“‘Bible Readings for the Home Circle’” The American Sentinel 5, 37, pp. 291, 292.

THIS is the title of a book which we find denounced by the American Sabbath Union, in the “Pearl of Days” column of the Mail and Express, of May 9. The denunciation of this “dangerous” thing was written by Rev. James S. Mott, one of the Vice-Presidents of the American Sabbath Union; indorsed by the Rev. J. H. Knowles, Secretary of the Union, and printed in the “Pearl of Days,” the organ of the Union. Therefore it is strictly official. Speaking of the title of the book, Mr. Mott says:—

Such is the winning title of a book which is being pushed throughout our country with all the energy that the book canvasser can exercise. And yet we have never examined a work in which a good title has been employed in a more uncandid way to inculcate pestiferous doctrines. We should be led to expect a volume of devotional articles, and such presentation of divine truth as is currently accepted by evangelical churches.

Indeed! Is it true then that nothing can be properly presented in this country as Bible doctrine, or as from the Bible, except it be such a presentation of divine truth as is “currently accepted by the evangelical churches?” In other words, is only that divine truth which is currently accepted by evangelical churches? Are the evangelical churches the divinely appointed interpreters of the Bible in all that it means? Has it come to this that whatever of the Bible or about the Bible is printed and distributed that is not accepted by the evangelical churches, must be denounced as “dangerous” and “pestiferous?” Mr. Mott says:—

The preface declares “we let the sacred volume stand as its own witness, massing its testimony on the various subjects presented.”

When we had read this blast of the American Sabbath Union, we sent and got a copy of the book, as doubtless most people will do who see it, and the very first place we opened, we found the following on “The New Birth,” page 117:—

1. What is the natural condition of the human family?

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

2. Who alone will be permitted to see God?

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8.

3. Can man, by his own exertions alone, change his condition?

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23.

4. How, then, can one be brought to God?

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18.

Turning back just two leaves we find the heading, “Repentance,” under which we have this:—

1. To whom is repentance to be preached?

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” Luke 24:47.

2. Who are called to repentance?

“I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32.

3. How is one to know he is a sinner?

By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20.

4. Is this a universal rule?

“We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” Verse 9.

5. How are sinners convinced of sin?

“But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9.

6. What part does the Holy Spirit act in this work?

“For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come he will reprove the world of sin.” John 16:7, 8, 13, 14.

7. What will be the inquiry of those who are thus convicted?

“Men and brethren what shall we do?” Acts 2:47.

8. What reply should always be returned to this inquiry?

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Verse 38.

Under the heading, “The Divinity of Christ,” we find this, page 255:—

1. How does the great Apostle speak of the Lord Jesus?

God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in tile world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16.

2. How does Christ himself speak of his relation to the Father?

“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30.

3. How does he show what he means by being “one with the Father”?

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are.” John 17:11, 12.

4. Did Christ exist before he was manifested in the flesh?

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Verse 5.

5. How came he in the world as a Saviour?

“And the angel said unto them, fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is barn this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10, 11.

Under the heading, “Importance of Prayer,” we find the following, page 324:—

1. What is the Scripture injunction in regard to prayer?

“I would there that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting.” 1 Timothy 2:8. [292]

2. What is the promise to those who ask and seek for the things they need?

Everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall he opened.” Matthew 7:8.

3. How does the Saviour illustrate the willingness of Heaven to grant favors to those who ask?

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Verse 11.

Another under the heading of, “The Poor and Our Duty Toward Them,” gives this, page 349:—

1. How long will the Church have poor people in its midst?

“For ye have the poor always with you.” Matthew 26:11.

2. What ought one to do for the poor? and how often?

“For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” Mark 14:7.

3. What promises are made to those who consider the poor?

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” Psalm 41:1-3.

4. When one gives to the poor, how does the Lord consider the act?

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Proverbs 19:17.

Each of the readings noticed here is much longer than the parts which we have quoted, but we have printed enough to show how the book is made up. The whole book of six hundred pages is filled with readings in this same order. A question is asked, and then the scripture itself is printed which answers the question. There are one hundred and sixty-four different readings, which taken altogether cover nearly every subject treated of in the Bible, so that anybody who will buy the book and study it through, will have a much better idea of the Bible than lie could have by reading the Bible through; because each reading is upon a particular subject, and the different passages of the Scripture that speak upon that subject and make it plain, are printed in that reading, so that when you study the reading you know what the Bible says on that subject.

Thus, from an examination of the book, we are prepared to say it is one of the best books for the study of the Bible that was ever printed. And the American Sabbath Union in condemning it, just as surely condemns the use of the Bible as a popular study.

We have been shown by a canvasser for the book, testimonials from secretaries of the Young Men’s Christian Association, pastors of the Baptist Church, the Congregationalist Church, the Methodist Church, the Christian Church, and officers of the Society of Christian Endeavor, all strongly recommending it as an excellent book, and one of the very best helps in preparation for Christian Endeavor exercises, Young Men’s Christian Association work, and church work generally. And we think their recommendations are wise.

Yet, in the face of all this, the American Sabbath Union says of the book:—

When it knocks at our door with the pleasant face of, “Bible Readings for the Home Circle,” we must meet that smile with a frown.

When the American Sabbath Union thus shows itself ready to denounce, and meet with a frown, books made up as nearly wholly from the Bible as could possibly be without printing the Bible alone, just because in some things it happens not to suit the American Sabbath Union, how long would it be if they had the power, before the people would be compelled to believe the Bible just as these self-appointed censors do, or else be denounced or frowned upon as this innocent book is by the Union?

Yes, indeed! Such is “the winning title” of the book, and by examination we find that the book is as winning as the title. And we hope that every one who sees this, or who saw that which the American Sabbath Union said about the book, will look up a canvasser and get a copy of the book and read it as closely as we have read it.

As the American Sabbath Union says that the book “is being pushed throughout our country with all the energy that the book canvasser can exercise,” it ought not to be very hard for individuals to find one of these canvassers and get a copy of the book.

A. T. J.

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