1 – Za-ti-et Al-lah;
2 – El Fi-da.
CHARLES H. KERR & COMPANY
Copyright 1896, by
IBRAHIM G. KHEIRALLA
Unity Library, No. 63. Monthly, $3.00 per year. November, 1896.
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SINCE the reading portion of the public seems to expect the author of a new book to give some justifiable reason for obtruding himself on its notice, it may not be considered improper for me to state my reasons for giving existence to this little work.
Having been appointed to teach to such persons as are seeking therefore the principles of Truth and some of the facts to be deduced therefrom, and as the field of our teachings find investigation in this particular direction is unoccupied, it seemed fitting that the assistance of the printing press should be used to aid therein some respects — slower work of private individual instruction.
To this end many of my student friends have prevailed on me to publish a short statement of the fundamental principles of the religion which I have the great honor to represent (and which has not, hitherto, been promulgated in this country) and, more effectively to illustrate the methods of instruction in this religion, add from time to time as opportunity may offer and the furtherance of the cause may seem to require, an elucidation of certain subjects connected with and included in this teaching.
This religion claims — and by most convincing proofs justifies the claim — to be a more complete revelation
of the light which a larger knowledge of Almighty God our Creator gives to us than any hitherto taught among us. In connection therewith is given that particular knowledge for which every soul is thirsting: why our stay in this world is so brief and, while here, what are our real duties to our Creator; so that, in the earnest performance of those duties, we may secure to ourselves a never-ending happiness.
The method which, in all ages of the world, God has employed for the dissemination of these principles is the same now as it always has been and always will be — a great system of prophets and teachers who are sent to teach His commands. These cannot be obtained by common individual inspiration (as is now taught), but only through His appointed messengers, to whom He reveals Himself and whom He commands to teach the people.
From the Orient, whence every teacher and prophet has appeared, I have been sent to teach this religion to the people of this country. Its followers number about fifty millions, scattered over all the earth, there being no country in which some of its believers cannot be found. It has taken root and is rapidly spreading in India, China, Japan, Turkey, Persia, Russia, England, France, Germany, and even in the heart of Africa. Truth-seekers are found in all nations, and God’s mercy is not limited to any one of them nor to any religious denomination, for all are alike followers of the corrupted teaching of one or another of the prophets whom God sent; “but in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted
of Him.” “He that seeketh shall find” is a promise made alike to the poorest savage and to the highest ruler.
For reasons that we shall discuss later, the instruction is private and the name of the Order is known to only those who have taken the full course and received acceptance front the Great Head of the headquarters of the Order; hence it is that our members are not publicly known and recognized.
It was at Cairo, in Egypt, where I lived twenty-one years, that I first met my master, Abd-al-Karim Effendi Taharani, who eventually instructed me in the faith and guided me to the headquarters of this holy Order; for, though he is the wisest man in Egypt he is not one of the Chiefs of the headquarters. He still resides in Cairo; and to any who desire to go to a fountain-head for instruction and would undertake the long journey for that purpose, I would willingly furnish a letter of introduction and the assurance of a kind reception and, what is worth infinitely more, instruction from untold stores of knowledge and wisdom.
No. 615 W. Monroe St.
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Our methods of instruction differ from those of every other religion in three very important particulars viz.:
First — No blind acceptance of anything is required.
Second — The teacher cannot receive remuneration for his labor.
Third — Only true seekers, and not the masses, are taught.
First. — The student is not required to accept anything that cannot be proven by his reason and judgment — those two great faculties that God has so as a light to the soul in its search for truth; the chief use for these undying faculties being with the undying and eternal truths — not with those that are merely temporary, changing and material. We know that God is one, and that from Him proceed all things in existence and that all His actions are in perfect harmony one with another, whether in laws spiritual or material ; therefore, any proposition or principle that cannot be proven by all laws bearing upon it, or that in any way falsifies or sets aside any known law, cannot be accepted as truth, or as leading men to a knowledge edge of God. For this reason every point of our teaching must be proven, step by step, by science and logic,
by laws natural and spiritual, and by the teachings of the prophets in all ages.
Second. — The teacher cannot be remunerated for his labor, for the truth is not his and it is not lawful for him to receive material profit from that which belongs not to him, but to God. Truth always should be free to the truth-seeker; the wine and milk for the soul are not to be bought and sold. Did Jesus, the Christ, ever receive a farthing for His labor? Did Moses, Noah, Isaiah or Jeremiah ever receive a monetary compensation for faithfully delivering the messages with which God entrusted them ? Would not they have degraded the high office and honor given them had they received therefor a reward of material benefit? Besides, the teacher is only the guidepost, as it were, to point the way to the truth; he has no power to obtain a good result or to make the truth enter into the heart. Each for himself mum do this by the power of God; no one else can do it for him. The teacher is appointed merely to show each one how to use his powers. To believe a statement without proving it for one’s self, gives a false faith and not knowledge. The knowledge of another is of no use to me, unless I make it mine by proving it for myself.
Another reason why the truth should be taught without payment is that, directly it is taught for gain, it is liable to become corrupted; the teacher is expected to preach what he knows to be acceptable and popular, that he may gain his salary; and thus is
fettered, and hindered from delivering a true message, unless it be of a character to please his hearers. Indeed, some of the chief causes of the corruption and obscuration of the teachings of the prophets were the motives of personal ambition and gain by which their later interpreters were swayed. For these ends, they pandered to popular prejudices, superstition and ignorance; making of God’s truth tools for selfish ends their material minds being unable to grasp, much less to teach, the spiritual truth.
Third.— In teaching only the true seekers and not the masses, we, follow the method of Jesus and not that of the churches. To His disciples the great Teacher said: “To you, only, is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” Why? Be cause to teach the multitudes who followed Him merely to gratify their curiosity or gain some bodily benefit, would be to “cast their pearls before swine” — an action from which no possible good could result, and the teacher would only prove himself to be an unwise steward of the great riches entrusted to him. Before good seed is sown, the ground should be dug up and prepared to receive it other wise no harvest and be expected. Jesus taught the masses by exhortations, by parables and by illustrations, thereby striving so to prepare the ground by arousing their interest and fitting them to receive the truth that they might become real seekers therefor.
And this secret teaching — is it contained in the four gospels? We answer, no; except a few paragraphs
scattered here and there; for the gospels are, first and chiefly, a historical record of the Master’s life; and secondly, a record of His teachings to the masses. But the secret doctrines of Jesus are still preserved intact in the last book of the New Testament — the book of The Revelation — which contains the same teaching as, and exactly corresponds with, the truths stored in the revelations or visions of Ezekiel, Zechariah, Isaiah and Buddha and the builders of the Pyramids, the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon; they all are in perfect harmony with each other and proclaim the same great truth. But, unless we know the secret teaching which gives us the key to the truth, we can understand neither the one nor the other.
