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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

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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 5 of 19)
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plagues which smote the cattle and the people throughout tlie
land of Egypt, sparing only the Israelites, so that the Egyptians
being convinced that it was God who was destroying the
Egyptians on behalf of the Israelitish slaves, urgently entreated
Pharaoh to liberate the Israelites from captivity, and let them
depart out of Egypt.

Moses, by command of God, had prepared the Israelites for
their departure on a certain night, and commanded them to eat
certain things in a certain manner, every family by itself, and



52 ESCAPE OF THE ISRAELITES FROM EGYPT.

called this feast the Feast of the Passover, because God had
caused the plagues wherewith He had smitten the Egyptians to
pass over the Israelites without hurting them.

Immediately after this feast the Israelites were congregated
together, all the men, women, and children, with their herds
and flocks, and marched to go out of Egypt. After a little time
Pharaoh repented that he had given his consent to let the
Israelites go out of Egypt, and hastily collecting an army pur-
sued after the escaping Israelites. God caused a thick mist to
intervene between the Israelites and their pursuers, and upon
the arrival of the Israelites on the borders of the Red Sea, a sea
several tens of miles in width, which formed part of the boundary
of Egypt, He caused the Red Sea to open before the Israelites
and form a dry channel across from one side to the other,
and God commanded Moses to lead them across from one side
to the other, enjoining them to be without fear, for God — the
creator of all things, who kept the sun, the moon, the earth,
and stars in their proper places, their guide and protector —
was with them to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians.
The Israelites journeyed safely across, and the dry channel was
purposely left open by God, who foreknew that the Egyptians,
in their eager pursuit after the Israelites, would follow them
along the dry channel. Moses records that when the whole
army of the Egyptians were in the dry channel, pursuing the
Israelites, who had got safely across, God suddenly caused the
waters to rush back into the channel and drowned the Egyptian
army. The Israelites rested in the wilderness, on the side of
the Red Sea, opposite to Egypt, and for a while remained there,
organizing themselves into a nation, under their prophet Moses ;
where God commanded them to remain for forty years. After
the death of Moses God appointed Joshua, and at the end of the
forty years God commanded him and the Israelites to enter and
take possession of the land of Canaan as their national home.

Of the truth of this wonderful narrative the Scriptures teem
with the clearest proofs.



EVIDENCES OF ITS TRUTH. 53

That the mighty God — the creator of the wondrous sun, the
moon, the earth, and stars — could send the plague to smite the
Egyptians, and pass over the Israelites witliout hurting them,
and could cause a thick mist to rise a"hd continue between them
and the Egyptians, and could cause the waters of the Red Sea
to open so as to form a dry channel across from one side to the
other — no man can reasonably doubt ; for what are these small
things to the constant regular motion of the earth, of the moon,
the sun, the planets, and the comets 1 Surely, He who created
them, maintaining them continually in their proper places — He
who created all things, could do those small things — things less
marvellous than the existence of even one living creature !
What proofs have we that God did perform those miracles ?
There are many proofs, even at this gieat distance of time, now
more than 3000 years.

1. The Holy Scriptures were wholly written by Israelites,
The Clu'istian nations of the earth, although hating the
Jews for having crucified the Saviour, are constrained
to accept as true the Holy Scriptures, for well they
know that in no other book has God been revealed.
The miracle of the passage of the Israelites across the
Red Sea is the most prominent and most frequentl}
mentioned by all the holy writers than any of the othei
miracles of God.

2. The Israelites have ever since their being thrust out of
the land of Egypt be^n the most remarkable of all the
nations of the earth. All the prophets were Israelites ;
Christ himself was an Israelite ; these great facts stamp
them as having been the holiest of aU the nations in
the earth. Their laws and observances were derived
through Moses ; no other nation has been so wise in

> imderstanding the existence of God ; no other nation

has been so free from idolatry.

3. Their thorough belief in Moses ; a belief derived not



54 EVIDENCES.

merely from Moses, but also through the testimony
of the many hundreds of thousands who journeyed
with Moses, dryshod, with their flocks and herds,
through the dry *bed of the Red Sea ; which testimony
was handed down from father to son, so that the
Israelites are constrained to believe in the truthfulness
of the miracle.

