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Lyman Abbott.

Christ is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & online

. (page 3 of 19)
Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 3 of 19)
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surface of the earth, that the sun might cause piu-e watery



EXISTENCE OF GOD 27

vapoui*, in large quantities, to ascend out of the seas, to give
variety above, and shower down pure water upon the thirsty
soil throughout the earth, and provide running streams for the
sustenance of every living thing. The salt adapted to the
water, and the briny seas adapted to the extent of the
aabitable land — ^marvellous evidence of one grand unity of
design !

And behold how many things are necessary to the existence
of every living thing. First, the existence ol the living God,
the wise Creator ; then are necessaiy the sun, and moon, and
earth ; then the motions of the earth, and the motion of the
moon ; then that the earth should be habitable ; then of the
air we breathe ; then of the briny seas of great extent
to produce clouds, that streams and springs of pxire water
throughout the habitable land might give sustenance to every
living thing, and that the soil might be pulverized and moistened
frequently, neither to be too long dry nor too long wet ; the
hills and the valleys, that there might be streams and springs ;
then the heat and cold, day and night ; and next the seasons.
Then that vegetation should have power to grow and multiply,
that part might be food, and part as ornaments to the habitable
land, to give it beauty ; then that living creatures shoiild be able
to see, or feel, or hear, or move, and have growth, and have
power to multiply their species ; those intended for the briny
seas adapted to the seas ; those intended for the streams adapted
to the streams ; those intended to walk, or creep, or bore, adapted
to the earth ; and those intended for the air furnished with
wings ; all necessities of existence, as necessary as birth into the
world ; as necessary as that living things should feed for a time
then disappear from the face of the earth, that the earth
might not be crowded ; but not more necessary than that God
should love us, and pity our follies, and seek to enlighten us by
giving ua His Holy Scriptures, and toiich our hearts while
tracing out the evidence of His wisdom and His love.



28 EVIDENCES OF THE

Everything upon this earth is as harmoniously made as are
the sun, moon, and stars,
sun, moon, and stars.

Consider these things, oh man ! and commune with thine
heart respecting these wondrous acts of God !

And behold ! the moon designedly placed exactly at the
proper distance from the earth and maintained therej producing
with the sun, — winds, rain-clouds, and ocean-tides, that vegeta-
tion might receive moisture, and that neither air nor the waters
might corrupt, nor become stagnant ; neither too far away nor
too near, that the winds may neither be too little nor too great,
nor the rains, nor the tides.

And behold ! the earth designedly placed exactly at the most
suitable distance from the sun, and maintained there throughout
all ages, that the extremes of heat and cold might not be too
great for the life of living creatures. The moon and earth and
sun, varying in their distances the one from the other just so
much as to produce a pleasant variety between year and year —
God not permitting the moon to come nearer to the round earth
that it may not again be deluged with water, so that the living
■creatures upon the face of the earth may not again be destroyed,
nor permitting the round earth to go so near the vast burning
sun as to be utterly consumed by fire, nor too far away as that
all things that have life should not lose life by cold. Man has
no fear, believing that He who designed and made them also
governs them, tlierefore confidently makes his arrangements
for the morrow.

And behold ! the motions of the round earth and the motions
of the moon around the earth are in exact obedience to certain
fixed laws. Now understand, oh man ! and keep it always m
thy remembrance — where there are laws there must be design.
Every living creature exists in accordance with certain fixed
laws — laws that are unchangeable ; all things that are inanimate
are made according to certain other fixed laws.

These laws are those of chemistry, the law of mechanics, the



EXISTENCE OP GOD. 29

law of life and death, and the like. Well, who made those
laws — all plain evidences of unity of design, not one clashing
with another, but all graduating most harmoniously one into
another 1 Man has not made one ; he has simply very imper-
fectly discovered a few which God has laid down — discovering
them as he discovers grains of gold beneath the surface of the
earth. Well, who made those laws which exhibit wisdom in-
finitely superior to the wisdom of man 1

The author of those laws is God Himself, the great unseen
Being, our loving Father, our wise Creator.