And who, of all our so-called divines, can give us the key to understand these mysteries and so bring to us a knowledge of the messages delivered by the Almighty mighty Creator, through His prophets, to the children of men ? Surely they were meant to be understood by those willing and eager to receive them — meant for our guidance on the earth and not to puzzle us here and be deciphered only hereafter, in heaven ! Where would be the wisdom and mercy of such an act, proceeding, too, from Him who does all things according to the perfection of knowledge and wisdom?
The condition of our spiritual teachers at the present time, and the reason why they do not understand the truth, was long ago foretold by Isaiah. when he prophesied, saying: “All vision is become unto you
as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying: ‘Read this, I pray thee;’ and he saith: ‘I cannot, for it is sealed;’ and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying: ‘Read this, I pray thee;’ and he saith: ‘I am not learned.’ ”
But let us go to the right source for this understanding. Will studying Greek. Latin, Hebrew, or the commentaries of the Fathers, bring to us a knowledge of our God? How is that possible? Surely such knowledge must be sought for in another direction; wiser would it be to go to some ignorant tribesman in the heart of Africa to study with him the higher branches of mathematics or astronomy, than to such a source to obtain that which our souls need Our theologians clearly demonstrate this — that we certainly cannot quench our thirst at the streams to which they go — for, after devoting years to study in the schools. they are divided in various directions on every dogma that they seek to promulgate, and we know that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We also know that all real truth is exact; and about exact truth there can be but one opinion by any sane mind.
Nor can my of the ancient Fathers help us, for we find that, for their knowledge, they, like the theologians of the present time, depended upon the say of some one else, without proof and interwove therewith their own personal speculations and ideas, with the natural result of contrary and divided opinions that in all succeeding ages have caused cruel dissensions and struggles in the church,
If we read with an earnest eye the history of the first three centuries of the Christian church and how the present collection called the Gospels was selected, we cannot but conclude that these records of the history of Jesus are not to be depended upon, and that the Christian Fathers compiled their scriptures in the same manner as did the Hebrew Fathers. But, thanks be to God! the truth is preserved in the books which, not being understood, were saved from being corrupted; such as the books of the prophets and The Revelation, which record the real secret teaching which Jesus taught only to His disciples, the true seekers.
The first verse of The Revelation plainly shows this, saying: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” Our present teachers tacitly admit their inability to understand the real revelation, and confine themselves to expounding and enforcing moralities and higher ethics; at best they can only claim to be truth-seekers and not truth-knowers, so deeply corrupted and overlaid has the word of God become! No wonder this is an age of universal unrest and thirst for light! How can any earnest soul accept an exposition of its duties to others, as containing the sum total of its duties to its Creator? “The Lord thy God is one Lord and thou shalt love I Him with all thy heart, thy soul, thy mind and thy strength,” the greatest Master said. “This is the first and great commandment.”
This does not imply that we ought not to know and practice morality; we surely must do so. Every spiritual man must necessarily be moral, because the way to God is a pure way. But, if we accept the fact — as we all do — of a right and a wrong relationship one to another, we must more fully accept the higher fact of a right and a wrong relation to our Creator. But how can we love and worship Him whom we know not? It is for just this — that we may actually and truly know Him and how to love and worship Him — that the teachers of our religion have sent a messenger to teach it; and, is we have said, their teachings are proved by every just law.
Our first instructions are given in a series of talks on general principles, which do not include our private teachings — those that apply to the basis of life — for, until we understand the lower, more material facts, how can we reach those that are higher? Step by step, line upon line, is the only sure way to progress. Following is a list of some of the subjects treated of in these general talks:
1. The identity of God and His individuality and that, although an individual, He is omnipresent.
2. The oneness, or singleness, of God.
3. Man is not God, nor a part of God.
4. What is knowledge, what is wisdom, and the difference between them.
5. Why we ought to seek truth.
6. Why truth cannot properly be taught for money.
7. Why the truth is not for the masses, but for the true seekers.
8. Why our teachings are private.
9. There is no evolution-only involution.
10. Why moralities are not spiritual duties.
11. How the finite can comprehend the infinite.
12. Why there are no miracles as commonly understood.
13. How truth corresponds to science and reason.
14. What is life, and what is the difference between the life of a man and the life of a tree.
15. What is the power of growth.
16. The power of the word.
17. Why our great purpose here is not to worship and glorify God as the church teaches, nor to come in contact with the material laws as occult science teaches, nor to accomplish our Karma as Theosophists teach, nor to awaken the Christ within us as Christian Scientists teach, nor to communicate with spirits as Spiritualists teach.
Next come two private lessons which are very important (although not included in the spiritual teaching), because they prove to us the existence of the soul and its immortality, and show us what mind is, for, unless we can thoroughly prove the reality of these, of what use is it to seek eternal knowledge? “Let us eat and drink, if to-morrow we die.”
After this we come to the pith of the teaching, which is, to know God-not to gain a vague consciousness of His powers, but, in plain English, to be acquainted with Him. That and nothing less, is the
object of our search. And in this attainment we gain eight great points, which are these:
1. To know from whence we come.
2. To know why we are here.
3. To know where we are going. (When we have this knowledge we shall dare to say, as Jesus did when talking to the Pharisees, “I speak the truth, because I know from whence I came; And where I am going.”) Jno. 8, 14.
4. Not merely to hope that we are going to be saved, but to secure our eternal salvation.
5. To be regenerated — to receive the Spirit.
6. To become children of God by adoption.
7. To be acknowledged by God that we are His children.
8. To be given His Greatest Name.
These are the eight great points at which every earnest student will arrive.
To sum up, the path of our teaching will lead us to know the reality of the secret of the Kingdom of God which was the real mission of Jesus and all the prophets. Of Jesus, for He said: “I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for therefore was I sent.” Luke 4, 43.
This introductory matter will be followed by discussions illustrative of our method of teaching and proving the truth of what we teach, and it is hoped that by a careful consideration of them the reader may better understand our method and be led to desire to know the truth for its own sake — in short, to become a truth-seeker.
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BEFORE presenting the arguments and evidences which follow, the attention of the reader is directed to a very important point which should hive his careful consideration; and if he will closely follow to its legitimate conclusion the argument deduced therefrom, he undoubtedly will be led to the truth. This will tend to enlighten his mind and dispel from it those errors and ill-founded precepts which, from childhood, may have been fastened upon it by teachers who having failed to grasp the spiritual signification of certain facts, reason wholly from a materialistic standpoint.
The point is this: Before attempting to consider this subject he should, as completely as possible, lay aside all religious prejudices and prepare himself to use his reason and judgment with a clear and untrammeled condition of mind; otherwise it will be a waste of time for him to read it. The reason is obvious; we very rarely encounter a person who is ready to discuss without prejudice, a religious idea or doctrine, particularly if that idea or doctrine is a fundamental part or creed of their church. Very often they are fanatical and bigoted to the last degree, and do not desire to learn the truth if it shows them to be in error. People of this class often reject the truth even though it is as plain to them as is the sun on a clear day. This, of course, is because they have always
held their religious ideas as great truths, beyond question; having either depended on somebody else to think for them or learned these ideas at their mother’s knee. Very naturally they loved and revered her and did not believe that she could be mistaken taken.
