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The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 69

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    February 9, 1892

    “‘Every Man His Own Saviour.’ (Concluded.)” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 69, 6.


    E. J. Waggoner


    But now to refer again to the extract quoted above from page 91. We are there told that the hope of the man whose cells have been warped is to keep them in a normal condition. But with what power is he to do that-Why, with those same warped cells. That is, those cells are to straighten themselves out. Thus: Man is the product of the cells composing his organism; evil propensities in him are simply the result of an abnormal condition of the cells; those evils will he swept away root and branch, if he only keeps his cells in a normal condition; but whatever the man does is only the visible manifestation of what the invisible cells do; therefore the keeping of the cells in order devolves upon the disordered cells themselves. The abnormal cells must simply get themselves into a normal condition again. The sick must heal themselves by their own inherent power. The cripple must cure his lameness simply by walking straight. But we will read the thing a little more plainly expressed:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.1

    When the grace of God operates, it is not by what we call miracles but through natural laws, which are God’s laws. -Page 86.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.2

    Contrast this with Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:8-7. But we quote again:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.3

    It is no wonder that men less intimate [than physicians] with the laws of nature, should fail to grasp the significance of cellular endowments in multicellular beings, and should even invoke miraculous influence to accomplish that which natural powers may, and are expected to, accomplish. The laws of nature are miraculous enough in themselves, and are sufficient to do well everything that mankind may accomplish in the world for the propagation, preservation, and salvation of his kind. Study them well, and you will find that they contain all the elements to grace. When we beg for miraculous aid to accomplish any object in life for which God has provided natural laws, we ask the Almighty to reverse his laws and rule for our special benefit.—Page 87.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.4

    Surely this statement alone proves the fitness of the title that we have given the book, namely, “Every Man His Own Saviour.” That is all that it is. No one who should become a convert to the doctrine set forth in the above, could ever pray to the Lord again, unless his prayer should be like that of the Pharisee: “God, I thank thee that I am not like other men are.” I understand the chemistry of passion, and am therefore able to keep myself in a perfectly normal condition. In the same line as the above, read the following:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.5

    Practices of the flesh, and their frightful train of vices and crimes, can be rooted from the world, and the heart of man made as pure as the diamond, if the forces at our command are brought into play.—Page 104.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.6

    Does the reader see the logic of all this? If you have not given it special thought, you will see it at once when your attention is called to it. It is, first, that man is inherently good; that his natural condition is a state of freedom from all sin and vice. Because, if the abnormal cells are to purify themselves, and manufacture virtuous deeds by themselves, they must do it from what is in them; therefore that so-called evil is really only undeveloped good. The good is inherent in the human body, but the environment has not been favorable for its development. Indeed, our author assumes that a large part of the world has this perfection not simply latent, but fully developed. On page 73 he says:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.7

    Ah girls! if you would only frown instead of smile on all vicious habits of boys, you alone would purify the world.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.8

    But what says the Scripture in regard to the nature of humanity? Let us read: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, ... an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Mark 7:21-23. From what class of men do these things come?—From all men, from mankind, both male and female. These things are the very nature of men. Indeed they are the man himself. For, read Galatians 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditious, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like.”ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.9

    These are “the works of the flesh.” They are the nature of every person who is born into the world. That no possible exception is made, is shown by the apostle in another place, where, after rehearsing this same list of sins, he exclaims, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 9:1. (Compare with Chap. 1:28-32.) So we see that, according to the scripture, man is inherently bad, instead of good. This is the testimony of One who “needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.” John 2:25. The evil, which is the natural condition of mankind, from the ultimate cell to the perfectly developed individual, is something that the microscope cannot discover. That is the reason why “science” ignores it.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.10

    The second logical and necessary conclusion from the foregoing quotations from the little book, is that each individual cell, and consequently every man, has life as an inherent quality. They teach that man is self-existent, with power to perpetuate his existence, and to evolve good out of his own inherent force; in short, that man is God. Read again the quotation from page 87, and then read the following, and it will not be necessary even to draw connections:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.11

    They [the cells) are living beings endow with “an individuality,” and capable of doing, more or less perfectly, for themselves under the impulses of their own individual energies or forces.—Page 12.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.12

