HISTORY of the ORIGIN of all THINGS.
Is the English Episcopal Church any better in this respect? They, too, require membership by baptism to insure salvation. They, too, feel that it is not true; for they comfort their Quaker friends, who lost a lovely infant, by the declaration that it is in Jesus’ bosom, or, God has taken the lovely blossom to Himself to save it from rude winds and storms of this wandering life. Have they the boldness to declare, My friends, your child went to hell because you did not have it baptized, as God has appointed, Christ preached, and we practice? No; never would they be so impolite, so heartless, so inhuman, so devilish.
That is a proof that it is not true that the child did go to hell; for if you had believed it to have been really in danger of such a fate, rather would you have baptized it by stealth than have it suffer eternal hell-fire . But yet, you have other friends, not belonging to Episcopal churches, whose children have not been baptized; why do you not rush to them and plead, beg, and entreat—weep, wail, and lament—until you persuade the parents, at least, to let you baptize the innocent babe, the unconscious infant, that must be otherwise condemned for its progenitors’ fall from grace and happiness?
Alas, I might go through with the creed of every church, until I have manifested what is apparent to ordinary observation, if exercised, that they, none of them, believe what they profess and all have erected an impossible standard of faith; while they almost equally discard and reject practicing the legitimate consequences of that faith. ‘While they nearly all require faith as the one thing needful, not one has it. How, then, shall any be saved?
God’s mercy is infinite . Blessed be God, who will have sinners to be saved. And they shall be saved, because He wills it!
THE SOUL OF MAN IN THE FUTURE STATE
There is a soul in every man, immortal, unchangeable in quality or essence, invisible to bodily eyes, but breathing and living as separately and as permanently separate from God, as the body is from earth, so long as He chooses to maintain its organization and individuality. Why this soul is hampered and restrained, why it is oppressed by animal passion and darkened by error, is explained in the previous pages. But how it is to be freed and released from the stains imparted to it by its union and alliance with the body, is a deeper and more complex subject which must be treated with more exactness and logical method, to carry conviction to impartial and willing seekers of truth. I shall, therefore, divide this part of my subject into three chapters, or sections. First, what man should do while in the body. Second, what change death makes in his relation to God and his fellow-men. And, third, what he must do to be saved with an eternal salvation.
Section one: What must be done in the body.
Man, being born to trouble, as sparks that fly upward are prone to descend; man, being placed here for the express purpose of receiving instruction in the knowledge of good and evil by experience, has no escape from temptation. He must suffer it. He can not escape from the consequences of his condition any more than he can escape from his condition. To be sure, some think that by suicide they may escape from this condition of existence . But such are mistaken. They only fulfill the appointed term of their bodily life and fall, by the last and greatest temptation, into the next stage of being where they soon perceive what opportunities they have wasted, what mercy rejected, what folly exercised, and what useless---— and worse than useless---—sin they have committed, by taking into their own hands the prerogative of the Deity and closing an existence He designed should then end. But, if they must have then died, why did they not wait for God Himself, by His laws, to dissolve their connection with the body? Because they could not, or would not, resist the temptation which evil thoughts, rebellious designs, and selfish considerations placed before them . They fell, and left mourning friends, disgraced relations, fond children or parents, or weeping brothers or sisters; or, at least, they fell into condemnation for violating the law of God written on the heart, which is the unpardonable sin.
Let us proceed to see what should be the duty of men thus tempted, as this is the sorest temptation that besets men and is, also, one of the most common. My medium has been beset by it, and I know that few men have lived to maturity, or, at the farthest, to old age, without having been beset by it frequently . It offers such a ready solution of the most overwhelming difficulties, such a sudden relief from care and anxiety, that sometimes its almost unending consequences are overlooked and the suffering that others must experience from the rash act is disregarded.
It is the highest, or the extreme, manifestation of selfishness. The heart of man is never so desperately wicked as when it resolves to disregard all law, human and divine; to overlook every obligation of friendship, love, and the debts of nature and of business; and, placing the means of destruction where his life must be extinguished by them, he rushes violently, with robber-like audacity, toward the kingdom of heaven.
