herself by her crime, and then, by will, made the people of Rome her
heir, and, also left a sum of money by which her birthday was yearly
celebrated with games, which, in memory of her, they called _Floralia_.
They claimed that their great goddess, _Juno_, was both the wife and
sister of Jupiter; and Jupiter, and the other gods, they held, were no
better that adulterers, sodomites, murderers and thieves. Such was not
held in private but published to the world. They were described by their
painters in their tables, by their poets in their verses, and acted by
their players upon their stages. (Lactantius, b. 5, ch. 21.)

As respects the manner in which they worshiped their gods, Alexander, in
his Dierum Genialium, b. 6, ch. 26, insists that the most odious thing
in their history was the effusion of human blood in the service of their
gods. This same author says, "This unnatural, barbarous practice spread
itself well nigh over the known world; it was in use among the Trojans,
as it seems from Virgil's lines touching Æneas:

  "Their hands behind their backs he bound whom he had destined
   A sacrifice unto the ghosts, and on whose flames to shed
   Their blood he purposed."--_Ænead._

Some ignorant infidels seem at a great loss to understand why the Lord
should order the groves and altars of the heathen destroyed. (Again and
again their groves were cut down.) The children of Israel were to make
no offerings in the groves. If infidels will only exercise common sense
inside of the history of the worship of Priapus and Berecynthia, they
will cease fretting over the destruction of those beautiful forests.
Those groves were the most corrupt places upon the earth, places of
retirement from the altar into prostitution, carried on as a matter of
worship pleasing to Priapus. Here, on account of becoming modesty, the
half can not be told. The removal of nuisances in our own country is
conducted upon the same principles upon which groves were destroyed by
the Israelites.

Lycurgus dedicated an image to laughter, to be worshiped as a god, and
this is said to be "the only law he ever made pertaining to religion."
While his great object was to make warriors, he ordained some things
noted for the education of youth. He ordained other laws so much in
favor of lust and all carnality of the worst kind, that it might justly
be said he made his entire commonwealth ludicrous. He instituted
wrestlings, dances and other exercises of boys and girls naked, to be
done in public at divers times of the year, in the presence both of
young and old men. Adultery was also approved and permitted by the laws
of Lycurgus. Plato and Aristotle advocated community of women, of goods
and possessions, to the end that no man should have anything peculiar to
himself, or know his own children. This was ordained by Plato, in order
to establish in the commonwealth such a perfect unity that no man might
be able to say, that is thine, or this is mine.

Aristotle, in the second book of his "_Politiques_," sets forth many
other detestable things. Lactantius, in the third of his Divine
Institutions, shows that Plato's community of property and women took
away frugality, abstinence, shamefacedness, modesty and justice itself.

Plato, like Lycurgus, ordained that young men should, for the increase
of their physical strength and agility of body, at certain times
exercise themselves naked; that girls and servant-maids should dance
naked among the young men; that women in the flower of their youth
should dance, run, wrestle and ride with young men naked as well as
they, which, says Plato, "whosoever misliketh understandeth not how
profitable it is for the commonwealth."

The morality of ancient times may be clearly seen in the fact that all
manner of debasing things were brought to the front. How could men be
persuaded that adultery should be punished when they were taught from
infancy that it was a virtue among the gods? _Lucian_ gives his
experience thus, "When I was yet a boy, and heard out of _Homer_ and
_Hesiod_ of the adulteries, fornications, rapes and seditions of the
gods, truly I thought that those things were very excellent, and began
even then to be greatly affected towards them, for I could not imagine
that the gods themselves would ever have committed adultery if they had
not esteemed the same lawful and good." To all this it may be added that
the opinions of the ancient philosophers concerning virtue, vice, the
final happiness, and the state of the spirit after death, were diverse
and contradictory. The Epicurean doctrine was, that sovereign happiness
consisted in pleasure. They granted a God, but denied his Providence; so
virtue was without a spur, and vice without a bridle.

The Stoics also granted a Divine Providence, but they maintained such a
fatal necessity that they blunted the edge of all virtuous efforts and
excused themselves in vicious conduct. Both Stoics and Epicureans
doubted the immortality of the human spirit, and thereby opened the way
to all manner of licentiousness.

I am persuaded that eternity alone will fully reveal the consequences of
a denial of a future life and retribution; it is a physical leprosy
which removes all the most powerful incentives to virtue and loosens up
the soul to all manner of lustful gratifications.

A man once remarked: "I have lived four years an avowed infidel. I have
boasted that I would live a good man and die an infidel. I have formed
the acquaintance of all the leading infidels of my country, and I am now
prepared to candidly confess that I do not believe any man can keep a
good heart without the fear of God. Such is my observation and
experience."