And consider, oh man ! this round earth in which we live is
about 24,000 miles round — a round ball turning once upon its
axis during twenty-four hours, never varying, never backward
nor forward, but completes one turn exactly every twenty-four
hours, thereby producing one day and one night, the outer part
exposed to the light of the sun being the day thereof, and the
outer part that is not shone upon by the sun being the night
thereof Men stand upon the round earth with their feet pulled
towards its centre, like pins stuck towards the centre of a ball.
Every man, the waters of the ocean, everything on the surface
of the round earth, therefore, travels through a space of about
1000 miles every hour ; nevertheless, God has so contrived that
this rapid motion should make no noise, and to the things of
the round earth be as though it were motionless.

A wondrous act of God ! but not more wondrous than any of
His other works — every living creature, every living plant as
marvellous — exhibiting design, power, and wisdom beyond the
comprehension of man !

Friend ! hast thou studied with the microscope the wondrous
wisdom of God as revealed in the marvellously small and innu
merable living creatures that exist unseen to the unassisted eye
— in like manner as the air we breathe and as God Himself is
unseen — which are as active, full of hfe, feel pleasure and pain,
and as fearful of danger as thyself 1 Invisible to the naked eye,



30 EVIDENCES OP THE

requiring a microscope to see them, the greater the power of tho
microscope the greater the number of minute living creatures
are revealed, revealing to the wondering eyes the creative power
of God extended to living creatures illimitable in their minute-
ness.

And behold, oh man ! the cloudless starry firmament, the
handiwork of God. View with thine eyes the countless stars ;
are they not glorious 1 Behold the thin white clouds that are
here and there interspersed far, far away amid the stars. Take
to thyself a telescope, and note well, that what appeared to thine
unassisted eyes as thin white clouds, the telescope reveals as
clusters of stars innumerable, immensely distant ; and lo ! with
thy telescope thou canst see other thin white clouds unseen
before by thine unassisted eyes. Take yet a second telescope,
the most powerful man has made, and behold ! these second white
clouds are also clusters of stars innumerable ; and lo ! elsewhere
come to view other third white clouds so immensely distant as
to be unseen by the first telescope, these also are clusters of
stars innumerable, but there is no telescope able to distinguish
them ; yet each of these starry balls which reflect the brilhant
electric light of the sun are several thousands of miles in
diameter, and there is a vacuous space of many millions of miles
between each star and its nearest neighbour. The telescopes of
man reveal millions of stars that are invisible to the unassisted
eye, so distant as to be like bright pin-points, so numerous and
apparently close together as the particles of sand upon a sandy
shore.

The more man searches into space the gi'eater marvels he
beholds, enticing him to search more deeply stUl. His' most
powerful microscopes leave stiU unrevealed the actual size of
the most minute living creature God has made ; his most powei -
ful telescope equally leaves um*evealed the actual extent of the
starry firmament. The wisest man is confounded at both ex-
tremes. It is equally beyond the power of man to comprehend



EXISTENCE OP GOD. 31

the vastness of the starry firmament as to comprehend the
minuteness of an atom, or to comprehend the internal collective
weight of the countless stars, or to comprehend the weight of
an atom of that electric heat which is constantly poured into
our round world from the vast burning sun.

The wise man is filled with awe by these revelations of the
infinite wisdom, power and goodness of God. He feels his
littleness in the presence of One so mighty in all things ; but
the fool, thoughtless, void of understanding — apparently as a
* four-footed beast, imaware of his littleness — is conceited, re-
fuses to bow the knee and worship the wondrous unseen God,
but is afraid of spirits, that have no existence, that never did
exist, being like heathen mythology, the stupid inventions of
cunning men. Or a working man, for a livelihood, makes an
image of a man upon a cross — an image, having a head, body,
legs, arms, fingers, and toes, the same as has the brute gorilla ;
a priest of the Papacy — a false, impious sect, followers of adul-
terated Scripture — makes a stupid sign over it; a fool is taught
from his infancy to regard it (in consequence of the false priest
making the stupid sign) as a sacred image, and as a likeness of
God ; and is taught to use it as a necessary part of his worship,
to carry it about his person ; he bows down before it, uttering
prayers ; venerates it as a holy thing, kisses it, fondly clasping
it as his eyes close in death ; — deceived through life by the
priest and his own thoughtlessness, as though God and His
Glorious Son had never been revealed i — a lost soul for ever 1



32

CHAPTER V.

