« PreviousContinue »
better system of religion. And because its influence upon the mind of believers tends to weaken their sense of Divine rights and to deify man; and because it started from their moorings, those who have been most prominent in the promulgation of anti-biblical sentiments, under the title of "the Harmonialism Philosophy," and Modern Spiritualism.
In our analysis, we have, in two instances, contrasted the philosophy of this book with the statements of the Bible, upon the same subjects, in order thereby to reveal their disparity.
In opening the discussion, we have, under the title of "The Prelude," glanced at the signs of the times, and addressed a class of modern religionists whom we denominate "Nominal Christians, the modern Jerusalems,” a class who make faith and religion dependent upon intellectual attainments, compromizing spiritual and humble devotion, wbile their piety and worship is addressed to the taste of the fastidious rather than the soul and to the God and object of true religious devotions. Such, and such only, are those addressed in the Prelude, and not the true church of the living God, the members of which seek to draw near the Throne, and to worship in Spirit and in Truth, and who are laboring for the world's redemption, through Divine Agency.
The volume concludes with a summary review of the position and arguments of A.J. Davis, with regard to Modern Spiritualism. In this Review we have no disposition to judge the motives or sincerity of any-principles and not men, are, therefore, analyzed and criticised.
There are many quite indisposed to examine modern phenomena, or read arguments against the anti-Christian philosophy of this age. But every believer in the Christian Religion should be prepared to answer the arguments of the opposer; if not for themselves, they should be qualified to shield others, and sustain the weak. To this end the present work is offered to the public. For, if the Christian may not himself be tempted into infidelity, he should understand the sophistry of his opposers, sufficiently to to defeat his purpose upon uncultivated minds.
THE Nineteenth Century! Age unequalled! age of wonders! In this are blending the inspiring elements of antecedent ages.
This especial period — the middle of the nine teenth century- by many of the best informed and clearest minds has been considered the period, which above all others, would result in fearful and momentous consequences. And indeed, so strange and startling are present events, that men of profound research, deem this the closing epoch foretold in the Scriptures, and understood as "the end of the world."
These are comparing the movements of men, and the phenomena of nature, with the prophecies, to determine if the time is not at hand when the Sun of the Millennial year shall arise, and shed the glory of its peaceful reign upon the world. And who, from a critical examination of the “signs of the times," can fail to realize the foreshadowing of some great event ?
Accumulating facts admonish us that our age is one of unprecedented interest; one of strange developments and of universal restlessness.
New discoveries in the principles and procedures of nature, and the rapid advance of scientific improvements, indicate augmented labor, in the great human sensory of the analytical and constructive laws of mind; and that these laws, urging their inspiring currents along the channels of genius, are especially active in the development of principles; and from the concepption of design prompting speedy ultimation.
Man therefore, with apparent supernatural perception and unlimited wisdom, scans the manifestations of nature around him, traces minutely the movements of her mysterious laws, and, by reason of his superior attainments, directs them at will, and in their mightitude tliey obey him.
Subservient then to man, earth unveils her long concealed treasures, and lavishly pours at his feet her exhaustless stores. The aqueous element, also, obedient to his mandate, transformed, arises, and propelling his massive and complicated machinery, bears him over land and sea; and thus increasing his commercial facilities, enables him to bestow upon inland dwellers, from maritime marts, the productions of every clime and the wealth of every sea.
The lightning too, whose destructive bolt shiv. ers the massive oak, and whose majesty utters terrific thunders, controlled by man, courses the magnetic wire-courier of National decrees, or bearer of kindly messages to absent friends.
By these means, the hitherto severed and distracted tribes and nations of the Earth, members of one common race, are fraternally linked, and with ties as enduring as those of a domestic brotherhood.
But these advantages do not meet the wants of man, nor bear him to the goal of his marvelous expectancy. He will not be satisfied though he can hie him o'er the Continent with the fleet: ness of the wind, and chase the wild tempest with his rattling car; can rush his floating palace through storm and wave, or take the lightning in his hand, bidding it, more faithful than the carrier dove and with the velocity of thought, convey his message to a distant clime. Or, from his observatory, resolve the heavenly spheres, pursue the flaming comet in its boundless wanderings, and with mathematical precision determine the transits of revolving orbs.
Not capable, with these grand achievements, of meeting the wants of his ambitious spirit, man indulges bright hopes of still higher attainments; and thus inspired, fixes his earnest gaze upon objects yet in the distance; pleads with nature for unequalled developments, and smiles at surrounding mysteries as things of trifling merit. A presentiment of approaching wonders fires his being, prompting him to wild adventures, and he proceeds to displace whatever impedes