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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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CONTENTS | 1 | 2 (1) | 2 (2) | 3 | 4 | 5 (1) | 5 (2) | 6




All subject to bondage -- Victims of modem environment -- Baffled enquirers -- The wrong key -- A real live message of hope - "Snow-men" objections melt in the sun.

"All is vanity and vexation of spirit." -- Solomon.

Do you expect to die at some time or other? If you do, then this book has been SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR YOU.

It is a reasoned attempt to point the way of escape from a calamity which, all our life long, hangs over our head, suspended by a thread, like the sword of Damocles.

Everyone fears death: unbeliever and believer alike; for we notice that "Christian" believers in heaven-going at death generally shew little disposition to take the plunge. They regard their doctor as a better friend than their undertaker, for when the undertaker is obligingly waiting to conduct them to "realms of heavenly bliss," they hurriedly send for their doctor, in undignified haste, in order for him to delay the experiment.

Yes--experiment! That is what they really feel it to be, and with these anxious misgivings they prefer to remain as long as possible in this "vale of tears."

There is a strong natural reason for this instinctive fear of death which no pagan belief in the immortality of the soul can quieten. It has been truly said: "The strength of natural instinct can never be overcome by theological fiction. Men will never practically believe the occurrence of death to be the commencement of life, when they see it to be the extinction of all they ever knew or felt of life."

Paul, writing on this subject of universal concern, declared of all humanity:


"Through fear of death they were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb. 2:15.

And whatever we are, Christian, Atheist, or Agnostic, that fear is implanted deep in our very bones.

A remedy for this evil state of affairs is either despaired of or disbelieved. Thus, at times when extremes of danger serve to force the unwelcome subject on men's attention, we find them countering its dread by foolish jokes and banter.

Grim jokes, however, are neither a palliative nor a cure, and one day, in everyone's life, this problem has to be faced in all its naked terror--this problem which is at once as ancient as Adam, and as modern as this morning's sunrise.

Indeed, it has ever been a "modern" problem in all ages, for all are "modern" in their turn. Nelson lived in a "modern" age in his day. His was an age of great consequence and importance--to itself. But today the ant-like activities of Nelson and his contemporaries have passed away with the stream of time, and today not a soul of his generation remains alive on the earth. Instead, the world today is being run by men and women who were then unborn, and who are in the main as indifferent to Nelson's age and activities as the next generation will be to theirs.


Thus, you see, the problem is ever modern for every modern man. The time to face it and, if we can, solve it, is now. Past generations have no further opportunity, and as for future generations, the problem for them does not yet exist.

While it would be impossible to write on any other subject and engage the attention of persons with so many differing interests, stations in life, and temperaments, here we have a subject which touches upon something that affects us all in common.

All of us, without distinction of age, sex, or rank, are but feeble, transient organisms, energised by and depending on the breath of life to maintain us in hourly being. All of us are destined to live merely for a short space, and then to pass away like ephemeral May-flies. For death visits the palaces of kings and the cottages of shepherds alike; it is indiscriminate, impartial, impassive, and implacable--death is the common denominator of the sum of human existence.

Air liners, wireless, television, X-rays, and wonder drugs, make our modern world very different, outwardly, from those of past ages. The modern world in which you and I live is a very wonderful place. Labour saving and time saving devices, in industry and the home, made possible by the amazing advance of science, have increased our leisure and contributed to the comfort and pleasure of countless millions.

In the field of medicine and surgery we see the same revolutionary progress of recent years, and men now speak as if science bids fair to introduce a scientific millennium.


But things are very far from being so progressively promising as this. It must be apparent to everyone who thinks at all, that the real need for human happiness is security from suffering, disease, and death. Without this, every other benefit, relatively great though it be, is only a palliative to relieve, not a remedy to cure.

It is very much like providing more cushions for the chairs, and dainties for the meals, of men condemned to death and awaiting the arrival of the hangman. It is very kind of science to make our brief stay in the condemned cell a little brighter, while we wait our turn to be hanged. Very nice also of medical science to relieve the pain of the rope at the last; it makes dying so much easier than it used to be for our forerunners who never lived in a fit scientific age."