THE LATEST EVOLUTIONARY CONFLICT.

THEY FIRST WISH IT TO BE SO, THEN SOON, WITHOUT PROOF, THEY ASSERT THAT
IT IS SO!

(_From the Cincinnati Gazette, of June 26, 1880._)

"Prof. Huxley is assured that the doctrine of evolution, so far as the
animal world is concerned, is no longer a speculation, but a statement
of historical fact, taking its place along side of those accepted truths
which must be taken into account by philosophers of all schools."

This statement was the summing up of an address delivered at the Royal
Institution on the 19th of March. The address was specifically an
account of "The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species"--it being nearly
twenty-one years since Darwin's work bearing that name was first
published.

The lecturer glanced at the general replacement of the catastrophic
theory of geology by the uniformitarian hypothesis, claimed that many of
the most important breaks in the line of the descent of plants and
animals had been filled, noticed the great advance made in the science
of embryology, and held that the amount of our knowledge respecting the
mammalia of the Tertiary epoch had increased fifty-fold since Darwin's
work appeared, and in some directions even approaches completeness. The
lecture closed with these words: "Thus when, on the first of October
next, 'The Origin of Species' comes of age, the promise of its youth
will be amply fulfilled and we shall be prepared to congratulate the
venerated author of the book, not only that the greatness of his
achievement and its enduring influence upon the progress of knowledge
have won him a place beside Harvey, but, still more, that, like Harvey,
he has lived long enough to outlast detraction and opposition, and to
see the stone that the builders rejected become the head-stone of the
corner."

This is plain and emphatic speaking, but it has not been suffered to
pass unchallenged.

Dr. Charles Elam, a writer who has already more than once measured
swords with the school of naturalists of which Professor Huxley is a
foremost champion, has been moved to respond to this latest utterance.
He has contributed to the _Contemporary Review_ a paper entitled "The
Gospel of Evolution," which, whatever may be its conclusiveness, is one
of the sharpest attacks recently sustained by the opposing party.
Acknowledging at the start Mr. Darwin's pre-eminence as a naturalist,
and Prof. Huxley's equal accomplishments in the department of biology,
he yet ventures to continue his doubt regarding the evidence of their
peculiar doctrines. He first cites Darwin's admissions that it would be
fatal to his theory if any organs existed which could not have been
evolved by minute selective modifications, and his further concession
that "man, as well as every other animal, presents structures which, as
far as we can judge, are not now of any service to him, nor have been so
during any former part of his existence. Such structures can not be
accounted for by any form of selection or by the inherited effects of
the use and disuse of parts."

Having contrasted Darwinism proper with its exaggerations, in the system
of Haeckel, who regards Darwin's admissions of an original creation as
contemptible, and recognizes only one force in the universe--the
mechanical, Dr. Elam compares Huxley's statement in his American
addresses that belief which is not based upon evidence is not only
illogical but immoral, with his last assertion that evolution is a fact,
doubted only by persons "who have not reached the stage of emergence
from ignorance." In 1862 Huxley also said--republishing the statements
as late as 1874:

"Obviously, if the earliest fossiliferous rocks now known are coeval
with the commencement of life, and if their contents give us any just
conception of the nature and the extent of the earliest fauna and flora,
the insignificant amount of modification which can be demonstrated to
have taken place in any one group of animals or plants is quite
incompatible with the hypothesis that all living forms are the results
of a necessary process of a progressive development, entirely comprised
within the time represented by the fossiliferous rocks."

Since this confession was uttered, whatever discoveries may have been
made, there has not been the faintest indication of the development of
any new species by artificial selection, the individuals of which are
fertile among themselves and infertile with the parent stock. It may
properly be alleged that there has not been time enough for such a slow
process, but it yet remains as true as ever that there is no direct
evidence in nature of what the Darwinians call _favorable variation_. It
is the unwritten law of nature that one race must die that another may
live, this other, in its turn, subserving the same end. Without this law
nature would be a chaotic impossibility. If natural selection were a
real agency, we ought to meet with frequent, if not constant, evidences
of transition, and a slow and gradual, but perceptible improvement in
species, especially marked in those whose generations succeed each other
rapidly. But we see nothing of the kind. But did selection really exist,
it would be incompetent to account for a multitude of structures and
functions to which any efficient cause should be applicable, notably to
the earliest rudiments of useful organs. Such organs as the eye and the
internal ear are quite out of reach of any explanation by natural
selection. Since the development of the eyes, due to the simultaneous
growth of parts from within and without, the organ itself would be
absolutely useless until it had attained such a degree of development as
to admit of these separate parts meeting, and so the principle of
preserving any useful variety would be quite inapplicable. The same is
true of the internal ear.