    Each cell has life, and each must be properly nourished, in order that the life of the whole body may be properly and healthfully sustained. For this purpose the labors of the cells of the community have been specialized, as we see by the functions given to the different organs.... By this specialization of labor, resulting from evolution the cells have been assigned certain duties to perform, in the respective accomplishment of which they have become experts.—Page 17.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.13

    The cells of the tissues of the body have individual life activities.—Page 90.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.14

    All the capacities of the organism are limited. True, they may be taxed occasionally beyond their natural activities, and respond by drawing on inherent reserve force lodged in them.—Page 32.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.15

    In a word, every organ is a distinct aggregation of cells, grouped for special functions; and the seat of government of the grand republic which the cells of all these organs form-the body as a whole-is the brain.—Page 16.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.16

    On page 85 the brain is declared to be the congress, making the laws for the republic. It is said to be “the only seat of government, where countless living cells direct and control the whole cellular community of the body.” Speaking on page 47 of a body that has been impoverished by alcohol, the author says:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.17

    If occasion arises, such a body may commit what humanity abhors and calls a crime,-seduction, fornication, rape, adultery, or murder, perhaps,-under a fit of passion which a calm, stern, positive, set of brain cells could ward off or subdue, if, under such a good ruling power, it appeared at all.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.18

    And on page 47 we read of “the nerve cells whose duty it is to keep the community in uprightness.” But let us have two more selections:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.19

    Thus, the microscopic citizens of the wondrous world called man, are constantly engaged in internal warfare. Too often, alas! the dominion is wrested from the righteous congress temporarily or forever, and only nominal power remains as a vestige of what was once a complete governmental authority vested in the nervous system.—Page 103.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.20

    But the normal body is thus described:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.21

    The cells of the various organs respond freely to the dictates of the all-wise governing cells of the nervous system, and they perform their duties well.—Page 25.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.22

    The italics in the above quoted paragraphs are mine. The sum of all this is simply that man is amenable to no power outside of himself; that he is his own lawgiver, judge, and saviour, and that he exists by his own inherent power. It puts man absolutely in the place of God. Just notice: The Scriptures tell us that Christ is of God “made onto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. But the “scientific” gospel is that the cells in man, having inherent life and energy (self-existence) are presided over by “all-wise governing cells” (wisdom); that this is a “righteous congress” (righteousness); and that man has in himself all the means of grace that are needed for the “preservation and salvation of his kind” (sanctification and redemption). These views are not peculiar to our author. He is simply stating the principles of “scientific religion.” They are not original with him. Whenever you find “science” teaching morality, you will find the same things, more or less plainly expressed. From the Golden Gate, a Spiritualist paper published in San Francisco, Cal., I quote the following:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.23

    The spirits also teach us that there is no atonement or remission for sin except through growth: that as we sow, so also must we reap. They have not found God, and never will, except as they find him in their own souls.—July 2, 1887.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.24

    AgainARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.25

    When the truth was made known to me that “God is life, love, truth intelligence, substance, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and there is no evil,” it became glorified in myself as a part of that God.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.26

    J. W. Colville, in a lecture delivered in Oakland, Cal., June 19, 1886, and reported in the Golden Gate, said:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.27

    There can be no heaven unless there be a perfect reconciliation between the impulses of man’s highest soul sad his outward life; there can be no heaven until your individual life is guided by the divine within you, that ever points out to you the perfect way.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.28

    Hon. J. B. Hall, in a lecture reported in the Banner of Light of Feb. 6, 1864, said:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.29

    I believe that man is amenable to no law not written upon his own nature, no matter by whom it is given. ... By his own nature must be tried-by his own acts he must stand or fall. True, man must give an account to God for all his deeds: but how?—Solely by giving account to his own nature-to himself.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 83.30

    In a paper entitled Lucifer, published at Valley Falls, Kans., in an article on “Marriage and Free Love,” we find the following clear exposition of scientific morality:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.1

    I acknowledge the presence of a power which we call nature, and whatever nature approves, I encourage, and whatever nature punishes, I try to avoid, such rewards and punishments being measured by the increase or decrease of personal happiness.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.2