What we should appreciate far more, however, would
be the king's reprieve. We should then enjoy the simple things of life, if only assured of their continuance, so much better than an electric-lit, cushioned, and gilded condemned cell.

But, of course, the most optimistic scientist holds out no such visionary hope. He says, "We belong to a condemned race, and no reprieve need be expected; suffering and death are inevitable, and we must make the best of it." Very practical words, very philosophical words, but very comfortless words. Never mind, science has not said the last word on the subject by any means, as you will see later on.

We must acknowledge, however, that while all goes reasonably well with us and our loved ones, the scientific amenities which minister to our comfort and pleasure do induce a feeling of well-being and peace towards the world -- the modern world that science has given us.

But even assuming that settled and happy conditions at present prevail in our domestic circles, it is not possible to count on their indefinite continuance. Human affairs are, of all things, the most subject to change, and one day, in my life and in yours, they will change for the worse--accident, ill-health, bereavement.

Then what has science to offer us? Science gave us the cinema and the wireless, very good narcotics to soothe the vexations and frets of the daily round, if our tastes should run in those directions. But for the greater ills of life, which come to us all in turn, they are mocking, ineffective, and unavailing. Moving pictures won't mend broken hearts.

Our modern grief, despite our modern progress, is as deep and poignant in this respect as was the sorrow of our forebears in the days of Elizabeth and Drake. In spite of living in a modem age, we are still no better placed in this matter than were the ancient Britons.


Now, if you are a man or woman given to thought, however casual or infrequent it may be, you must realise the unpleasant truth of our remarks. At times, at least, you have experienced a feeling of frustration, a feeling of the futility of life, which has found expression in a sigh and the exclamation, "Is life worth living?"

You may even have gone on to think a little deeper. You may have got as far as yearning for something to fill a gap, which, although you cannot define it, yet you feel to exist -- a something which would not only give life a meaning but a purpose also, something which would recompense you for all the suffering and sorrow which you perforce have to undergo. And then, somehow the problem remained unsolved, and was dismissed with a shrug, which was a mixture of resignation and despair -- "Oh, well, I suppose what is to be will be."

Of course you will probably realise that there are people who have not so despaired, people who have opinions concerning these ills and their remedy? They are not so numerous as they once were, but that is because we are living in an age which is so markedly different.

Without committing ourselves to the religious opinions of the Victorians, we can look back, in order to see the contrast between their age and ours. In the days of our grandfathers, people in general were satisfied that the reason of, and the cure for, our ills was to be found in the Bible. The present generation, on the contrary, will look to any other authority except the Bible.

We have travelled a long way since those days when a Bible was to be found in railway station waiting rooms, and hotel bedrooms; when Bible discussion was a regular feature of the daily press and periodical magazines; discussion in which the leading statesmen of the day and other public figures enthusiastically joined.

All this has passed now and given place to a new order and a new outlook. Bible discussion today sends everyone into a strained silence. It is as if a Wellsian ape-man suddenly made his appearance at an Embassy reception at the height of its refined festivities-just the last thing to be thought about, and entirely out of place.

Bible discussion causes embarrassment and uneasiness; a loss to know what to do or say next, or how to turn the conversation. The Bible introduces principles and subjects of which most people have only imperfect knowledge, and, if argument is persisted in, it usually results in bad feeling and frayed tempers.
Thus we find that in books which teach the art of social success and popularity, we are specifically warned against religious discussion, as a thing "not done in the best circles," and one which we must avoid like the plague if we wish to cultivate and retain our popularity.

The reasons for this striking contrast between our own age and that of our grandfathers are known to most. The Bible has fallen into disrepute owing to attacks which have been made upon it by various writers. Its authority has now become so weakened as to lose the influence it once had on men and nations; so that today men are one of three things on Bible matters--ignorant, apathetic or rebellious.