Why we cannot see God.

GOD in His wisdom has made the eyes of all living earthly
creatures so that we can neither see the air we breathe,
nor see Him, nor that invisible living cloud, the Holy Spirit of
God, which, proceeding from God, and being part of Himself
(in like manner as the wings of a bird proceed from its body) *"
is evei'ywhere throughout space.

If He were visible, the great and vivid light of His Holy
Person would perpetually obscure the infinitely lesser light of
the vast burning sun, nor would the moon nor countless stars
be seen, nor change of seasons. God's great light and Holy
Spirit would obscure all other things, and blind our eyes.
The living creatures in this world are differently constituted to
the holy angels in heaven ; what to them is life, would to us
be death. It was, therefore, a necessity that the eyes of living
creatures should be unable to see God. In the place of His
intense light He has given man and aU earthly things the in-
finitely lesser light of the bui-ning sun, the candle of the stany
skies ; for no unholy living creature is permitted to see the
light that comes from the Person of God Himself God has.
provided earthly things with a temporary substitute for Him-
self in the vast burning sun which He made for the purpose.

God made the sun to be a large, dense, cold ball, which
slowly burns on the outside (like as a candle bums), and gives
light and warmth. He has made it of that hardest and densest
of all substances, latent heat, which is heat in a state of rest,
therefore having no warmth.

This substance is constantly maintained by the power of
God in a state of unrest on the surface of the sun, being there
converted from a cold solid into a thin fiery gas, which, being



WHY WE CANNOT SEE GOD. 33

strongly attracted by tlie earth, moon, and stars, flies to them ;
a portion enters the outside of the round earth, and there
combines, more or less, with everything, in accordance with a
law of God, giving warmth ; then becoming rested, solidifies,
becoming cold as when forming part of the sun. The surface
of the earth, therefore, always contains more latent heat than
the interior of the earth : the nearer to the centre of the
earth, the greater is the difference. This difference in the
quantity of latent heat causes a strong attractive force be-
tween that which has much and that which has less : — this
pulling force towards the fixed centre of the earth men call
weight.

What God is to the heavenly soul of man, the inanimate
sun is to his body, and to all things of the earth. Without
the sun, neither man, nor any living creature, nor vegetation,
nor hills, nor valleys, nor the earth, nor the moon, 'nor the
stars could exist. It liquifies and solidifies all the things we
see. Without it they would be gas, as befoi-e the creation.
It maintains vitality in all living creatures, and in vegetation ;
produces their food, lights and warms them with its direct rays,
and warms them with its active heat that emanates from the
latent heat, in coal, in wood, in oil and fat ; produces vivification
and change in all things ; produces the wood, the stone, and
solid metals, and is the only source of weight. What the main
spring is to a clock, the sun is to all things that our eyes can
see. It is the mainspring of the starry firmament. As man
fashions the mainspring of a watch, so God fashioned that great
inanimate mainspring, the sun ; making the sun, the moon, the
stars, the earth, and all things therein, subsidiaiy to the soul
of man ; for God made them all for the sake of man, to provide
him with a glorious habitation — glorious within and glorious
without

The eyes of man, although far reaching, are imperfect — they
cannot see through a brick or solid stone wall, or through any

c



3* WHY WE CANNOT SEE GOD.

opaque substance ; neither can they see the air we breathe and
in which we Uve, nor see self-will ; nevertheless, common sense
tells us we have self-will, and that we move in the midst of air ;
because when the air is in motion we see the driven clouds, our
garments are blown about us, dust, leaves, and other substances
are whirled before it, and the wide waters are lashed into great
waves. We thus se^ the effects produced by air in motion,
although we cannot see the air itseif ; so in like manner we can
see the evidences of God's handiwork, although we cannot see
God Himself.

We cannot see God, but everywhere we see the works of
His hands — the sun, the moon, the countless stars, and all the
wondrous contents of our round world ; in like manner as in
our houses we see the works that men have made, yet those men
are not visible to us ; nevertheless we feel assured, by our
Knowledge of the world, that our chairs and tables were made
by man, and not by four-footed beasts. So in like manner we
can distinguish the works which God has made from those which
are the handiwoi'k of man.