The next greatest sin is the sin of living for yourselves. To die for yourselves is suicide ; to live for yourselves is murder. Yes! murder is only its highest, or extreme manifestation. Theft, robbery, arson, murder, are only steps in the ladder of crime. All end in one object, the serving of self; all are liable to and receive, one condemnation, that of the withdrawal of God’s mercy for a time.
He leaves man to do his own will until he is willing to accept other guidance. When man finds that all these selfish gratifications result in bitterness and death to enjoyment, he sometimes, even in this life, will reform. That is, he will open his heart to God’s influence, who, through His agents---—the ministers, the servants, the angels, the messengers, the spirits, or the demons, as they are variously denominated in the translation called the Bible---—will visit and help him unto salvation.
We will now take up the second section of our subject---—What of the change which death a! the body makes in the relations of man to his Creator.
Section two: What change death makes in his relation to God.
Man, being never released from the dread of death, except through suffering, seldom deliberately resolves to seek it. He often contemplates suicide but seldom braves it. When, at last, death presents himself to the sick, suffering has worn the body and tried the soul of man. He has, by God’s mercy, lain for days in a most favorable position for seeing the vanity and nothingness of every occupation that had only self in view, and feels sensitively the need he has of God’s mercy and loving kindness to raise him from the deep pit in which he finds himself sunk.
Much work, efficient work, is often done on these beds of suffering; and the soul, by a day of suffering, gains years, and sometimes myriads of years, advance in the great work of reconciling itself to God. Albeit, many good resolutions are broken by temptations succeeding an unexpected recovery; although the last state of that man is worse than the first---—he having ejected the presence of God and the communion of His spirits, or saints---—he was nevertheless sincere, and, therefore, actually at that time, was as much reconciled to God as he appeared to be.
But let no one put off the work till tomorrow, much less to the death-bed, for you know not what a day may bring forth. Ye know not that time and sense will be left to you for repentance then. Work now, while the day lasts, for the night cometh when no man can work. That night is the next state of existence, in which no man can work out his salvation---—but he is worked upon as he is willing. He is acted upon by God’s higher spirits----—persuaded by example, taught by precept, also instructed by his memory of his earthly experience.
He is never forced to receive the good, but he is never allowed to pursue the evil. He may be inactive and unprogressive, but every step he does take is one reducing his distance from God ---—one leaving error and sin behind. He then marches forward, every step being easier than the preceding one, every step reducing his toil while increasing his enjoyment, every step enlightening his pathway with good actions and wishes; and thus with meek regrets and kind wishes to others and for others, he proceeds on his way rejoicing more and more, until at last having reached the circle in which he can see God, he bursts into praise.
He declares himself His servant, begs to be allowed to view Him always, to serve Him forever, in any position it may please God to place him; and, in harmony with God and the servants of God, he proceeds at an accelerated pace.
The mighty roll of time, ceaselessly beating on the shores of eternity, is faintly heard in these lofty and distant halls, or mansions, of bliss. The echoes of the past are no longer reverberating through the ears of the former inhabitants of the earth. Spirits of the great and good, as measured by God, commingle. They harmonize most perfectly: they have one will and one law, one power and one wish, one hope, one love. And all these being common and joint, are equally common to and joined with God. They harmonize with God; they fall down, as it were, at His feet, united to Him by the closest bonds of love; also united by a resolution to have no will but His, to exercise no power but His, to feel no desire He does not implant, to have no motive of action, no action, no feeling, no love but God’s. Being in this state one with Him, they are sons of God; joint heirs with Christ; seated, with Him, on the right hand of God, from whence they shall come with Christ---—as they are one with Him, being themselves Christ---—to judge the quick and the dead; to enter into every soul that is willing to receive them and to lead that soul to God, even as they were led.
Some will find it hard to believe that they may be and shall be, as Christ; that they shall be really Christ. But it is because they mistake the nature of Christ. Christ is the power of God unto salvation . It is the love of God unending; which is, and was, and shall be evermore. It is the Son of God, born of purity, led into suffering, raised into power, and seated on the right hand of God, where, in the wisdom and power of God it rules the world, the whole creation, by its oneness with God. And its oneness makes it God.
