The True and the False

For centuries men standing high in the scale of human intellectuality have not only denied the inspiration of the Scriptures from cover to cover, but have declared that it does not even disclose the ordinary standard of human intelligence. These men did not see a single thread of spiritual law and power in the Bible, but its woof and warp were wholly material to them, and this, their worldly wisdom, was what Paul rightly called "foolishness with God." Others less material in thought discerned somewhat the spiritual idea, but they mixed it with the material in cause, means, and effect. They have heard and followed the voice of the serpent to Eve, that the spiritual and material grow on the same material tree, and that this heterogeneous mixture is not only good for food but calculated to make one wise. By accepting this evident falsehood as true, Adam and Eve lost sight of the spiritual tree of Life, and gathered thistles and thorns. And from then till now the same course has brought the same results. Jesus came to plant anew in human consciousness a still higher sense of this spiritual Tree, and declared that it brought forth good fruit and could not bring forth evil fruit. He likewise showed that however alluring the fruit of the opposite tree might be, its beauty of to-day turned to ashes on the morrow. So when the same old serpend asked him to partake of the same fruit in the form of earthly kingship and material sway and power, and to mix in his healing of sin and disease the spiritual with the material, and thus acknowledge them both as of the same nature and character, both as real and natural, he knew the tempter to be "a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him;" that though the sweet was promised the bitter would be given, and that its hue of gold was but the glitter of brass. He rejected it. He knew that there was but one real power; that "it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." He knew that by trying to serve two masters he would hold to the one and despise the other. He clung to the spiritual and by it he made the leprous claim of disease and the roaring wave his servants instead of masters. Paul beheld the line of demarcation drawn by Jesus, for he discerned that there was no communion between light and darkness, nor fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness.

From beginning to end the Scriptures, by logic, allegory, history, metaphor, and parable, seek to separate between the spiritual and material, and to show that they cannot, except in human erroneous belief, blend in origin or conclusion.

What Shall the Harvest Be?
November 16, 1899

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