Moreover God is the perfection of holiness, is perfectly
righteous, is goodness itself; hating with intense hatred
every kind of idolatry and wickedness, therefore hating the
iniquity of man, keeping His holy Person far away from
them that it may be undefiled, yet taking great interest in
man, and yearning like as a tender loving mother yearns
for her absent child, because distributed among mankind is
the soul of Adam, which originally having come from Himself,
and having been redeemed by His glorious Son, is holy in His
sight, and which He yearns to collect together, and carry into
heaven.

Friend, thou hast perhaps seen those great travelling burn-
ing suns, the comets, that have visited the starry firmanent of
late years. They came you know not whence, approached our
round earth at a velocity of many millions of miles each day ;



WHY WE CANNOT SEE GOD. 35

their speed gradually became lessened, and eventually turned
away before reaching us ; and then gradually accelerating theur
speed, vanished from our unassisted eyes, and afterwards from
our most powerful telescopes, while travelling at several millions
of miles each hour, you know not where ; finally becoming too
minute to be seen, owing to their immense distance — a great
invisible living Being silently guiding their w^ay amid the count-
less stars, without disturbing them, without noise, silent ; again
to re-appear after an interval of many years, giving proofs to
the thoughtful of an immeasurable space our eyes cannot
reach.

It is in the midst of this immeasurable space which sm-rounds
the starry skies, that the dwelling of God is fixed — the heaven
of infinite space, its centre. He is there in full glory, God in
a condensed state as a living Being, seen by His glorious Son
and His happy angels; but his holy Spirit, a part of Himself
(like as the wings of a bird are part of the bird), an invisible
living cloud, fills all else of space ; so that He is everywhere, and
His glorious Son, the happy angels, and all things, live and
move and exist in this invisible living cloud surrounding them
(as the waters of the sea surround the fishes in the sea), and
guiding the motions of the vast burning sun, the moon, the count
less stars, the comets, and this round earth ; and seeing the move-
ments, and hearing the words, and knowing the secret thoughts
of all men ; for this invisible living cloud is as it were all eyes
and all ears. God is the living sun of heaven. "What the inanimate
sun is to the starry skies, and to this round earth, God is to the
he wens which surround the starry skies ; saturating with His
living light and love and joy, His glorious Son and all the
holy angels of heaven.

We cannot see the Holy Person of God in the heaven of the
staiTy firmament where he dwells, because He is too far ofi" for
om* eyes to reach Him ; in like manner as we cannot see the
distant comets. Moreover it is His holy desire we should not see



36 WHY WE CANNOT SEE GOD.

Him, nor can we see His Holy Spirit, the living invisible cloud
that is everywhere, and in which we live and move. Nevertheless
our common sense tells us He is everywhere, because we see the
moon, the stars, and this round earth moving so harmoniously,
nothing ever going wrong ; spring, summer, autumn, and winter
following each other with great regularity, and the inanimate
sun giving growth and change to all the wondrous things on
the siu-face of the earth.

Common sense, therefore, proclaims there is a mighty living
Being whom men call God.



CHAPTER VI.

Proofs that God has Communicated with Man.

COMMON sense would naturally expect that this mighty living
God having endowed man with greater intelligence than
any other living creature (for which of them besides man is
capable of deep thought, of speech, of writing, of reading, of
acquiring information, and of giving it), should have created
the first man, Adam, the human father of all mankind, for some
special purpose, and should have made Himself known to Adain,
the most intelligent of all things that He had made, in order to
explain to him the special purpose for which he was created.
This God did to Adam when he made Him.

In Adam were the living germs of every male and female
descendant of Adam : all who have Hved and may hereafter
Uve. Consider, oh man ! a seed of wheat ; from one seed thoxi
canst, oh man ! as thou knowest, produce millions of other
like seed. How minute must be the living germ in each seed,
and how marvellously minute must have been the living germ
in the wheat which God first created, and which has now con-



PROOFS THAT GOD HAS COMMUNICATED WITH MAK. 37

tinued to live for about 6000 years — for the living principle is
in the seed and not in the gi'ound, which simply gives it food
wherewith to be sustained : therefore, as is the seed so is the
plant, and so is the living creature.

