« PreviousContinue »
flicting and vague interpretations of Nature and Revelation, which are proffered as more perfect means of redemption than God has revealed in his Holy Word. From this cause arises confirmed opposition to all who believe in the Lord Jesus as the Savior of Sinners.
Prayer is ridiculed as the height of religious delusion; the Bible represented as an imperfect, compend of the notions of undeveloped and half civilized men,--the imperfect sketches of semibarbarous spiritualists, or a book of unchaste legends, unworthy of confidence in this age of superior light and revelation.
Denying the Divinity of Jesus Christ, it is affirmed that nature, and modern clairvoyant and necromantic teachings, afford ample means for intellectual and spiritual improvement; and that all former knowledge is the mere semblance of truth. Therefore, past Revelations compared to the present, are as the falling husks from the substantial kernel, or the separation of diseased bodies from the pure spirit.
Does not this opposition to the Christian Religion confirm the truth of the Bible, the very Word opposed, and also fulfill those Scriptures which refer to the latter day? saying, “There were false prophets also among the people, as there shall be false teachers among you, who shall privily bring in damnable heresies even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction, and many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of which the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. For the spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared as with a hot iron. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all deceitfulness and uurighteousness in them that perish.
Could prophecy have been more explicit in the delineation of that power which is now making war with the Bible?
The relation which many sustain to the events of the day indicates the predicted trial. For, while infidelity is bearing the youthful mind by the mysterious agencies, which seem as urgent as unconquerable monsoons, through the channels of religious skepticism to the vortex of death, nominal professors of Christianity are shrinking from the bold declarations of Truth, and error is fostered and substituted for the teachings of the Bible. And no marvel if by the side of the indifferent and their misguided followers the sword of the Spirit should hang in the scabbard of popular applause, or the Gospel banner droop by the cross, while over the chasm existing between Truth and Error, such are bending to place their lips to those of infidels; or that truth should suffer and faith decline, while beneath these inclining forms the masses are allured from the Gospel by the sophistry of false ethics. Woe to the city when her watchmen join hands with besiegers.
Such teachers do not proceed with the keen scalpel of Truth to trace the living nerve, and with a resolute hand to sever the fibres of diseased parts and accumulating fungus?. Neither with a sense of the responsibility of an heavenly embassador, and with the earnestness of divine unction, proclaim the unadulterated and living Oracles of God? Nor by removing the mystic garb obscuring the end of evil, reveals the hideous form of unbelief, and with the pencil of Truth portray the awful abode of the perverted soul in the gloomy regions of the dead—the sphere outwrought by a life of transgression.
Are such built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone? Or do their works liken them to the Israelites, who condemned the meek Nazerene to the cross? and whose fate indicates the final subjugation of all like ecclesiastic polity. Let those who deem the reference foreign or
unjust, unite with us while we raise the fallen curtain which conceals from modern vision the scenes of olden times, and trace the calendar of the past to the memorable day when Jesus of Nazareth preached the kingdom of God with men. In the land of Judea let us pause beneath the shadow of the house of Israel, that we may the more perfectly determine the analogy. And in the gorgeous synagogue and religious parade of the Sanhedrim, let the proud and the . vain of the Nineteenth Century behold their image; and in the hollow worship, the emptiness of their religious show. Or, with the opulent, from their arched terraces observe that strange form moving with the gathering crowd; that personage whose coat, without a seam, does not display the pride of life, the fashion or taste of the worldly wise, whose sandals the dust of the streets cannot harm, who gives audience to the poorest of the sons of men, and with whom there is no respect of persons.
His movements are slow and solemn. His calm demeanor betokens his holy dignity. His regard for the afflicted, who pray “O, thou Son of David, have mercy on us," reveals the emotion of his overflowing soul. And who is this? Echo, from the proud Sanhedrim, answers, “The Nazarene ---the carpenter's son-Jesus, the im. postor ;” while a voice from heaven utters,
6. THIS IS MY BELOVED SON." And the Scriptures answer,
" Amen," His works say, “ Amen;" and the Church Militant, in her humility, from the rack and burning fagot, responds, “Amen." " Jesus of Nazareth is our Saviour, our Life, our hope, and source of everlasting joy. God manifest in the flesh. The King of kings and Lord of lords."
Thus is revealed —and sad to realize— by the Author of Redemption and his professed Israel, the infinite contrast eternally existing between the Spirit of Jesus and Christianity, and the religion of perverted men: and how great the contrast!
The proud Pharisees beneath the emblazoned arch, with mocking mien scorn the humble Nazarene, moving with the masses below.
They, by their polished profession, are whited sepulchres; while Jesus, unpretending and lamb-like, bends over prostrate humanity, wipes tears from weeping eyes, soothes the troubled spirit, and bids the mourner go in
. He, the King of Israel —“God with us”-pities and forgives the guilty, while they cast off and contemn the innocent.
They, receive honor of men and despise the poor; He, the Shepherd, takes the lambs in his arms, protects them from devouring wolves and chilling blasts. They listen to idle flattery, and