Dr. Elam next passes in review Haeckel's Geneology of Man from the
Lowest Monera to his Present Station as Lord of Creation. What the
Germans call invention of species to fill troublesome gaps is
illustrated in many ways, but we have room only for a single example:

"The vertebrata must be developed from something, and as yet there has
been no smallest indication of anything like a spine or a rudiment of
anything that could represent or be converted into one. It costs our
author nothing but a stroke of his pen to invent the 'Chordonia,' and
whence did they come? They were developed from the worms by the
formation of a spinal marrow and a _chorda dorsulis_. Nothing more--the
most trifling modification!--and we are at once provided with the root
and stem of the whole vertebrata divisions. It is scarcely any drawback
to this stroke of genius to say that there is no evidence whatever that
such an order of living beings ever existed; that no one has the least
conception of what they were like, or of any of their attributes. Prof.
Huxley's responsibility for this imaginative science is evidenced by his
declaration that the conception of geological time is the only point
upon which he fundamentally and entirely disagrees with Haeckel."

It still remains true that all our positive and direct knowledge as to
species contradicts the evolution hypothesis. Its evidence is purely
inferential, and, as Dr. Elam quietly says, "As a psychological study it
is interesting to observe how many things are deemed impossible to the
infinite wisdom and power (which by the terms of the supposition,
presided over the arrangements of our world) which are perfectly clear
and comprehensible when considered as the result of blind chance and the
operation of mechanical causes only." Omitting for lack of space his
keen analysis of Huxley's claim of the evidence of evolution from the
orchippus to the modern horse, we follow our author from his array of
what is not proved to what is actually taught by geology. We quote:

"THE SUCCESSION OF FORMS OF LIFE ON OUR GLOBE IS DEMONSTRABLY NOT SUCH
AS OUGHT TO BE THE CASE ON THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION." It was not the small
and feeble species or most generalized forms that first appeared,
either among mollusks, fish, reptiles or mammalia. We look in vain now
for the representatives of the gigantic fishes of the Old Red Sandstone.
And where are the mighty reptile tyrants of air, earth and water of the
Oolite? * * * These races appeared in the plenitude of their development
and power; and, as their dynasty grew old, it was not that the race was
improved or preserved in consequence, but they dwindled, and were, so to
speak, degraded, as if to make room in the economy of nature for their
successors.

Next follows a closely linked argument that will not bear abridgement,
showing the physical improbability that man, a walking animal, was
descended from a climbing one, and the deplorable consequences which
obliterate free will and necessitate the secularization of morals, as
elaborated by Prof. Huxley's friend, Mr. Herbert Spencer. This part of
the subject has a special interest to Americans, since the work in which
Mr. Spencer's views are inculcated has been introduced as a manual in
one of our oldest colleges, but its reproduction would widely lengthen
our article. It is sufficient to say that Dr. Elam concludes that Mr.
Spencer's doctrine, that "actions are completely right only when,
besides being conducive to future happiness, they are immediately
pleasurable," would justify him in concealing any injury done by him to
a friend's scientific apparatus, provided he could attribute it to the
weather, or the intrusion of a dog.

Such, in brief, are the points of an essay which, as a whole, is one of
the most brilliant responses that the declarations of leading
evolutionists have called forth. Of course, all its points are not new,
but old objections have been skillfully refurbished and new ones brought
into play.

      *      *      *      *      *

To mourn for the dead, is to mourn for the lost casket when you still
retain the jewel it held. The memories of the dead one's virtues are the
jewels, and the cold clay but the casket.



AUTHORSHIPS OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.


I have a few questions to put to every man who says Christianity is not
true. They are these: If Christianity is not true, where did it come
from? How came it into the world? What is its origin? These questions
are not trifling ones. Infidels have given as many different answers to
them as there are days in the week. There is no agreement among them
that amounts to a settlement of the questions among themselves. The
Scriptures are ancient. Porphyry, born at Tyre in 233, wrote a book
against them, which was burned by order of Theodosius the Great, in the
year 304. (Zell's Encyclopedia.)

The Emperor Julian, born in the year 331, and Hierocles, who lived in
the fourth century, both wrote against Christianity, against the
Scriptures, but did not call in question the existence of Christ, nor
the fact that he wrought miracles.

Celsus, an Epicurean philosopher who lived in the second century, was
the author of a work written against Christianity, entitled "Logos
Aleethees," that is, "Word of Truth." To this work Origen replied.
Celsus, in this work, quotes from the gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John, and does this over and over, and shows that the Christians valued
the books very highly; they suffered death rather than repudiate them.