It is a fact so patent as scarcely to require proof, that God, the Almighty, has made man above the brute creation and, within his limitations, perfect, by giving him higher faculties, collectively called Reason — which may be regarded as a lamp and which will guide him into the right path when he follows its light — and has made him a just judge, able to distinguish truth from falsehood. At the same time he bestowed on him the great gift of independence by giving him a free will to act as he pleases — to follow either the good or the bad. Under these circumstances, stances, the result must, of necessity, be good or bad in accordance with the use made of these talents, and these results constitute what we term reward and punishment. Otherwise he would be neither responsible, nor liable to judgment, for acts committed. In other words, he would be as blameless as an animal, or as inanimate matter, and not higher nor greater than they.
In view of this fact, all the doctrines, laws and commandments given by God through His prophets and apostles, for our happiness whether in this world or in the world to come, must be in strict harmony and accord with our light and guide — Reason. Hence, if
we find that some of the doctrines and commands, said to be of God, are not in harmony with this light, we may be sure that they are the inventions and teachings of man and not of God, and should at once be rejected as spurious; and we shall be justified in declaring that they are not from Him; for God never would give, and never has given us, unjust or unreasonable teachings or laws which we are unable to comprehend, to make us responsible for their violation, and which on investigation, we find to be directly in opposition to the light which He bestowed upon us to be our only guide to direct us toward Him. This would not be like a kind, just and loving Father. No; our merciful Father would never make us the victims of injustice, never. Therefore, we say, whenever we encounter such teachings we are justified in concluding that they are not from God but have been made by men, simply through ignorance or for their own special purposes. Accordingly we should set them aside and pay no attention to them, God, the Almighty, is just, upright and equitable. He is far from deceiving His servants; the laws and teachings given by Him through His prophets must of necessity be clear, plain and easily understood, as well as conformable to Reason.
From this we conclude that God will never give us any laws or teachings that are not reasonable and susceptible of comprehension by those who are anxious to know the truth and are seeking it; who would prefer the world to come, rather than this present and short-lived existence. People who are so slothful and
careless that they do not care or try to understand God’s laws and commands must take the consequences. They are like the man whose lord gave him one talent with which to trade, but who went and hid it in the earth, and consequently it was taken from him and given to the one who had ten talents; i. e., to the diligent and painstaking. Therefore we should not believe anything until we are sure of it and, with the eyes of our own reason, see it plainly; else we shall be carried away with imaginations, emotions and superstitions and lose the talent we have been entrusted with. So, also, every one must suffer loss who depends upon someone else to think for him, not using the great faculties which God gave him for his own benefit.
THAT God, the Almighty Creator, is an Identity, an Individual, a Person, is the great underlying, fundamental mental truth of all other truths which it is the purpose of this argument to establish by a thorough analysis in the light of Scripture, Logic, and Reason.
If we refer to our reason this question: What is the Creator, the Cause of all other causes? we cannot form any conclusion or idea outside of the six, viz.: He must be either the universe (by the universe we understand all suns, moons, planets, stars and everything existing in, on or outside of them), a nothing, a power, a law, a principle, or an identity. We strictly believe and teach that He is an identity — an individual; this is our positive point. That He is neither the universe, a nothing, a power, a law, nor a principle, is our negative point.
We will first take each division of the negative point separately and prove the impossibility that any one of them can be the Cause of all other causes, God the Creator. We will then take our positive point and prove conclusively that God is an identity.
We believe, then, that God is not the universe nor is the universe God, for the following live reasons:
1. The universe is not God, because no participation of qualities, common to the whole, is found in it; that is to say, if we take the various parts of that huge body which is supposed to be God, we will find that in some of its qualities each part of it differs from the others. The sun differs from the moon, and the earth from the comets. Even if we take the various substances of which our planet is composed and which we can perceive and analyze by our physical senses, we will discover that every element varies from every other in quality; also that in any one kingdom are many points differentiating from those in any other; for instance, man does not possess the qualities of the tree, nor the rose those of gold, nor iron those of the horse. If it be a true supposition that the universe is the body of God, the natural and rational conclusion must be that each particle of that body possesses all the attributes of the whole. God is absolute perfection, and every part of Him must contain all the qualities of the whole body; that is to say, every atom of Him must participate in the qualities of the whole; just as, for instance, a drop from the ocean contains all the qualities of the waters of the ocean. Hence, those who teach that everything in existence is a spark of God or a part of Him, and that this spark requires “a long procession of ages and ages to accomplish its Karma” that it may regain its original condition, ignore the reality and do not think deeply enough to reach the truth; in fact, they do not rightly use their reason. But admit the supposition and take man, the
highest among known creatures, as an example. We must conclude that if he be a spark of God or a part of Him, he must necessarily have all the qualities of God; the same as if we take a small piece from a large lump of stilt, we find that the small piece has all the qualities of the large lump, and does not require “a long procession of ages and ages of reincarnation to accomplish its Karma” that it may return to the large lump. Thus we see that this process is ridiculous and unreasonable, for it is neither necessary nor possible to re-salt the salt. And it will appear even more so if we make the same proposition concerning the lower animals, vegetables and minerals, that they are a part of that great Being who is absolute perfection in knowledge and wisdom. From this reasonable basis we are obliged to reject the theory that God is the universe or that the universe is God.
2. Again, where there is division, perfection cannot not be absolute. There is, for instance, an entire separation between soul and matter and they are made of different and separate essences. Then if the universe be God, He is divided and, as division implies weakness in essence and in power, we reject the idea that God is the universe, because He necessarily is absolute perfection and there is no weakness about Him. It is a matter for great astonishment to every true thinker that while there are many who claim to be progressive thinkers and have left the Orthodox Church, justly ridiculing its teaching on the ground that it believes in impossibilities such as the doctrine
of the Trinity, that God is three persons and that the three are one; they reasoning that God cannot be divided and that the three cannot be one, yet, at the same time, they have come to believe that everything in existence —or at least every man — has a germ of the Deity in him, thus dividing God into millions and millions of atoms! Their case is similar to that of the unhappy man who, on finding himself under a leak, moved so as to be under a waterspout.
3. Where there are degrees there is deficiency and no perfection. A cursory examination of the surrounding existence will suffice to plainly show us that the universe is composed of things varying in degrees; that a portion of it, such as the mineral and vegetable kingdoms, is inanimate and dull; higher up we come to insects and animals with their different classes from lower to higher, possessing less or more intellect and powers of understanding until, reaching the human race, we find that it is endowed with faculties for great purposes and greater possibilities. But we know that God cannot be partly dull and partly intelligent, partly animate and partly inanimate. If this were true there would be no perfection about Him, hence we see that this is an utterly untenable proposition, and therefore do not believe that God is the universe, or that the universe is God.