For things which are one and the same are not separate, or unlike; not separate but, yet, not merged in God. Possessing still an individuality, this Christ is made of all the good and great in righteousness. All ages of the world, and all celestial, or planetary, bodies in the universe contribute to its formation and fullness. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God, was the first of the inhabitants of earth who was raised by God to this high and holy and immaculate position . Jesus is our great exemplar; and His precepts, preached as they have been for eighteen hundred years, are now to be preached again in a new form but not in new substance.
And this brings Me to my third section; namely, The duties of man, or the way in which he is to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling
Let us proceed in order, and by order show how orderly God is in what He requires of man. First, in childhood; second, in maturity; and third in old age.
Section three; Part One: Childhood
When a child is born, the soul is received into its body at its first inspiration. Its first sensation is pain; and this is wise, for thereby it is prepared for pleasure and enjoyment which requires previous pain for its perfection. When in the course of nature, as it is called, the child grows and begins to show signs of intelligence, the activity of the soul commences. We must remember the soul, sometimes most erroneously called spirit, has heretofore been in a passive state. That activity has to be learned, as well as everything else that God does not implant. Now, when it has further advanced, the signs of intelligence become stronger and language is learned.
Language in the beginning was an inspiration of God. Without His inspiration its perfection could never have been attained, for all the efforts of the learned and powerful can not produce a perfectly original language. But the language once given has been variously modified and diversified, and though all come from one original source, the lapse of many ages of years, the many transitions through ignorant mediums, the diversity of situation and of race, as varieties of men are termed, have so changed language, that it is now infinite in variety . Or at least, it appears so to men for, besides the thousands of languages, there are to each an almost unending variation in different individuals---—some so great as to be called dialects, and others only the remains of a variety, or form, formerly existing.
Having acquired language, the child exercises his newly-acquired faculty like a toy. He asks questions for the pleasure it affords him to talk, rather than with a desire for knowledge. But, in the course of time, some tire of this fun and become rather taciturn; others linger in the pursuit of this pleasure all their lives and talk for the pleasure of hearing themselves talk. So it is with the various faculties of our bodily nature; they are connected with our souls and they have their antitypes in the soul, which the type brings into use. Thus, reverence for parents is the type of reverence for our Heavenly Father; veneration for great men is the type of veneration for God. And so on through the list. Now, when the soul has thus been educated by the body, it has partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and it must then pass through the opening called death into the spirit-world, where it finds its eternal home.
Whatever qualities the father, or mother, would find in the character of their offspring, must be implanted by some one . They are not fixed nor natural, but acquired. The soul of the child is first pure . The tablet of its mind is blank— unwritten upon . Its memory of the past is merged in the future with its memory of earth and are both taken as one. The passiveness of the first period of existence leaves almost no impression upon the soul.
But God further obscures that memory while in the body by the body’s constitution, which does not take cognizance of anything that was not experienced in itself. So that memory of the first state is impossible while in the body and only returns to the spirit in the next world by slow degrees.
First, as a part of its earthly existence but, afterward, it separates itself as the spirit advances and as its new relation to God requires it to possess the knowledge of its former condition, in order that His perfect love, wisdom, and benevolence may be fully manifest. The child then is pure and innocent until passion or example has led it to sin. How careful, then, parents ought to be to set examples of patience, long-suffering, goodness of every kind before their children, from the very first dawn of their intellect. This period commences very early, a few days, at the farthest, from their birth.
Having shown what examples ought to be set before the children, we will suppose every care exercised to secure their continuance in a state of innocence and purity. Then the passions are to be controlled and regulated by the child itself, for the parent can never fully, and scarcely even imperfectly, restrain the child’s passion.
The child’s education should proceed on the plan of forming his character, so that he will, of himself, walk in the paths of virtue and resist temptations. Then, the work is done for life. The child is the father to the man. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it, was the advice of a wise man; and wise men will ever bear in mind, as is the tree, so is its fruit.
When youth begins, the child has already implanted the seeds of good and evil. Careful culture may yet weed out much of the latter, and cause the remainder to be overshadowed by the former. But in a great measure, the die is cast as to the happiness or misery of the youth. He must follow the impulses of nature, if he has not been taught to restrain his desires and modify his actions by love of others.
How, then, shall those parents be excused for their neglect, who have failed so to train their children? Surely their sins will be visited upon their children, even to the third and fourth generation.