A TABLE OF THE ANCIENT TIMES OF TRIAL AND OF PEACE.

  DATE--

  A.D. 64 to  68--Persecution under Nero.
        95 to  96--Persecution under Domitian. Banishment of John.
        96 to 104--Time of peace.
       104 to 117--Persecution under Trajan. Martyrdom of Ignatius.
       117 to 161--Time of peace. Apologies of Aristides,
                     Quadratus and Justin Martyr were written.
       161 to 180--Persecution under Marcus Aurelius. Martyrdom
                     of Polycarp and the martyrs of
                     Lyons.
              164--Justin Martyr was put to death.

Statistics concerning the sufferings of the first Christians show that
they were in great earnest. Eternity alone will reveal the true number
of the martyrs. They all suffered and died just as we would expect, in
case they knew the facts of our religion. Twenty-two books of the New
Testament were written before the martyrdom of the Apostles Paul and
Peter. Infidels often boast, in their ignorance, that the books of the
gospels were not written by those whose names they bear.

If Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write those books which bear
their names, then are they false in fact? and if so, what did the
authors die for? The sufferings of primitive Christians were great; the
persecutions which they endured were outrageous, cruel and inhuman in
their character. Such is the universal verdict of ancient history. Of
the persecution under Nero, Tacitus, a celebrated Roman historian, who
was born in the year 56, just twenty-three years after Pentecost,
writes, that Nero "laid upon the Christians the charge of that terrible
conflagration at Rome of which he himself was the cause." He says, "A
vast multitude were apprehended. And many were disguised in the skins of
wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, some were crucified, and
others were wrapped in pitched shirts and set on fire when the day
closed, that they might serve as lights to illuminate the night. Nero
lent his own garden for these executions, and celebrated at the same
time a public entertainment in the circus, being a spectator of the
whole in the dress of a charioteer, sometimes mingling with the crowd on
foot, and sometimes viewing the spectacle from his car." (Annals of
Tacitus, 15: 44.)

Juvenal, the coarse and bitter satirist of the same time, writes of the
martyred Christians as "those who stand burning in their own flame and
smoke, their head being held up by a stake fixed to their chin, till
they make a long stream of blood and sulphur on the ground." (Juv. Sat.,
1: 155.)

Seneca also refers to their fearful sufferings: "Imagine here a prison,
crosses and racks and the hook, and a stake thrust through the body and
coming out at the mouth, and the limbs torn by chariots pulling adverse
ways, and the coat besmeared and interwoven with inflammable materials,
nutriment for fire, and whatever else beside _these_ cruelty has
invented." (Seneca's Epistles, 14.)

One of Diocletian's coins commemorates the blotting out of the very name
of Christian: "Nomine Christianorum deleto." But the age of martyrdoms
ended with the accession of Constantine to the Roman empire, and to-day
there are more Christians in the world than ever before. Skeptic, take
one long look at the unbelieving, bloody, persecuting hosts, and choose
your future associates.

Strauss says: "No man knows who wrote the Gospels." Can he mean that
they are anonymous books? Does he mean that they are not
biographies--books containing, in their historic matter, an account of
the authors _themselves_? Who does not know that those books are and
have been called the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? And who
has, in all the past centuries, produced evidence showing that those are
the wrong names. No one. Insane men might say such a thing. Infidels
don't like to say that; they just say you can't prove your religion, nor
show that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote those books. Will any
sensible man affirm that they are the wrong names? How do we judge and
believe respecting the authorship of other ancient books? Why do we
believe that Cæsar wrote the Commentaries on the Gallic War? And why do
we believe that Virgil wrote the Æneid? No sane man ever doubted the
authorship of those writings. Preoccupancy during the ages past is
considered by infidels themselves a sufficient ground for belief. The
fact that those books exist has certainly been known from the age of the
apostles to the present time, for men quoted extensively from them in
the second century. The names they bear were in the possessive case
then, and it is but fair to consider them the true owners.

Why are skeptics and infidels so partial among ancient books? They doubt
the authorship of no ancient books unless they are written in favor of
the religion of Christ. Will some wise one tell us why this strange
inconsistency? O, it is an evidence of a wicked heart--that's all!
all!!--ALL THERE IS OF IT!!!