4. If the totality of the universe be God, there necessarily must be an affinity of sensation connecting together the different members of that body. But it is impossible, among all the objects around us from
the highest to the lowest, to find any such connecting sensation between either the various classes and races or even between the different members of the same class or race. There evidently is no connected feeling between a man and a horse or dog, or even between two men; for while one may be thinking, for instance,
of America, the thought of the other may be centered on Africa and neither is cognizant of the meditations of the other; showing that they are not members of a universal God. Admitting such a supposition, we must conclude that every idea, thought, movement, action and change must be felt by member throughout the entire universe. A painful injury to one's finger affects, through sympathetic nerve fibers, the whole body. So, also, if the universe be God, every member thereof must participate, for instance, in the sensations of the horse, when lashed with a whip. Because this is not true, we cannot believe that the universe is God.
5. The strongest, most convincing proof in opposition to this belief is that from nothing, nothing can come. According to all logic science and law there must be a cause for everything and, as the universe includes everything, there must be a cause for the universe and that is the Cause of all other causes — the Almighty Creator, Who will say that man, although the highest of creation, created his own Soul or put that soul into existence? Admitting even the possibility of this, we know that however desirous he may be of remaining here, it cannot be; he may not delay
his departure even to bid adieu to family and friends, but must inevitably obey the unwelcome summons, plainly showing that his existence here is not in his own hands; and if the highest of Creatures cannot control this, it is evident that the lowest cannot. Now, as that which is caused cannot itself be the cause, so the universe cannot be God. From the foregoing statements, the thinker will be led to question concerning the following three points:
1. Some occult and mental teachers claim that when man attains the height of perfection — the point of highest intelligent development — his strength of mentality can keep his body from decay and hold it thus for thousands of years, as they say the Mahatmas can do; and thus a time will come when his body will not die but live forever. To this it is sufficient to reply that none of these theorists have ever proved their claims, neither can they do so.
But their theory is in direct opposition to reason and natural law, because the animal kingdom is shorter lived than the vegetable for the reason that there is a mentality in the body of the member of the animal kingdom and as this body is a mere tent, or residence for the mentality, intelligence or soul which inhabits it, the more that intelligence or soul uses its tent, the sooner the latter is liable to decay and destruction; and the stronger and more active this intelligence and the more effective its manifestations, the more destructive will be the effect on the tent.
To illustrate: Suppose two men of similarly weak
constitution but of widely different temperaments; the one nervous and active, the other more quiet and
sluggish; at the age of forty the one will to be an old man, while the other will seem to be in the prime of life. These are facts noted by the world’s great philosophers.
Again, take a representative from each of the two kingdoms — animal and vegetable — a man and a cedar tree. However strongly the man may be built he lives scarcely a hundred years, while the cedar tree has flourished for thousands of years. Thus, comparing the two kingdoms in a corresponding degree, we find existence without mentality is most enduring, and where the mentality is most active the sands of life are most quickly run out. This clearly proves that these claims ire not founded on truth.
2. Some may ask: If nothing can come from nothing, whence came God? The question is not logical, because, as the universe is a creation, there must of necessity be a creator or cause thereof and that cause is called the Almighty Creator — God. But we cannot say whence God came, because He is Being, existent through all eternity and, being the Great First Cause of all things, there was no place nor thing from whence He could come. If we say He is come from another God, and continue backward to a third, fourth and fifth or any number of Gods, we must finally exhaust the imagination in the endeavor to discover a time when and a place where there was not a God. And if God were not there what
would we find? Nothing. But, from nothing, nothing comes, and we are back at our original starting point. Having reached the end of the chain, we are obliged to admit a first Cause of all other causes, the self-existent, eternal Being, God, the Creator; the manifestation of Whose creative power brought the heavens and the earth — the universe —into existence.
3. A superficial thinker may ask: “If the self-universe and everything in existence is the manifestation of God’s creative power, must they not have come from God and of necessity be a part of Him?” We reply that, according to science and to natural and rational laws, this is incorrect reasoning, for that which is manifested cannot possibly be a part of the manifestor or a part of his power, in either matter or mentality. The power of steam is manifested in the motion of the engine, but the motion is not a part of the steam nor of its power, but is a result or product of the power of the steam. A magnet may magnetize a piece of iron, but does not thereby lose a portion of its essence nor of its power; showing that the manifested is not a part of its manifestor nor a part of its power. So, although God created the universe, still the universe is not a part of God nor of his power of creation, but simply a manifestation of that power. If I say, “I am glad to see you,” this sentence produces in your mind a certain understanding or idea, but neither the sentence nor the understanding is a part of me nor of my power of speech, but a manifestation of that power. If you teach me a science I
will gain knowledge, but the knowledge I receive is not a part of your essence nor of your knowledge, because you lose neither a part of yourself nor of your knowledge by teaching me; you simply manifest your power and I receive the knowledge which you manifest. Thus we prove that the manifested is not a part of the manifestor, nor of his power, and also, therefore, that the universe is not a part of God nor of His power, but merely a manifestation thereof.
What we have stated thus far is enough to persuade the reasonable mind that there cannot be a nothing, therefore it is unnecessary to prove that nothing cannot be God; yet we would call the attention of the reader to the following simple facts: The nothing is not the Cause of all other causes, for the reason that it has neither powers nor qualities to manifest by which to bring anything into existence; besides, there remains the indisputable fact that from nothing, nothing can come; therefore the nothing is not God.
But some people have the idea that there is no God — that the God which the people seek is nothing and that everything in existence is self-existent, without beginning and without end and without a Cause to bring it into existence. To such we say that they are self-deceived, for if they reflect they will clearly see that there is no class or race in existence, from the highest to the lowest, any member of which is self-existent. We know that man, the highest in the universe, did not bring himself into existence; that neither his coming to this earth nor his continuance
here is in his hands, but that in both he is wholly dependent on some other power and cannot be self-existent; hence there must be a self-existence who caused the man to exist and that self-existence is the Great First Cause; Being; Creator; God.
Some imagine God to be a great power, filling the whole universe. This cannot be true, for although He is most powerful, possessing infinite and perfect powers, all-mighty, yet we cannot say that He is a power, because power is a quality, a faculty, an attribute or a force which belongs to the identity or the essence. There is no power without an essence or an identity back of it. Back of the power of gravitation or magnetism is the earth; without the earth there would be neither the one nor the other.
Show me a power and I will show you an identity, but no one can show a power alone or without an identity back of it. We all are possessors of many powers and faculties, but back of them all is our identity. We have the faculty of memory and of reason, but can we say that we are a memory or a reason? We have the power of speech, but are we the power of speech? No; but we are an identity; and even if unable to manifest all or any of the various powers belonging longing to us as human beings, or if we lose those we have, we never lose our identity. The dumb man, though without the power of speech, never loses his identity or personality; and so we plainly see, also, that God is not a power but an individual, for, we repeat, there is an identity behind every power.