4. The holiness and truthfulness of Moses and of the

written record of Joshua, who also himself passed
throu.gh the Red Sea dryshod, with Moses and the host
of the Israelites ; also the truthfulness of then- suc-
cessors, who in their writings give the testimony of
other witnesses of the miracle.

5. The prominence given to the miracle in the writings of
the prophets, and by the apostles.

6. The sudden appearance of the Israelites as a free nation

in a strange land across the Red Sea — the strangeness of
their position, their trials, their difficulties, and their
murmurings, being recorded by many historians ; and
their frequent hankerings to return to Egypt, all
demonstrating the suddenness of their fi'eedom.

7. The Israelitish nation has always, since their earliest
records as a nation, been composed of twelve tribes,,
each tribe being descended from one of the twelve sons
of Jacob : they had no national record until their escape
out of the land of Egypt, because not being free men,
but slaves in a country not their own, they had no
existence as a nation, therefore no national record.

8. The Israelites escaped to a land which had the Red Sea,
which is several twenties of miles in width, between
them and Egypt ; journeying with their wives and
children, their flocks and herds, without leaving one
behind in Egypt ; testifying that a miracle must have
been performed by God, to have enabled so large a host
safely to cross the wide waters.



EVIDENCES. 55

9. Thiuk you, oh mau ! that the wondrous prophecies of
Moses, of Isaiah, and of the other prophets, concerning
the advent of Christ, could have been so accurately
foretold, except through the intervention of God ? Ai'e
not those prophecies as wondrous as the formation of a
dry channel through the Red Sea ? Thou knowest, oh
man ! thou canst not prophesy, for only holy, good, and
trutliful worshippers of God are His messengers ; there-
fore Moses must have been holy, good, and a truthful
worshipper of God.

10. The celebration yearly of the feast of the passover, from
its first celebration in the land of Egypt to the present
time by the Israelites.

11. Moses and Joshua did not write those utterances, oh
man! for your edification, but for the edification of
those who acUially crossed the dry channel, and for the
edification of their then living sons and daughters, that
they might not cease to forget the great fact that God
was carrying out towards them the promises He made
to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
thereby urged them to live holily in the sight of the
unseen God, their preserver and guide.

12. The testimony of Christ.

The Holy Scriptures also record that the idolatrous enemies of
the Israelites sought to destroy them after the death of Moses,
bvit that the Lord God caused a great storm to arise, and rain
gi-eat hailstones upon the army of their enemies, destroying
many and causing the rest to flee in disorder away from the
Israelites, who seeing their flight, and desiring to take advantage
of it, Joshua, their holy commander ascended a hill and prayed
to God that He wovild cause the clouds to pass away fi-om over
the land, that the sun might shine, and the moon also when
the sun had set, that the Israelites might see to follow up their
godless persecutors : and the sun instantly shone forth, and



56 EVIDENCES.

afterwards the moon, unobscured by clouds, and the Israelites
pursued them throughout that day and throughout that night,
so that they were uttei'ly destroyed.

The Israelites were astonished because of the cessation of
the storm of hail, of the dreaded thunder, and of the dreaded
lightening, for they were eye-witnesses of the rapid change and
dispersion of the clouds, while the hands of Joshua were lifted
up in prayer; and they were joyous because they thereby knew
that God was with Joshua, as he had been with Moses.

Thus were those idolatroxis enemies utteiiy destroyed ; for in
the sight of God those godless ones were less esteemed than
1 )easts of the field, for in addition to their many other sins, they
sought to destroy the true worshippers of God. In this wise
the Lord God helped the Israelites, enabling them to possess
the land which he had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
their descendants should possess.

Another proof of the truth of the Holy Scriptures is their
record of the holy man Abraham, the father of the Jewish
people, who was born about 290 years after the deluge. The
tombs of Abraham, Sarah his wife, Isaac his son, and of Jacob
the son of Isaac, still exist in good preservation, located exactly
as described by M>..ses in Holy Scripture, and which have ever
been regarded by the various inhabitants of that land as the
tombs of most holy people for about 4000 years.