    Spiritualism is simply scientific morality logically carried out. True, the great idea of Spiritualism is that man has inherent immortality, but this is simply the logical result of the idea that he has the power of righteousness in himself. Man is thought to have life in himself because he is thought to have righteousness in himself. He cannot die, because he is too good. There is not a spiritualistic book that was ever published that did not take the same scientific ground that the author of “The Supreme Passions of Man” takes. The statement of the case varies, but the points are identical. The book is as straight Spiritualism as any devotee of the “Spiritual Philosophy” could desire.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.3

    And now to call attention specially to the pernicious character of the book; for, although it professes to teach morality, and I doubt not that the author is sincere in his purpose, the general acceptance of its doctrines could result in nothing else but the grossest immorality.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.4

    For one thing, it sets forth a double, or rather, a false standard of morality. The Bible knows but one standard of righteousness, and that is the life of Jesus Christ, as an exemplification of the spiritual law. The righteousness which men are exhorted to seek, without which they cannot be saved, is the righteousness of God. Matthew 6:33. Of this there are no degrees of comparison. There is no double standard; it is only positive, absolute goodness. Men may say that the attainment of this righteousness by men is impossible, but only because they do not know the power of God. It is impossible of attainment by man’s effort, but is inherent in the life of Christ, which is freely given to those who hunger and thirst after it. Matthew 5:6. But the author of this book recognizes the existence of “men who, though not saints, live righteously.”—Page 73.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.5

    This is the basis of the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, a place made necessary by the supposed existence of men who are too good to be sent to hell, and not good enough to go to heaven.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.6

    On pages 103, 104 of the book under consideration, we find the following:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.7

    The actual counter-force of passions, then, consist of all that contributes to keep before the cells of the governing power a picture of that perfect condition in which public sentiment [itself created by education, religion. home influence, etc.] would have mankind all that impresses the mind of the desirability and necessity of moral integrity in order to be honored among men, and classed with the noble, the refined, and the just.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.8

    Again: speaking especially of drunkenness:—ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.9

    What shall we do? Will the problem solve itself under the growing public sentiment, impressing upon man that he cannot afford to get drunk! This is a decidedly powerful force for good, but as long as the sentiment only censures drunkenness as such, and not the use of any and all intoxicants, so long there will be drunkards.—Page 125.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.10

    Public sentiment must also censure intoxicants as a whole, if prompt and decisive results are wanted.—Page 126.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.11

    Such a standard of morals is compatible with the grossest immorality. The man who gauges his conduct by public sentiment has simply to do those sins that do not appear prominently to the public gaze. But public sentiment itself encourages and applauds many things that the Bible condemns as abominations. The idea of all natural religion is that only those things that appear to the outward sense are sin. But read also the list of sins given in Galatians 5:19-91. Here we find that envy, wrath, variance, emulations, strife, etc., are classed with drunkenness, murder, and adultery. If there is any difference between them, only the God of heaven and earth can detect it. In the list given by the Saviour, in Mark 7:21-23, we find that evil thoughts are as bad as adulteries, fornication, and blasphemy. Public sentiment encourages and applauds pride; but God regards it as an abomination. Therefore, taking God’s standard, which is the only standard of right, we find that the “scientific” standard of morality is immorality itself.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.12

    But further: The morality which this book teaches is that which comes from man himself. It takes it for granted that man is inherently good, and would exhibit goodness, but for his environment, etc. It teaches that knowledge is power, and that the man who understands the latest speculations of “science” is fully armed against all vice, and that nobody else is. It says that chemistry explains the forces which make passions possible, and that its laws must be taken into account in any attempt to rule our inclinations. (See page 60.) That is, all that a man needs is knowledge, and such knowledge as he can get by his own unaided intellect, utterly ignoring the wisdom which God gives in his word. Unfortunately for the world, this is no new thing. In Romans 1:21-23 we read of the heathen that “they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves.” And in the verses following we have a perfect picture of the heathen world. When those verses are read, let it not be forgotten for a moment that that horrible condition of things came solely as the result of the teaching of scientific morality such as we have in this book. And all the time that those things were being done, those people who were the most highly cultured of any people who ever lived, were talking very prettily about “morality” and “virtue.” So beautiful are some of these discourses, that they form part of the college course for young men to-day. The men of whom those things are spoken, are the men to whom the “scientists” of to-day are indebted, not only for the basis of much of their professed “science,” but for the very names “science,” and “philosophy.” Yet their “science,” instead of making them virtuous, was itself the direct cause of the depth of vice into which they sunk. And so it will be again.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.13