Some teach that God is law, which shows that they do not know what either God or law is; and if they teach what they cannot prove, what is to prevent people from being led astray? Law is the uniform rule, condition or method by which, through the operation of certain powers or faculties — spiritual, mental, chemical or mechanical — certain definite results are produced. Thus, if we chemically mix two different elements, the resulting compound is a new substance differing as to qualities from either element composing it. As the powers of these elements unfailingly operate to produce this definite result, the method by which this operation produces the result is said to be a law.
The seasons of the year are produced by the motion of the earth in its orbit in accordance with what is termed natural law. Two and two are four; this is the result of the operation of the mental faculties in accordance with mathematical law and so on; we therefore conclude, as above stated that law is the rule or method by which certain powers or faculties operate to produce certain effects or results. If those teachers understood this, and that back of all this there is the Identity they would not say that God is law.
Some who claim to be spiritual, teach that God is a principle. They say: “God is Love, therefore Love is God. It is true that Principle is a foundation or basis laid by the intelligence upon which to build, or a source from which to start a certain action for a definite purpose. Thus we will say that Love, Mercy,
Let us suppose that the whole universe — stars, planets, suns, moons, find everything existing in, on or outside of them — all is gathered in one room or consider that the room is the universe and contains everything in existence, and that the room and everything thing in it is of crystal or glass; and let us suppose that God the Almighty is a flame located in any certain spot in that room; we will see that although the flame is an identity limited to itself, yet it fills the whole room with its light and we cannot find a place where there is no light from that flame; and more than that, we also find that the light is interpenetrating through every particle of the crystal of the room and that there is not a single atom of the crystal through which the light does not penetrate; also the light would not be confined, but would cross beyond the crystal room and everything within it and surround the whole room in every direction. Thus the Personality of God the Almighty — like the flame — is filling the whole universe with His powers find interpenetrating and surrounding everything in existence. So we and everything in existence are living, moving and existing in and being surrounded by His powers. We liken the flame to the identity of God, the light to His powers, and the crystal room and everything in it to the creation. From this illustration we see that the crystal is not the flame nor the light nor a part of either of them. So we must not forget that we are not a part of God nor a part of His power, and we must advise those who imagine that
man is God or a part of God that their theory is against reason and science and against the teachings
of the Bible, which is the standard of spiritual teachings of all Christians. The Bible teaches us that we
are afforded the privilege of being naturalized by being born of the spirit and becoming the adopted children of God, and have the title or the surname of God; but God will never lose a part of His essence or a part of His power, by that naturalization. It also plainly teaches us that men are not God: Psa. 9, 20: “Put them in fear, O God, let the nations know themselves to be but men.” Isaiah 31, 3: “Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit; and when the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall stumble and he that is helpen shall fall, and they shall fail together.” The same truth is expressly stated wherever we read of it in the Bible — that man is not God nor a part of Him,
Perhaps some one will say that even according to this illustration God is not omnipresent, because He is that flame which is located in a certain place in the room and is not everywhere, for the flame is the identity and the light is the power of the identity which penetrates every particle of the crystal, as the flame which represents God does not.
To this we reply that if we fully understood what presence is, we would be satisfied with the illustration, for “presence” means that the one is in a certain position and condition to comprehend the other — to
know his thoughts and see his movements and actions — like two men in a room; the one is in the presence of the other as long as his powers can reach the other to see and bear and understand him, but it is not necessary that both must occupy the same space that we may say they are in the presence of each other.
Thus also, it is not necessary that the universe and the identity of God must occupy the same space; it is sufficient that His powers are penetrating everything and surrounding rounding everything, knowing the secrets of the heavens and the earth, what we expose and what we conceal.
In order fully to understand the significance of the foregoing illustration, we must consider the meaning of the word God. To English it is derived from the Persian or Indian word Ghauda or Ghaud — not from good, as some suppose — and it means the absolute and supreme Governor, whose power controls all that is; greatly resembling the light in the room. The word Allah, Elohim and Eal, in the Arabic, Hebraic and Syriac respectively, means the Surrounding Power, the Comprehensive, that is, that which surrounds everything and interpenetrates everything as the light in the room penetrates every particle of the crystal.
Let it be borne in mind that all names are created and that we cannot give a fully significant name to the Almighty, nor liken Him to anything that has objective existence; but because we are deficient in knowledge and in power of expression, the word “God” is used to denote His grand power and greatness, which cannot be comprehended by us,
I wish to draw your attention to what the Bible teaches concerning His personality, greatness and presence. Isaiah 45, 12: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens and all their host have I commanded.” Job 12, 10: “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” Isaiah 40, 12: “Who hath measured the water in the hollow of His hand and meted out heaven with the span.” We will say as Job and Isaiah said, that the universe is in the palm of His mighty hand, none are hidden from Him and nothing can be secluded from His majestic presence. The exaltation is to Him, the authority is to Him and the greatness is to Him, forever and ever. Amen.
IN this argument the purpose is to show conclusively, to all who have the disposition and courage to think for themselves, why this dogma of the church — that there is no salvation without the shedding of blood, no forgiveness of sin without the blood of our great Master, Jesus, the Christ — is not entitled to belief.
Is it credible? Is it in harmony with Reason? Is it in accord with justice? Is it right to punish the innocent, for the crime of the guilty and, forgiving the latter, set him free? No; it is not credible; not in harmony with Reason; not just and not right.
The teachings of the great Master Himself, and of all the prophets sent to teach the truth, show that salvation, the forgiveness of sin, is from the simple mercy of our loving God, and that He does not desire pay for His mercy, even had His creatures anything to pay with, which they have not.
From the following arguments we shall clearly prove that it is not the law of God, but the teaching of misguided people, who either established it for their personal interests or have ignorantly and care-
lessly followed it, depending on the saying of others; not using their talent — their own Reason.
First. — As God is the perfection of wisdom and justice, the idea that he should do anything or perform any action, not in accord therewith, is wholly absurd. Wisdom and justice, in their perfection, are inseparable. Then how can it be possible for a reasonable man to attribute injustice or oppression to God, who is this perfection? How can we believe that He would punish and even kill a perfectly pure and innocent cent man, for the sake of an immoral, miserable and wicked one? To bring this idea more clearly before the reader, I will invite his attention to the following parable:
It is said that in Persia there was a king who was so greatly respected and beloved by his people, that by them he was considered as a god. He was possessed of all the noble, admirable and lovable qualities of true manhood to a degree greater than any one else in his kingdom. He was particularly just, merciful, equitable and compassionate. His chief desire was to secure the happiness and prosperity of his people, for he greatly loved them and gave his best efforts forts to advance their welfare. In order to more completely secure this result, he established a just and perfect law and promised them happiness and prosperity if they would obey it. That this law might be made known to them all, he commanded that it should be written in golden letters on a pillar of crystal, which should be erected in a public park where
all might read and become fully acquainted with its provisions. He also commanded that underneath the law should be written a penalty, to the effect that any one who should break the pillar should be put to death. To prevent the perpetration of such in outrage, rage, the pillar was constantly guarded by soldiers.