God enshrined in the living body of Adam a pure living
soul — an invisible living cloud, which, being invisible, yet alive,
was therefore like God — by breathing it into the nostrils of the
living flesh and blood of Adam, which God had just before made,
and the twain —

1. The invisible living soul

2. The visible flesh and blood

were called the man Adam. To Adam only God gave these
two lives ; to all other living creatures He gave but one life —
the life of the flesh and blood. This is the hey of wisdom. Be-
hold, oh man ! in the brute gorilla an image of thyself, as thy-
self would be if thou hadst not a soul — that jewel from heaven,
in which only thou art like God.

God created every kind of living creature before He created
Adam — he, the eai-thly lord of all the round earth, was
created the last. Other living creatui'es were cmated, male and
female, a pair of every kind : the male equal to the female, and
the female equal to the male : man alone, for God's wise pur-
poses, and in accordance with His grand simple plan, He made
male, that, as part of His gTeat plan, there might be but one
earthly lord of the whole earth. Adam was the last of all
things which God created. But God designed that the one
earthly lord, Adam, should, like all other creatures, have a help-
mate worthy of him ; and, causing Adam to fall into a deep
sleep, He caused the beauteous female infant, Eve, to issue
from a rib of Adam. Thus was Eve the first of all horn crea-
tures, and thus did Eve have no mother : in like manner, as in
long years afterwards, the holy Christ had no father.

Out of Adam was horn the infant Eve, that Adam might be
the one earthly lord, and the one earthly father of all mankind.



38 PROOFS THAT GOD

Some time afterwards Eve became Adam's wife, and the mother
of all mankind. The man Adam, and the female Eve were
perfectly happy, and in constant communion with God, keeping
the desires of their bodies wholly subject to their holy souls.
They were as brother and sister, perfectly happy, as are th^
angels in heaven ; for they then had God always with them,
communing with them and teaching them. They were therefore
wiser than all their descendants in all things which conduced
to their happiness, And all the other living creatures were per-
fectly happy — the lion and the lamb resting together, eating
herbage. There was no fear in all the world. The Lord God
having taught them all that was requisite for them to know,
was desirous of testing these the chief of all living earthly
, things ; and warning them to keep their bodies, their earthly
part, in entire subjection to their souls, their heavenly part,
declaring that disobedience to His commands would entail mi-
sery upon them — God left them pui'posely for awhile.

The withdrawal of God induced the rebellion of their flesh
and blood, for the temptations of the body overcame the con-
science of the soul, and they fell from being holy earthly angels
into being angels of sin ; for after God had withdrawn Himself,
the woman Eve saw the serpent doing that which the Lord
God commanded them not to do, the serpent not having been
forbidden, because it was a beast of the field. Eve also did it ;
and tempting Adam, he also did it — and thus both disobeyed
God — the first of all living creatures that dared to disobey Him.

Thus was that terrible thing, disobedience to the com-
mands of God, brought into the world ; and thus was the hap-
piness of the world wrecked. God foreknew that the one earthly
lord, Adam, would disobey Him ; and God, therefore, in His
great fore-ordained plan had provided an everlasting antidote, in
the person of His Son Jesus Christ, for the salvation of the
living soul of Adam ; of that one soul, part whereof has been
in every one of his descendants, and part whereof stiU hves in



HAS COMMUNICATED WITH MAN. 39

every Immun beingnow alive, having now attained an age of about
6000 years. Therefore, oh my brother ! and yon, oh my sister !
Hft up thy voices prayerfully and thankfully to God, for thy
earthly misei-y is but for a little while, and then thou wilt be
joyous with God in heaven for ever.

God condenmed the flesh and blood of Adam, and the flesh
and blood of his descendant Eve, and the flesh and blood of all
his other descendants — to live for a time and then ignominiously
return, like brute beasts, to the dust whence they were taken.
God declared his intention to cease communing with them, for
they had polluted their immortal souls and had become angels
of sin ; but mercifully to mollify their anguish (for keenly they
then knew what it was to be good and what to be evil), God fore-
told that although the dreadful sin of disobedience required the
death of the soul of man, as well as the death of his body, yet
God had provided an all-sufiicient substitute for the salvation


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Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 3 of 19)