And so it is that such small advances are made by all the wise and prudent of this world. God will not let them be the ruin of more than one generation except in a few instances. He restrains their progress in sin by cutting off their children, or by throwing the children into such circumstances as to relieve them from the example and precept of the neglectful, or incompetent, parent.
What God can do to restrain evil, without infringing the free-will of man, and without debarring him from the experience necessary to the soul’s enjoyment of eternal happiness, He does. But man, ungrateful ever, often mourns and repines at the dispensations by which this good, or saving from evil, is effected. Who will be willing to submit all things to God’s pleasure, in perfect confidence that His will and governnment are wise and good?
None now living, I think I may safely say, and yet, one such lived among men. One example has been given. And, how was it that He attained to such superior excellence, and remained ever in His original purity? Because His father and His mother listened to God, who restrained every evil influence, every impure desire, and led them in peace and purity from city to city, from Judea to Egypt.
There, dwelling in quiet solitude, they trained the holy infant and led innocent lives. They returned, filled with God’s holy influence, to Jerusalem and settled in Nazareth. Here, other sons and daughters were born to them; but the very circumstances of their position were so different that these children were not remarkable, or distinguished readily from their fellow-citizens. True, they received, late and reluctantly, the precepts and example, the life and death of their most extraordinary brother, as evidence of His divine character, as being the Messiah so long promised to their nation
But they, after all, were not emancipated from the traditions against which He preached, and never ceased to observe the ceremonies from which Jesus desired to emancipate them. Their descendants, too, continued to differ from their Christian brethren, until at last they were scattered and overthrown in the rebellions and tumults that destroyed their nation and almost exterminated their church.
THE SOUL OF MAN HERE ON EARTH
Section three: Part two: Maturity.
Having shown how the child should be trained, let us now proceed to consider how the man should act. Virtue is its own reward; because the consequences of virtue are happiness, because nothing but purity can result from its practice, because the virtuous man is holy and dependent upon God. For, without God’s help he would not have practiced virtue, and without His continued assistance he would not refrain from evil . It is, then, to God we must appeal; entreating Him to aid us, to enlighten us, to be our ever-present guide and powerful helper. If God be on our side, who shall overcome us?
Not the prince of this world, nor all the temptations that may he compared to the gates of hell. Never can anything prevail against God.
THE SOUL OF MAN CONSIDERED IN ITS EVENTUAL RELATION TO GOD
What , then, shall we say? Shall we say that God does all?------ Not so.
He only helps the man to do what the man wills to do, if the desire, or will, be good; or lets him alone, or restrains him, if it be evil. He, Himself, does nothing, except through His agents, the spirits before described . But even they do nothing but help in the man’s will and keep themselves on the alert to aid every good thought, every lofty desire, every pure aspiration.
They ever watch the movement of his will, and the instant the man opens his heart’s door, by a willingness to receive God’s help, they rush in and embrace him, as it were, with tears of joy . But, too often are they as suddenly thrust out. But if man, in the body, was told he must forgive his brother, who had offended him four hundred and ninety times, shall not God’s mercy and patience extend as far beyond that as infinity exceeds man’s finite being?
Well, then, again and again do God’s angels ask for admittance. Again and again do they crowd into man’s heart, and commence the work of purification. While he remains willing and passive, they stay. But when evil desires or resolutions invade the sanctuary, they can not stay; for good and evil are antagonistic and repel each other. They may linger long enough to warn, to entreat, to sigh or to weep for the misfortunes which man will receive and suffer from, in consequence of his evil. But the will of man is free and uncontrolled. ‘Without that, where would be responsibility? No one but God can control man’s will and He will not do it. He designed man for this very state of checkered existence, and when His creation and laws were completed, He pronounced them good.
THE MEANS BY WHICH GOD’S MERCY IS EXERCISED
Section three, Part three: Old age.
Now, for our last Section, or part, on old age. Man has conjectured, that if the laws of health were duly attended to, he might prolong his life almost indefinitely. THIS IS NOT SO. Threescore years and ten is the appointed time to which health should bring a man. His usefulness is then, generally, at an end and if his life be prolonged, it is one of passiveness, or repining. This, too, like all God’s laws, is wisdom.