Another proof is the numerous wonderful prophecies uttered
at distant intervals, extending over many hundred years, by
those holy men, the prophets, of the coming upon earth of Jesus
Christ the Messiah, the deliverer of the souls of men.

Some of these prophecies, notably those of Isaiah, foretell so
a,ccurately the whole life and death of Christ, as to have caused
multitudes of men eironeously to suppose that they must have
been written q/ier the death of Chnst, and not before : and yet
Isaiah lived several hundred years before the birth of Christ,
and it was these prophecies which led the Jews to look so
.anxiously for the coming of the Messiah.



EVIDENCES OF THE TRUTH OP PROPHECIES. 67

The prophets foi'etold the coming upon earth at an appointed
time of an angel — Jesus Christ, the long promised deUverer of
the souls of men, the servant of the Most High God — from heaven,
where He had dwelt with the other angels of God, before the
sun, the moon, the stars, and this round earth were made — upon
ii special mission from God in furtherance of the great plan oT
God for the salvation of the souls of men — Who should be born
into the world as an infant boy, and growing into manhood
should live as by far the holiest of men among men for a cer-
tain time, and then be ignominiously slain as a malefactor upon
a cross ; — accurately describing His mother as a pui-e virgin,
and therefore that His birth should be miraculous ; — and the
time and manner of His birth so truly, that the Jewish nation
looked eagerly at the very day and hour that Christ was born,
now 1868 years ago, for His birth, as their earthly king and
deliverer from the Roman bondage, causing by their eagerness
so much anxiety to Herod, their cruel king, that he issued a
decree for all the young children to be slain that were in Bethle-
hem — the foretold bh-thplace of the promised Messiah, — hoping
that the infant Messiah might be slam.

The prophets also accui-ately foretold His holiness of life and
wise teachings, the obstacles He should encounter, His betrayal,
the price of His betrayal, the potters' field bought with the price.
His condemnation to death, the mode by which His peculiar
garments should be distributed among His murderers, His cru-
cifixion as a malefactor, the thnist of a spear into His side
while on the cross, the prophecy that none of His bones should
be broken, — althoxigb it was customary to break the legs of all
who should die upon the cross, — His burial and resm-rection to
life on the third "day after His death ; — all these things being
accurately foretold many hundred years before they occurred,
by many prophets at various periods.

What greater proofs can we have of the wisdom of God
being present in the Scriptures 1 It is as clearly shown there as
in the starry firmament. Every prophecy relating to Chi'ist



58 EVIDENCES.

while on earth having been fxilfilled, not one remaining unful-
filled, to cause the least doubt.

That He really was the Messiah, the long promised deliverer
of the souls of men, He further proved by the numerous miracles
the Holy Spirit of God worked — the Messiah wishing to show to
men of His time, and through witnesses to after generations,
that He was truly the long promised Messiah.

It was not the purpose of God to show such miracles on
behalf of Christ as would compel the Jews to believe in Him,
for then they would not have slain Him ; therefore Christ ever
spoke to them in riddles, because it was necessary that Christ
should be slain, in order that God might pardon the souls of
men ; therefore, oh man ! only just sufficient proofs of Christ
being the true Messiah were shown. To all other men those proofs
would have been convincing — they would have loved the gentle
loving, holy Messiah, and not have slain Him ; therefore God
waited about 4000 years, for the time when men should exist so
blinded by their false traditions, and enraged as to shut their
eyes and ears to the sayings and doings of the Messiah, and
finally ignominiously to slay Him upon a cross as a malefactor.

That He was more than the sons of Adam, the twelve apostles
by their writings are witnesses ; they were constrained to believe
in Him ; the holiness of their lives, their suiferings at the hands
of wicked men, prove their firm belief ; suffering persecution,
stripes, and cruel death ; suffering these, because they could not
disbelieve the evidence of their eyes, the evidence of their minds,
and the evidence of their immortal souls, that the Lord Jesus
Christ was truly the long promised Messiah of God.