    Now why was this? and why is it stated that the result of this teaching, if logically and strictly carried out, can be nothing else but licentiousness of the worst kind!-Simply because the nature of man is corrupt. Science ignores the fall, and the natural depravity of humanity, but they are both facts. Not only are the thoughts of man evil naturally, but his inherent weakness makes it impossible for him to do even the good that he knows. Therefore, whatever teaching leads him to trust in himself for righteousness, leads him to trust for righteousness in that which is grossly corrupt. Out of evil only evil can come. (See Luke 6:45.) When “science” has led men to think that they know everything, and that all the means of grace lie in themselves. then the Devil will have full control. For this “science falsely, so-called,” is the “philosophy and vain deceit,” against which the apostle warns us, as being “after the rudiments of the world;” and the inventor of the whole system is the Devil, who is the “god of this world.”ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.14

    Let it be understood that in this review there is no arraignment of what is called the health reform. Right habits of eating and drinking are not depreciated. But this book does not at all touch the subject of right living. Right habits are not a means to an end, but are a result to be gained only by the gospel, as are all other right habits. The morbid appetites which are said to lead to drunkenness and licentiousness are as impossible of control as are the passions themselves. The Bible makes full provision for everything necessary in the line of living, and what is more and better, it provides the power of living, along with the knowledge of what is right.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.15

    The great mistake of “science” is the assumption that what the world needs is knowledge. The fact is, that what it needs is power. There is no man in the world who does not know that he ought to do better than he does do, and who does not want, at times, to do better; but he does not know how to do the thing. He is utterly helpless. (See Romans 5:6; 7:15-23.) Every man’s experience confirms this, until he gets so completely swallowed up in self-contemplation and self-glorification that he images that he is absolutely perfect, as God himself. From the references in this article to “science,” it may be gathered it is not counted as of much worth. The “science” set forth in this book is indeed of little worth. The writer of this review makes no pretension of being a scientist, but he has no hesitation in saying that the teachings of this book are most unscientific. Not but that they might meet the approval of a “scientific” association. But science means simply knowledge, and that which is not true, cannot be truly known; therefore this book is not true science, because it is in direct and constant contradiction of the Bible-the book of truth. He who knows only a few things, but knows them for the truth, has vastly more scientific knowledge than he who “knows” many things that are not true, or who turns into a lie the truths which he does know.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.16

    The gospel of Jesus Christ gives man not only knowledge but power. Christ is of God “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. It promises to men deliverance from all the evils that beset them, not only of those that they know and feel, but also of thousands that they know nothing about. And it does not deceive men with false promises. All the promises of God in Christ are yea and amen, unto the glory of God by us. Thousands of men who never heard the word “science,” have demonstrated the truth of the offers of the gospel. Men who have struggled in vain for the mastery of themselves, have found perfect deliverance in Christ. Yes, men have exhausted every possible combination of dieting, living in the most abstemious manner, upon the most healthful food, nay, even going to the verge of starvation in order to eradiate the passions of the flesh, but all in vain. The flesh was there, and the evil was inherent in the flesh. The only way that it could be eradicated was by dying. This some of them did by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in exchange for the sinful life, they got the perfect life of Christ, so that they could truly say. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. There are many in the world to-day who will never understand “the chemistry of passion,” but who know to the full the baleful power of it, and who daily thank God that the Christianity of Christ does give absolute and complete deliverance from every form of it. To such, especially in view of the fact that the nearer we come to the end, the more plausible will Satan make his substitute for true morality appear, we would most earnestly commend the language of the apostle Paul: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:6-10.ARSH February 9, 1892, page 84.17

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