The man who passes his seventieth year has lived long enough to experience all that is necessary to his future enjoyment. To continue to encumber the earth would be a waste of eternity. But some will say that life might still be a blessing if health and strength were maintained. So it might. It is a kind of blessing, too, when it is not For dispensations are blessings. But it is better, as Paul said, to be with God than to remain
And if so, why desire to remain? Perhaps you say, he might reform, or progress here. Alas! by that time the tree is dry and hard. It will no more yield to guidance. As the branches had been bent in youth, so they stand in age, only more stiff and gnarled. The storms that bent it once can bend it no more. It may break, but not yield. It can die, but it ran not bring forth fruit . Poor old creature, it is sure better, far better, to be with God, than to remain in the strife and turmoil of an active and vigorous generation, that knew you not in your prime, among people who have changed their fashions, modified their laws, progressed with inventions, leaving you sole landmark for past spirits, sole remnant of the olden time.
And why was it that men in former days lived nearly a thousand years? Because then mankind was so new to existence, that more time was required to pass through the same experience. The earth was unpeopled, and longer lives insured a numerous of spring. The experience of the past was valuable, because it had originated in revelation and was handed down by tradition. Old men were then the lights of the world; now, it is in the breasts of young men that are found the springs of progress. Then, the struggle was rather to retain than progress; but now, retention is left to take care of itself and progress is the one idea.
But, you will say, the change was sudden; the reasons given should only have made it gradual. True; when the world had been peopled completely, it pleased God to destroy the race of man, with a few exceptions. But the reasons for this are foreign to our subject and are, to this generation, unimportant. Suffice it, that men formerly lived longer, because they were needed on earth; but that the necessity having passed away they are released from the bondage of the body. So far from repining at this change, men should rejoice; for, though eternity does not measure time, nor time eternity, yet a thousand years are a long time to be away from God and to be committing sins to be atoned for.
There is no repentanc e beyond the grave. There, atonement is required; not that of one for another, but each for himself. Being, then, derived from the past and proceeding to the future, the soul longs to reach its goal. But the fetters of sin are strong. The will of the spirit is weak. Its struggles, therefore, are tedious to watch over and pray over. But all these things we convert into pleasures by doing them cheerfully. By desiring to act only as pleases God we have a reward, the praises of Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful in small things, I will make thee ruler over much. So we proceed, helping others and blessing or being blessed by it, till we arrive at the Sonship, when, indeed, we become the ruler over much . For to the Son are all things given.
The last enemy is death.
Not the outward death of the body but the inward death of the spirit of man. This is death to God, until it repents, or atones for, its sins. Repentance is an act of will; atonement is a punishment received . Choose now, 0 man, whether you will serve yourself, or God. If God, repent and sin no more.
If self, sin and be punished. Your punishment shall not be eternal nor so dreadful as hell-fire; but it may extend over myriads of years and be greater than you would now think you could bear, could you foresee and understand it. Let the spirit, then, persuade you, by the mercies of God, by the love of His Son, by the tears of your brethren, by the woes of your children, by the despair of the fallen, by the hope of the raised to put your trust in God; to lean on His protecting arms; to commune with His saints; to be received up into glory---—incorruptible and unspeakable.
But I foresee that many will reject the counsel of the spirits because they come not with power. Power is theirs to make signs and wonders and miracles, that should, if possible, deceive the very elect. Why , then, do they not exercise it? you say. Raise the dead for me, show my brother the hole in the side; let me experience heaven on earth, let him be damned to eternal torture---—then I will believe, you
Alas! My friend, you ask too much . To sit on My right hand, or on My left, is not Mine to give, but it will be given to them for whom it was designed from the very foundation of the world. How, then, you say, can I escape condemnation and more suffering, if election was made so long ago as to the fate of every man? Thou fool I neither is God, or man, to be confounded by thy impertinence Need I lay bare the mystery of iniquity that exists in the churches of the East and West, the Catholic and the Protestant, and all others. Alas! all are gone astray.
There is none good; no , not one.
They shall all perish before My face, saith God; and their place shall be found of them no more. They shall vanish as a scroll, and fire from heaven shall consume them . Alas ! what ingenuity has been wasted, what agony suffered, what torture inflicted in the name of the meek and lowly Jesus of Nazareth!