CHAPTER IX.
Is IT Impossible for God to have Communicated with Man 1

BEHOLD with thine eyes a Man — that being upon whom God
has showered his inexhaustible love ! — him God has endowed
with intelligence vastly higher than is possessed by any other



EVIDENCES. 59

living, creature ? From generatiun to generation knowledge is
handed down- — the precepts of the fathers are handed down to
the sons, so that in worldly knowledge the sons become wiser
than their fathers. The laws of God, by which He governs the
earth, are little by little discovered, each generation handing
down increased knowledge to its sons ; whereas the knowledge
possessed by every other living creature, what it is to-day was at
the beginning, in the days of Adam ; nevertheless, even in those
days man was lord over every living creature. Man alone pro-
gresses in worldly knowledge — alone has the power of communi-
cating his experience ; but for him, note well my friend, the
platinum, the gold, the silver, the iron, the lead, the tin, the
coal, and the precious stones would have been made in vain, — for
he alone of all living creatures has learnt their use, and uses
them ; he alone of all living creatures is lord of the earth ; to
him alone has been given the intelligence to subdue all other
living creatures to his service, and causing those to multiply
which are serviceable to him ; to man alone the earth becomes
increasingly fruitful, — he alone sows that the earth may bring
forth its increase.

Thus man is lord of the whole round earth ; from its inner
parts he gets his mett..ls, his coal, his building stone, and brick ;
from the surface it yields up its increase ; things animate and
inanimate he bends to his service.

Do you not thus perceive, my friend, an unity of design
throughout creation, — that aU things which exist in the starry
skies exist in accordance with a settled plan — a simjDle plan —
perfect from the very first ? Meditate a little : the inanimate
sun, the first of all created things, vivifies and gives light to
numberless stars, to the moon, and this round earth ; it is the
only source whence they obtain light, in like manner as a
righted candle is the only source of light in an otherwise dark
room. The moon reflects light from the burning sun, while
moving around the earth, reflecting upon the round earth the
sun's light somewhere every night — reflecting it in like manner



60 EVIDENCES.

as silvered glass reflects the light of a candle ; winds, ocean-
tides, and clouds are produced, all absolutely necessary to life,
as absolutely necessary as food ; the pleasant changes of day and
night, every twenty-four hom'S ; of summer and autumn, winter
and spring, every year — the one succeeding the other with the
utmost order, from generation to generation ; the surface of the
round earth teeming with vegetation and with living creatures,
in numberless variety, no two living things being exactly alike,
therein exhibiting the illimitable wisdom and creative power of
God, — for every one of the numberless germs in every living
vegetation and in every one of the living creatures that were
made on the sixth day of creation was also dissimilar the one
to the other. And upon the round earth stands man — the
last created and most important of all created things — of all the
things therein vastly pre-emine:it — pre-eminent, because he has
a soul, that holy, heavenly thing, which places a gi-eat gulf
between him and the gorilla, that living creature which, of all
living creatures, is outwardly most hke him ; then, by almost
inappreciable degrees, living creatures are seen less and less like
him, until all similarity is lost in that which, like a stone, never
liad the semblance of life within it.

Now friend, see you not in all these things unity of design, ^-
that God has a fixed plan, and that all the things He made
during the first six days were made for the comfort and hap-
piness of man while living upon the round earth, — and that upon
him God has showered, with inexhaustible love. His goodness 1
And cannot you comprehend, oh man ! that God, as part of
His great unalterable plan, has provided a far happier dwelling
in the illimitable heavens which surround the starry skies, for
those of mankind who have the sense to worship Him — the
highest of all sense, — God assisting them successfully to pass
the ordeal required for promotion, by giving as their guide the
Holy Scriptures, — for none who have not this sense can be pro-
moted into heaven, — like as the spiritually senseless brutes
cannot gain entrance therein.



THE GREAT WISDOM REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES. 61

Now say, do you not think, my friend, that God would make
Himself known to man whom he loves so well 1 for whom He
has created the round earth and all that is therein, and sun,
and moon, and stars ; and whom He has endowed with capacity
to understand His will 1 Do you not think that God can com-
municate with man, and man with God 1

All these things the Holy Scriptures record that God has
done ; they record His laws. His plan of redemption, and the
way it has been and is being carried out.



CHAPTER X.

The Great Wisdom Revealed in the Scriptures.