The king had a brother who was almost his equal in goodness and purity. He was known as the most upright person, except the king, in the whole empire, and the only one who did not break the law in any particular. For these reasons he was very popular among the people and was, by them, chosen to be their chief justice. During the time he held that office he was so just, honorable, honest and up right that he was almost as greatly respected and beloved as his brother, the king,
One day a certain wicked man who had committed many crimes, such as theft, murder etc., happened to pass near the pillar and, finding the guards asleep, he, taking a hammer, broke the pillar into many pieces. The guards, awakened by the noise, seized the wretched man, bound him and took him before the king, who asked him what had induced him to commit such a terrible offense.
“Are you aware,” he asked, “that he who breaks the law will be put to death?” The culprit boldly and impudently replied that he was aware of that and had no reason for breaking the pillar; that he broke it wilfully.
On hearing this, the king commanded to summon
all his ministers and high officials before him. When they had assembled, he informed them of the serious offense that had been committed and requested their opinion as to what should be done in the matter. They unanimously replied: “You have full power to either kill or pardon him; but, according to the law, he must die.”
The king meditated profoundly for some time, then asked the ministers and officials whom they considered the most upright and just man in his kingdom. With one voice they at once replied that his brother, the chief justice, was that person. “Bring him here,” commanded the king. On his arrival the king ordered that he be beheaded. When this had been done, the king, smiling, said to the wicked man who had broken the pillar: “Be not afraid; for your sake I have killed my dear brother and did not pity him; do you accept his death as an expiation of your crime, and desire to be pardoned and set free? Do you believe that my brother willingly and of his own accord offered himself to die that you might escape?” The man replied affirmatively. The king, still smiling graciously, said to him: “I have pardoned you; go in peace.” It is said — but I do not vouch for its truth — that in his will the king made that man one of his heirs. And thus the wicked man was saved and set free, while that pure, perfect and innocent man was killed for him and in his stead.
The ministers and all who witnessed the execution of the king’s brother were deeply affected and went
home broken-hearted; weeping and lamenting the untimely death of their beloved judge, while they secretly called the king a tyrant and an oppressor, and declared that he had been guilty of a most atrocious crime.
It is unreasonable to Suppose that any one who reads or hears this parable will not at once say that the king made a grievous mistake — that he acted in violation of the laws of justice, wisdom and reason. There probably is not a person, however ignorant or prejudiced, who will justify the king and deny the terrible atrocity of his action. In view of this how can any one dare to attribute to God — the God of wisdom, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent — an act equally unjust and atrocious? How can any one dare to say that God, the Great, the All-powerful, who is free from any impure thing, killed in innocent, perfect, pure Man — His own Son at that — for the sake of one, or even of millions of wicked men? God forbid! Impossible for him to do such an act! To act contrary to his divine and eternal wisdom! Therefore we do not dare to attribute to Him such an act, and Reason obliges us to reject such teachings as unworthy of belief, knowing them to be of men and not of God.
Second. — The church teaches and insists that Jesus the Christ, was not only a perfect man, but also a perfect God; or rather that He was really the Almighty God Himself; that He appeared in the form of a man, and, of His own free will and accord, was crucified,
in order to show that He could be both just and merciful at the same time. Therefore, in this cage, no act of either injustice or oppression could have taken place; for the murderer and the murdered were one.
A careful consideration of this doctrine, instead of proving its truth, plainly disproves it. And it is impossible possible to believe or accept it as a spiritual truth for the following reasons:
(a). As it is a natural and rational fact and indisputably true that he who maltreats himself commits a crime much graver, in a certain sense, than he who maltreats another, we must, according to their teaching that the murdered and the murderer were one, conclude that if God punished Himself, even for the sake of sinners, He must thereby be a sinner, as we are, and committed a yet graver sin.
(b). He who ill-treats himself cannot be trusted not to ill-treat others, and he who oppresses is an oppressor whether he oppresses himself or others. It is impossible that God should do this. Let the earth, the heavens and everything in existence be utterly destroyed rather than attribute to the wise and just Creator an act of oppression, either to Himself or to others!
(c). We read in the Scriptures, contrary to the teachings of the church, that when the time of the death of Jesus was near, he withdrew from His disciples to a garden near by and, kneeling down on the ground, prayed earnestly, saying: “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me.” And when
he found it impossible, He said: “Nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done” (Luke 22, 42); plainly showing that He did not will to drink the cup of death and did not offer Himself for it. “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Were this true that He was so anxious to escape death, how can we say that of His own will and accord He was crucified, even for the sake of humanity?
Third — To lay a veil over the words of the Scriptures the church explains this by saying: “Granted that Jesus went to the garden, knelt down and, earnestly prayed to be spread the pains of His death; this occurred on account of the weakness of His human and not of His divine nature. The latter could not be crucified, or suffer pain. He had the same flesh as we have, and the flesh is weak.”
This doctrine is untenable as the former, and for the following reasons:
a). By this doctrine they degrade the great Master by attributing to Him a cowardly act which represents Him to have been a great deal weaker than many of His disciples, who boldly and with joy offered themselves to the bitterest death; although they had earthly fathers of common clay while, according to them, Jesus’ Father was a celestial one — the Holy Ghost. (Though, in this respect, our Christian theologians seem to imitate the old Grecians who deprived their heroes of their earthly fathers and attributed to
them celestial ones, yet they unwisely differ from them by representing Jesus to have been weaker than the common man; while the Grecians taught that their heroes were possessed of unusual beauty of form, strength and courage, and performed many daring and marvelous feats impossible to those of human paternity.)
(b). By this doctrine they really and plainly impute a serious sin to Jesus, the Christ; for, were it
true that He indeed knew that through His death millions of souls should be saved, that He had been sent for this very purpose, and yet, when the great moment arrived for the accomplishment of His mission, He, because of the weakness of His human flesh, begged, with intense agony, that it might not be fulfilled; and, since yielding to weakness is wrong (all our mistakes and sins being the direct result thereof ), we must conclude that by yielding to that weakness, Jesus committed a sin graver than ours, for, because of His divine nature, which we do not possess, He had more help than we have, and if He were a sinner He cannot be a Saviour.
(c). If the death of Jesus happened to and affected only the flesh (which was as weak as ours), and not His divine nature, and if we admit that it was solely for the redemption of the sinful, we must conclude that Jesus was not able to redeem more than a single sinner, i. e., one body was killed for another (condemned) body and, therefore, the death of Jesus was not to redeem all mankind, because justice is not sat-
isfied by putting to death one human being instead of millions and millions who are condemned to die. Suppose that in a jail are fifty persons who, by law, are condemned to die; could the death of one other person save them all? What law ever did or would allow that?