He drove from His Father’s temple those who sold doves and made a trade of religion; and so will He, in effect, do again. For He cannot abide in their evil hearts. He must go out of them, leaving them to receive hereafter the punishment of their sins, which will be as nearly eternal as mortals can be able to understand.
Turn ye, 0 Christian people, in every land under the sun; turn ye to God; He will be found of you, and you shall have comfort, and, succor, living water, heavenly manna, daily bread, the wine that maketh glad the heart. You shall have peace. Peace everlasting with the Father and with the Son and with the Holy Spirit.
These are, and were, and will be evermore, One—one God, the Father of all, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent—one faith, one baptism. The faith and the baptism are of the Spirit which is the brother and soul of Christ; which is the power of God unto salvation; which is the Son of God, the Messiah the Holy One of Israel, so long promised to and looked for by the Jews. The Messiah is, indeed, one with God, the Father; because God, the Father, has placed Him at His right hand and united Him in the bonds of love and perfect harmony to His Divinity; so that they have one will, one thought, one action; and but one motive to action now pervades them and that is to save sinners. 0 sinner, what an array of names there is against you!
But in the great name of God alone is strength. Is not that enough to make you fear overthrow? Do you dare to say He loves you and yet continue to reject Him? If you do, you are a bad man indeed. Gratitude for all His mercies and all the pleasures you have enjoyed ought at least to impel you to love ~Iim; and if you once loved Him you are saved. You are saved for the time. You can fall again, if you listen to temptation. If you take sin to your affection, you cannot love God. But love Him, and you cannot sin so long as you love Him.
My friend, I love you. I want to save you. I ask you, what you would prefer—to be with God in Heaven, or with the lowest spirit out of the body, engaged, for perhaps unaccountable years, in making atonement for your passionate departure from the love of God? Methinks I hear you say, I would be with God; but I don’t see how I can bear to give up my will to do His work. You say, the yoke is easy, the burden is light, but whenever I have tried to do right, I have found it very difficult!
My friend, I will help you. Only be willing to let us both try and I will guarantee success. Breathe for Me, or for God, for that is the true term. one single prayer; make but one single, even ideal or mental ejaculation, and I am already with you. Tell Me what you want to do. If good, I will assist . If evil, I shall have to leave you; but only for a time —only until you ask Me again. Fear not to tire Me by your fickleness, but fear those who can kill the body and cast the soul into Gehenna, where shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Who are those who can kill the body? The Lord has appointed unto all men to die, but He has placed governments among men to cut off evil doers. They can kill the body for its crimes, and then the soul, as a consequence, is cast into suffering and obliged to atone by it for its sins . Disease, too, kills the body; and often, far more often than men have ever imagined even, have diseases been the consequence of sins, and so the sinful soul has been separated from the body. Then is the saying equally true, as if the body were cut off by the powers that be.
The end of the matter is this. All that will come, may come, and partake of the waters of life—freely, without money and without price. *This book shall be published by the proceeds of a bad debt; and the proceeds of the book, at a trifling price, shall again be devoted to its further dissemination. If any seek its pages who have better use for the money, My agents shall deliver it without money and also withou t price . But yet, that is only an outward performance of the promise, and not the one that its first utterer had in view. The true interpretation is, that God will teach men Himself; that no man need go to his brother to inquire where is Christ, for, behold He is in you, except ye be reprobate . And, if you are reprobate, then repent and live, repent and receive Christ.
HISTORY of the ORIGIN of all THINGS.
Arnold - -1852
History Of The Origin Of All Things
The year 2000 reprint of The History Of The Origin Of All Things is an important event in the lives of the Spiritual Searchers that discovered the book in the library of a small church where the best estimate is that the two-volume copy collected dust for over thirty years. The unique spiritual way in which the book was delivered to the world now challenges us to believe in a constantly pro-active Christ, who chose 1852 to deliver this >work through a man chosen for his ability and willingness to be entirely obedient to Christ and the purpose. In addition to its perfect relevance to the Bible and, expression in Language of the time, it causes much reconsideration of the Heaven-Earth, God-Man dynamic. It also teaches the use of our free-will and discipline to establish and maintain a relationship with the God, Christ, Holy Spirit Reality.
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