You and I who live in this age cannot escape being affected by it, and, maybe, influenced by it. It is the psychological principle of environment. If we had been born in an age predominantly religious, then it would be comparatively easy to be religious also. Everything around would encourage and foster religious thought and devotion.


So it is with our present irreligious age. People are largely not responsible for their mental outlook. Early education and environment have made them what they are. They, of course, see no reason to lament the fact. We, however, knowing their true position, feel sorry for them. We can see how they have been deceived, and how that deception, if continued in, can have far-reaching and evil consequences for them.

You may be, you probably are, a product of this modern age of which we speak, and if we are going to arouse your interest in the Bible, we realise that we have to adopt different methods from those successfully used in a more religious age. A "Thus saith the Lord" is no longer good enough for you. You would just smile at us, if you were polite, for you, in common with your contemporaries, no longer believe that God has spoken at all.

Before you will even listen, we have to create in your mind a confidence which training, and maybe personal inclination, has destroyed. We believe that we can do this, but not without your willing co-operation; YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO RECONSIDER THE POSITION IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WE SHALL HAVE TO TELL YOU.

Now, we live in this modern world with you. We, too, are exposed to the apathetic, ignorant, and rebellious spirit of the age. We, too, have access to modern works on evolution, philosophy, and religion. We know your point of view, because we once shared it. But upon a reconsideration our views underwent a change--a radical change.

After a thorough investigation of the Bible's claims, we believe the Bible to be what it claims, an inspired and infallible revelation from God, the Creator of the Universe.

You doubtless do not agree with us--this was to be expected; but you will allow that our views were formed after personal enquiry and not at the behest of others. Has your antagonistic opinion been formed by the same process? Have you enquired and investigated the Bible's claims, and found them wanting? OR HAVE YOU RATHER TAKEN THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE, AND GONE WITH THE CROWD?


You may not agree with the Victorians, you may not agree with us, but it is a poor life which is guided by reasonless opinions. A man who has a reason for his opinion, even though it differs from ours, commands respect; but not so a sheepish follower of public opinion.

But may be at some time you did get as far as actively looking into the claims of religion, only to discover that the only apparent alternative to your state of uncertainty was the acceptance of the teaching of the church. You then found yourself rebelling at its ritual, dogmas, and self-contradictory creeds; and the faint hope that you had of finding a reasonable or satisfying explanation of life and its problems was abandoned as but the mirage vision of a thirsty soul, condemned to walk the burning sands of life until his strength fails and his parched tongue is stilled in death.

Or it may be that in your enquiry you were discouraged by the seeming complexity of the whole problem. You saw a multiplicity of denominations, each with clever men as their leaders, who differed radically among themselves, and you despaired of unravelling a tangle which seemed to baffle greater minds than yours.

This is a pity, a great pity; but would it give you fresh heart to be told that most of your fears are without real foundation, and that the subject is not nearly so involved or complicated as you think?

A man with a large bunch of keys, all of which refuse to open a lock, might feel quite justified in believing this particular lock to be extremely complicated, and impossible to open.

The lock could be anything but complicated. It could be a perfectly simple two-lever lock which, although resisting the efforts of complicated keys, would respond to a very, very simple key--if it were the right one.

Whether, therefore, you are just drifting in apathetic indifference, or whether you have made the unsuccessful effort of which we have spoken, and have now relapsed into a state of indifferent resignation, just try to remember that you are the product, or shall we say victim, of this modern age. You need some outside help with that "lock." We appeal to you to reconsider your position, and indeed the whole problem, in the light of recent knowledge. It is then to be hoped that we shall be able to re-arouse your interest, and restore your confidence in the Bible, by a reasoned, methodical setting forth of its claims.

If upon examination it is found to be true, then a study of it will prove of more than mere academic interest, for it will be found to contain the very solution of the practical problems which you despair of being solved.