Here are the dates of the books of the New Testaments, along with
contemporary landmarks:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
             |            |
BOOKS.       |   AFTER    |  CONTEMPORARY LANDMARKS.
             | PENTECOST. |
-------------+------------+----------------------------------------------
1 Peter      |     16     | Claudius Cæsar ruled from A.D. 41 to 54.
Galatians    |     18     |
1 Thess      |     19     | Romans settled in England between 41 and 54.
2 Thess      |     20     |
1 Cor        |     24     | Nero ruled from 54 to 68.
2 Cor        |     25     |
1 Timothy    |     25     | Paul and Peter were martyred at Rome in or
Romans       |     25     |   about the year 63; 30 years after Pentecost.
James        |     28     |
Matthew      |     28     | Persecution continues under Nero until the
Mark         |     28     |  year 68. The satirist Juvenal, who lived
Philemon     |     29     |  under Nero, and his brother satirist Martial,
Collosians   |     29     |  both allude to the burnings of the Christians
Ephesians    |     29     |  in pitched shirts.
Philippians  |     29     |
Luke         |     30     | Suetoneus, writing of what took place under
Acts         |     30     |  Emperor Claudius, in 53, makes mention of
Hebrews      |     30     |  Christ.
2 Peter      |     34     |
2 Timothy    |     34     | Galba, Otho and Vitelleus rule from 68 to 69.
Titus, about |     34     |
Jude, about  |     34     | Christians have peace from 68 to 95.
Epistles     |            |
 of St. John |            |
  1, 2, 3    |     40     | Jerusalem was destroyed in the year 70.
Revelations  |            |
 of Jesus    |            |
 Christ      |            |
 to John     |     64     | Vespasian rules from 69 to 79.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------



CARLYLE'S ESTIMATE OF THE BOOK OF JOB, IN HIS OWN WORDS.


"I call the book of Job, apart from all theories about it, one of the
grandest books ever written with a pen. One feels, indeed, as if it were
not Hebrew--such a noble universality, different from noble patriotism
or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble book! All men's book! It is our
first, oldest statement of the never-ending problem of man's destiny and
God's ways with him here on this earth, and all in such free, flowing
outlines, grand in its simplicity and its epic melody and repose of
reconcilement! There is the seeing eye, the mildly understanding heart.
So true every way; true eye-sight and vision for all things--material
things no less than spiritual; the horse--'thou hast clothed his neck
with thunder;' 'he laughs at the shaking of the spear!' Such living
likenesses were never since drawn. Sublime sorrow! Sublime
reconciliation! Oldest choral melody, as of the heart of mankind! So
soft and great, as the summer midnight, as the world with its seas and
stars! There is nothing written, I think, in the Bible or out of it, of
equal literary merit." (Dr. Cotton's Scrap-Book.)



WHAT I LIVE FOR.

  "I live to hold communion
    With all that is divine,
  To feel there is a union
    Between God's will and mine;
  For the cause that lacks assistance,
    For the future, in the distance,
  For what'er is good and true,
    For all human hearts that bind me,
  For the task by God assigned me,
    And the good that I can do."



THE MOLECULE GOD.

AIR--_The Fine Old English Gentleman._

[To be sung at all gatherings of advanced "siolists" and "scientists."]


  We will sing you a grand new song evolved from a 'cute young pate,
  Of a fine old Atom-Molecule of prehistoric date;
  In size infinitesimal, in potencies though great,
  And self-formed for developing at a prodigious rate--
                         Like a fine old Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  In it slept all the forces in our cosmos that run rife,
  To stir creation's giants or its microscopic life;
  Harmonious in discord and co-operant in strife,
  To this small cell committed the world lived with his wife--
                         In this fine old Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  In this autoplastic archetype of protean protein clay
  All the human's space has room for, for whom time makes a day,
  From the sage whose words of wisdom prince or parliament obey,
  To the parrots who but prattle, and the asses who but bray--
                         So full was this Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  All brute life, from lamb to lion, from the serpent to the dove,
  All that pains the sense or pleasure, all the heart can loathe or love;
  All instincts that drag downwards, all desires that upwards move
  Were caged, a "happy family," cheek-by-jowl, and hand-in-glove,
                         In this fine old Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  In it order grew from chaos, light out of darkness shined,
  Design sprang by accident, law's rule from hazard blind;
  The soul-less soul evolving--against, not after kind,
  As the life-less life developed, and the mind-less ripened mind,
                         In this fine old Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  Then bow down mind to matter; from brain fiber, will, withdraw;
  Fall man's heart to cell ascidian, sink man's hand to monkey's paw;
  And bend the knee to Protoplast in philosophic awe--
  Both Creator and created, at once work and source of law.
                         And our Lord be the Atom-Molecule,
                         Of the young world's proto-prime!

  PUNCH.


Transcriber's Note

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





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