(d). Had Jesus come for the purpose of redemption. He would not have been so anxious to avoid death, but would have welcomed it gladly. Had He come to die for sinners He would have met death bravely and with a triumphant smile. Can we believe that if He knew His mission was to redeem sinners — that He was to die for them and then, on the third day after His death, He should rise into eternal glory and happiness — He would have wept and prayed so earnestly that the cup might be removed from Him? Did He regret that He had made the offer and become afraid of a death which was to last only three days? Impossible! Without doubt there are many men, any one of whom would consent to undergo even the death
on the cross for no greater reward than to ascertain and know what death is and what is beyond the grave, provided he could, to a certainty, know beforehand that he would, on the third day thereafter, return to
life in better physical condition than ever before. And how much greater would be the inducement could he
also know that by passing through this experience, he would become the Redeemer of the world and, as the Son of God, be destined to sit at the right hand of His Father and judge the quick and the dead!
Fourth. — A careful reading of the teachings of Jesus, as they appear in the four gospels, does not show that He taught that the special object of His coming into the world was the redemption of mankind through His death. That His disciples were entirely ignorant of this teaching is plainly shown by their conduct when two of them came and asked that they might sit, the one on His right hand and the other on His left, in His kingdom. Had Peter known that his Master’s main purpose was to die for sinners, would he have drawn his sword and fought in His defense when the officers came to arrest Him? If redemption were the aim and purpose of His coming, surely He Would have fully explained it to His followers, as all the prophets and apostles sent from God clearly and unequivocally taught to their adherents the peculiar character of their mission. Jesus also plainly taught to His disciples His special mission, as will clearly be shown in the following pages.
Thus it appears that neither Jesus nor His disciples knew that redemption was His mission, but, more than two centuries after His death, it was discovered by the fathers of the church and their scribes, who, as Will be seen, corrupted the gospels and invented a new system of Christianity and a new method for the salvation of humanity, in direct opposition to the teachings of the Master about the way of salvation.
Fifth. — Some theologians, in excusing Jesus for His weak action, say that at that time, when Jesus realized His approaching death, He was overwhelmed
by the great weight of the punishment which fell on Him for the sins of the human race and felt that He was separated from God, and on this account cursed, as being the scapegoat; and the awful effect of this feeling was sufficient to put Him in such great agony that He begged that the cup might be removed. We cannot grant this explanation, for the following reasons:
(a). The teaching of the church that the weight of the punishment fell on Jesus while He was on the cross, and that our sins were nailed to His cross precludes the idea that it could have fallen on Him while in the garden, for the effect of the punishment takes place only at the time of the execution and not it any time prior thereto. Can we say that a patient, whose flesh is to be cut by a surgeon, suffers the pains of the cutting before the operation? While Jesus was in the garden He was not yet on the cross. Suppose, also, that by any means Jesus had been rescued from His captors and saved alive; would His suffering in the garden have availed anything toward the redemption of humanity?
(b). The realization of approaching death was not a surprise to Jesus, that it should have had such in overwhelming effect upon Him, for, according to their teaching, He realized it long before and, indeed, had offered Himself and came for that very purpose. Had He not sooner realized it, that would prove first, that His offer was not genuine, having been made in ignorance and without proper realization; and second, that He is not God nor the second part of Him, for
God is perfect in knowledge and realizes the future as well as the past.
(c). If Jesus really felt that He was separated from the Father, the teaching of the church cannot be true, for they teach that He is the second person of God and that they are one, making the separation an impossibility; for if they are one, they cannot be divided or separated and His feeling of separation was an error of imagination. But if He really was separated and His feeling was true, He cannot be one with the Father; and Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not one. And if the meaning of the separation be the separation of the Divine Nature from the human nature and that the sufferings of Jesus were merely ordinary human sufferings, the conclusion must he that they are valueless, for no one can, by ordinary human suffering, be saved from everlasting hell.
Sixth. — It is an established principle that he who offers himself to redeem another, must take upon himself the same sentence and undergo the same punishment and suffering which the redeemed should have undergone; and as, according to the doctrines of the church, the punishment of the sinner is an everlasting hell, we must conclude that, as a matter of justice, if Jesus were really sent to redeem sinners, He should have assumed their sentence and undergone their punishment — everlasting hell. But we read in the gospels that after three days' interment he arose, ascended to heaven and sat on the right hand of the Father. Is it just that, if a man is indebted for a hundred dollars,
some one else may come and pay only one cent and thus discharge the entire debt ? Or, were he justly sentenced to life imprisonment for crime, would the judge and the law be satisfied by putting one else in his place one minute as a full remission of the sentence?
Seventh. — A slight reflection in regard to the teaching of the church that Jesus is the Almighty God — “Very God, of very God,” and, being very loving to the human race, and desiring to save them and forgive them their sins, did not find any means to do it other than to take the human form and offer Himself to the death on the cross and become a curse (as in Gal. 3, 13: “ — having become a curse for us,") that He may be able to pay their debts and save them — will show it to be most inconsistent and absurd. Were God the Creditor and human beings the debtors, and the Creditor being merciful and loving and desirous to forgive the debtors, is it reasonable or consistent to assume that He was unable to absolve them from their debts without punishing Himself, without killing His second part, the Son, and without cursing Himself? Would it be wise of your creditor, however generous and merciful, to punish himself, commit Suicide or offer his son to die and become a curse, that you might be relieved ? No! He will freely forgive you from his simple mercy, without committing any such unwise and unnecessary action.
Eighth. — Neither of those books of Moses which contain the commandments and laws (which. according
to the teachings of the church, we have broken, wherefore the Christ came to redeem us from everlasting lasting hell), discloses any trace whatever of anything relating to either eternity or paradise, nor to eternal happiness as a reward for obedience, nor to destruction nor eternal punishment for disobedience. What it does teach is simply that people reap that which they sow; i. e., if they obey the law they will be happy and prosper; but if they disobey the law they will meet with calamities, reverses and misfortunes, and will not prosper.
This being the case, why was redemption necessary? What was its use? Christ did not come to relieve us of the calamities of this world, nor of the death of the body; and, according to the commands and laws of those books, whatsoever punishment is to be inflicted is to be suffered here on this earth and not hereafter elsewhere. It is evident that redemption is not at all necessary; that the law was mercifully and graciously given to us to insure our comfort in this world, so that we would not abuse or ill-treat ourselves; and that if we disobey it we reap the results here.
Ninth. — One of the fundamental principles which the church believes and teaches is, that every one of the human race is a sinner by heritage; i. e., every one of us has inherited, from our father Adam, the same sin which he committed by eating from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. If this be true, it also is of necessity true that Jesus was a sinner like all His brothers and sisters of the human race,
for He is one of them; He is the son of Adam, as well as of David and, naturally, inherited the same sin as we did. Now, how could He be a Saviour while a sinner like every one else?