This book is not a despairing effort to restore the waning influence of church religion; indeed, if it does its intended work it will help the church to wane. Neither is it just another "religious book," in the accepted sense of the term. We have nothing to sell; we leave "benefices" and "livings" to an apostate clergy. Freely have we received, freely we give, "without money and without price."

Neither are we going to treat you to the exposition of
some vague philosophy, or a metaphysical disquisition on "Holy mysteries." Rather are we going to treat of things tangible, of things solid, of things alive. Something that will not leave you in two minds as to what we are driving at.

Our testimony will be plain testimony, a trumpet with no uncertain sound. We are going to talk to you as we ourselves like to be spoken to, in plain language. We are going to talk of many things which you may already know, but have not yet seen the true significance. Other things you may learn for the first time.

But it is our intention that they shall be made crystal clear to you, in A PLAIN STRAIGHTFORWARD APPEAL FOR A RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BIBLE. We are going to submit, not opinions, but evidences for our unqualified belief that the Bible today, in this modern world, is THE INSPIRED AND INFALLIBLE WORD OF THE LIVING GOD.

It is regarded as anything but this in our present age. The modern temper wants to know what an ancient book, written by primitive Hebrew shepherds, can have to do with modern problems, in a modern world. Its right place, they say in effect, is in the museum along with other archaic musty manuscripts. In saying this the modern man thinks he has everything to justify him in his opinion. But what evidence has he?

Nothing should be simpler to test today than the teaching of this ancient book whose origin is obscured in the mists of time. If it is just a product of primitive religious thought, expressing primitive beliefs, and reflecting primitive science -- then surely in the full glare of modern enquiry, its early barbaric flaws should stand out in bold relief. Modern knowledge of ancient customs and literature should have found more than sufficient evidence for exposing the Bible for what it is, and for putting it in its place -- the museum, as a useless archaic exhibit.

Far from this being the case, however, modern science and modern research have served to illustrate, amplify, and confirm the Bible record, in most unlooked-for and remarkable ways.

Now in order more effectively to correct the erroneous views of our contemporaries on Bible matters, it is well that their views be summarized. Reasons they themselves give for their indifference to, or unbelief of, the Bible, might be fairly summed up under the following sections:


(1) That the Bible is a book of ancient Jewish literature, how and when written no one really knows; but probably collected or composed by designing priests in order to impose their will upon a credulous people, by claiming the book to be of divine origin. Whereas, in fact, it is now known to be a crude mixture of fact and fiction, folk-lore and legend.

(2) That the claim of the Bible to be an inspired revelation is simply out-of-date, fit only for belief in earlier ages which were ignorant of ancient history and archaeology. In any case, there are no means at our disposal for testing such an impudent claim.

(3) That if it could be proved the Bible as first written was an inspired message from God, even then the repeated copying of it, by hand, for centuries, its translation into other languages, and its constant revisions, have finally destroyed any reasonable hope that our present Bible would be recognised by a man who had seen the first original books. Therefore it is useless as a standard of appeal.

(4) That Christianity is another world religion arising out of man's fear of the "unknown," and the desire to placate the gods of whom he stood in awe. Modern study has confirmed this view.

This appears to be a very formidable list, but it is surprising what a little sun will do to quite a big snow- man. In the chapters which follow, we shall invite you to watch these objections one by one "melt away" like snow-men in the sun.

The first statement, that the Bible is unhistorical fable and legend, will be decisively "melted" in Chapter Two by the penetrating rays of Modern Archaeology.

The second statement, which affirms that the Bible's claims to inspiration cannot be tested, will be effectively "melted" right away when, in Chapter Three, we consider Prophecy.
The third, which says that the Bible's transmission has altered its message beyond recognition, will suffer a like fate with the other two "snow-men" when we consider the Manuscripts, in Chapter Four.

Whilst the remaining fourth objection will be effectively disposed of when we come to consider the doctrinal teaching of true Christianity at the end of the book.

You may hold us to our promise; we have no fear of the outcome. We now invite you to watch our first "snowman" -- the Bible unhistorical and fabulous -- dissolve as we turn on the heat in the following chapter.