THE crowning proof of the truth of the Holy Scriptures, is
their unapproachable wisdom throughout. Those who
have studied them the most, even having studied them to find
flaws, are just those who value them the most highly, esteeming
all other books as mere trash in comparison, for none other will
bear searching investigation ; no one part contradicting another,
but all throughout giving proofs innumerable that every part
was revealed by God Himself.

Common sense, therefore, must, of necessity, come to the
conclusion that the Holy Scriptures give a truthful and reason-
able account of the existence of God, and his reasons for
creating man.



CHAPTER XL

The Common Sense op the Holy Scriptures.

HOW incomparable appear the truths as revealed in the Holy
Scriptures — truths that are stamped with the highest
wisdom — by the side of the silly mventions and fables of man,
and which insult the common sense of mankind ! Compare them



62 THE COMMON SENSE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

with the Papal lies — which teach the worship of reputed
saints, the worship of a woman, the use of images and pictures
in worship, ignoring altogether the commandment of God,
" Thou shalt not make to thyself any gTaven image, to bow
down before it, or to reverence it, for I am the Lord thy God."
Images and pictures of idolaters foolishly represent the aU-
powerful, ever-present, unseen, living God, the creator of the
starry heavens and earth, as a man having a head and body,
legs fingers and toes, like a gorilla, — both images and pictures
made by man, no two alike, and stupidly worshipped as repre-
senting God.

Impostor priests have set up in various parts of this round
earth images and pictures of a man upon a cross, and of a
woman with a child in her arms, in thousands distributed about
the earth. They teach the young and foolish to look fondly
upon them as holy and necessary things, and sometimes teach
them to believe that the mighty God is bodily in the plaster,
wood, and stone composing the images, even leading the more
crazy to believe that he can see the lips of the image or picture
move, and wink its eyes. Some of the more cunning and im-
pious priests teaching their crazy followers that to touch their
images is to touch the holy Person of God, or of the Virgin
Mary, whom they impiously style the Queen of Heaven, and
thereby be healed of disease. They have even with great pomp
and ceremony at the present day, like the competition among
professionals and traders, croivned an exceptional image and pay
it adoration, as though it were alive — the idiotic people ready
and willing in their blindness to believe the senseless trash tKe
cunning impious priests say, but ignoring the Scriptures.

Thou canst, oh man ! quickly distinguish the carved, dumb,
inanimate images, the work of men's hands, from the living
creatm'es, the handiwork of God. Exercise also thy common
sense in spiritual matters, and learn to distinguish the great
wisdom of the Scriptures from the superstition and fables of
spurious churches.



63



CHAPTER XII.

Disbelievers in God as it were Human Wolves.

F all men there are none so senseless as atheists : of all men
they are most like the spiritually senseless brutes in their
thoughts and actions : they even surpass in folly the foolish
idolaters. It is belief in the existence of God that civilizes man
by restraining "his animal propensities ; without that restraint
disbelievers in God are those persecutors of mankind, liars,
thieves, fornicators, adulterers, those filthy animals harlots, and
murderers ; and among uncivilized men are cannibals, who, like
wolves, slay and eat the flesh of their own kind.







CHAPTER XIII.



YOU thus, my friend, perceive that there is a great unseen
Being in existence whom men call God ; that He has commu-
nicated with man, and that the Holy Scriptures are the revelation
of God to man. God has given us innumerable proofs of His
existence in the mountains, the hills, the valleys, in the starry
skies, in the air, in the waters, in the ground, and in living
creatru'es, — all being the handiwork of God. The houses, the
ships, and the various contrivances of man are shaped by man
out of things which were previously made through the instru-
mentality of God, — man simply shapes them. It is necessary, my
friend, that every one of us should convince om-selves that God
exists, although we cannot see Him, so that having this sure
foundation we may fervently worship Him.

Remember, oh my brother ! and you, oh my sister ! that
thou hast had life within thee for about 6000 years — first
asleep in Adam, and afterwai'ds asleep in thy fathers. Like aa



64

mummy wheat that has been wrapped in mummy cloths for
3000 years, waited 3000 years to be planted in the ground,
then sprouted into a plant, so did the living sleeping germs
that were in Adam wait for about 6000 years for thy birth into
the world as separate beings.

God graciously created thee and placed thee in Adam for a
high and mighty purpose, having great love for thee. He


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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 5 of 19)