The fathers of the church, who fabricated the story of inherited sin, deemed it necessary to deprive Jesus of His earthly father that He might be free from this stain; but, unfortunately for the credibility of their story, they left to Him a mother, thinking and believing in those dark ages, that the mother — the woman — was of no consequence; thus plainly showing their ignorance and that they had corrupted the spiritual teachings of God to suit their false ideas. To deprive Jesus of His earthly father cannot change facts, for, if there is an inherited sin, He had inherited it from His mother, Mary.
But the truth is, there is no inherited sin. The just God through His prophets whom He sent to herald to us His commands and His will, has taught us that every soul is responsible for itself; none is responsible for any other. Ezek. 18, 20: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The Son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father hear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” The same in substance is taught both in the Mosaic law and by the prophet Jeremiah. Will any one, knowing this presume to say either that the wickedness of the wicked is on our great Master Jesus, the Christ, or that we inherited sin from our father Adam?
Tenth. — Suppose, according to the doctrine of the church, that Jesus did come to redeem the whole world and that he who truly, and fully believes in Him and leads a good life will freely obtain eternal happiness through His (Jesus’) blood, and that he who does not believe in Him and does not lead a good life will be cast away into everlasting hell, where the blood of Jesus can do him no good. Such doctrine leads to the following conclusions:
(a). As salvation embraces only those having faith and leading a good life, the blood of Jesus does not save the whole world, but only a part of it.
(b). In itself alone the blood of Jesus has no real value and no one could possibly be saved solely through it, as salvation depends entirely on belief on Him and the consequent performance of good deeds. Had the blood possessed the value attributed to it by these teachers, it would save all mankind, whether their deeds were good or evil.
(c). Salvation could not be freely obtained by the blood of Jesus, because it wholly depends on faith and consequent good deeds, and as faith is no more than a moral act, salvation depends entirely on good deeds. It is impossible to entirely harmonize these directly conflicting theories; it is wholly irrational. How can one reasonably and truly say to his friend, “I give to you this apple freely, “ and at the same time not only charge him five cents for it, but charge some one else another five cents for the same apple ? God promised salvation gratuitously — with out price; but those teach-
ers claim that He wants two prices for it —the blood of His Son Jesus and also our good deeds — at the same time that it is given to us freely! Reason at once shows this to be contradictory and ill-founded; that it is built upon an irrational and untenable basis.
Eleventh. — Admitting the teachings of the church that, although God had promised to forgive us solely from His mercy, yet, as payment therefor, He requires from us our good deeds and also from His innocent Son Jesus, His blood, we arrive it the following conclusions:
(a). That God promised to save us freely, but did not fulfill His promise and thus failed to keep His word. It is a blasphemy, on our part, to attribute such a thing to Him.
(b). That although He is merciful, yet, in this instance, He did not treat us mercifully, for He made us pay good deeds as a price foil our salvation.
(c). That He did not treat His Son with either justice or mercy, because He required from Him His blood as a sacrifice for our salvation and it the same time had no mercy on Him, as He unpityingly offered Him to death.
Twelfth. — The most perverse teaching of the church is that God, the Almighty, as His is second person, the Son, descended from heaven to earth, took the flesh of man that He might be able to sympathize with us, and, by suffering, to learn obedience; and thus gain the experience of our weakness and our defects!
By believing and following these teachings, they imply that He is not perfect in knowledge and, on account of this lack of understanding our weakness, He came to gain this lesson of experience; also that He was not perfect in mercy and took the lesson that He might become properly able to sympathize with us. Another inference drawn from their teaching is that, by taking the flesh, He learned obedience through suffering and so perfected Himself and became, in reality, a perfect God, as it is stated in the manufactured epistle to the Hebrews, 5, 8-9: “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became came the Author of eternal salvation,” etc. From these teachings it seems that God was so much benefited and so much elevated by coming to this earth that, as soon as He returned to heaven, He took a position higher in honor and degree thin that of His servants, the angels; Heb. 1, 4: “Having become, by so much, better than the angels,” etc. Was He, then, before coming to this earth, disobedient and lower than the angels?
Thirteenth. — To prove that Jesus died for the whole world, the church teaches that we were crucified with Him; that His body was the nucleus of all the bodies of mankind from the time of the creation to the day of judgment, and that “whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.” They declare that Jesus was God and that God is in all, hence everybody was crucified with Jesus.
From this theory it appears that every individual is a part, or member, of the body of Jesus and that all would have been saved if all had believed on Him. But the Scriptures state that the greater part of mankind have failed to believe on Him and therefore have perished. Hence we are forced to conclude that one part of the body of Jesus is saved and in heaven, while the greater part of it has perished and is in an everlasting hell; that His death was ineffectual and incomplete, inasmuch as He was unable to save all mankind (His own body). Every sensible person should be ashamed to either listen to or teach such absurd and illogical doctrine.
If it be true that Jesus is God, the Almighty, and “He is in all and through all,” who “came to this earth, took our flesh and suffered agony, even the bitter death — the death of the cross.” to save His body, i. e., the whole human race, and failed, saving but a small portion of it, we must conclude that He undertook an enterprise greater than He could accomplish and, after struggling earnestly to save His whole body, failed, and by His failure proved His weakness; being unable to save more than the smallest part of it? God forbid; it is not true! All these teachings are invented by man, and contrary to what Jesus Himself taught, as shown in the gospels.
Some may ask: Did not God, through His prophets, command the sacrifice of animals for the forgiveness of sin? and if not so, how was it introduced into the Scriptures? for we find the Old Testament is full
of it, and the church teaches that those sacrifices and offerings were a prophecy and type of the sacrifice and death of Jesus for us.
First. — A careful study of the Bible fails to show that God ever commanded His prophets to tell the people to present to Him sacrifices of animals or burnt offerings, but, on the contrary, He did command them to say that such acts are forbidden and not pleasing to Him nor required of them.
See Isa. 1, 10-14: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah: To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord; I am full of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats. When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth; they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to hear them.” Psa. 4, 5: “Offer the sacrifice of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.” Psa. 140, 6: “ Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened; burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required.” Psa. 51, 16-I7: “For Thou desirest not sacrifices, else would I give it; Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God
The history of the Oriental people shows that these customs were introduced into religious ceremonies for the following reasons: The kings and rulers of these people, to satisfy their pride and vanity, had a very barbarous and cruel method of celebrating their victories and honors, by slaying their captives of war, on entering the captured cities of the country which they invaded. The prisoners were ranged on either side of the city gate and the moment when the king put his foot within the walls was the appointed time for the execution of the wretched captives.
But if those rulers entered a city or house in time of peace, the host, in honor thereof, would, instead of the captives, slay some animals, which then were roasted; and the king or ruler would partake of a portion of the roasted meat, as a sign of peace to that city or house that he visited. A remnant of this ancient custom lingers in the Oriental countries to this day; for instance, when the khedive of Egypt deigns to pay a visit to a city or a high personage of his subjects