THE angels of God are acquainted with all the natural sciences, yet they are more interested in the science of Salvation than in all the other sciences.
This testifies that in the estimation of the angels, the science of salvation transcends all other sciences, and is more worthy of their attention than are all the other sciences together.
The prophets were acquainted with natural science, yet the only use they ever made of this knowledge was to employ references to it as a means of making clearer to men the science of Salvation. This testifies that in their estimation the science of Salvation transcends all other sciences.
Solomon was a universal scientist. He knew more of all the sciences than any other scientist knew of any one of them. For twenty years he taught the sciences to the people. Yet, after all, he sums up all in the words, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; the sum of all that hath been said is, Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.”
This, being the candid conclusion of the greatest scientist that ever lived, is worthy of respect as valid testimony to the fact that the science of Salvation is more important than all other sciences together.
It must be borne in mind that the science that Solomon knew, was divine science; it was science learned under the teaching of the Lord himself. It must be borne in mind too that the prophets and all the other writers in the Bible, wrote only under the inspiration of God, they wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; then the fact that the Lord himself in writing for the instruction of men that which is most for their good and the best for them to know, put all the stress upon the subject of Salvation. Other sciences are glanced at, yet only for the purpose of making plainer to the understanding the subject of Salvation. This testifies that in the estimation of the Lord the science of Salvation is more important than all the other sciences; and all who believe in God can only acknowledge that it is so.
Why is this so? How is it that God gave to Solomon and to Daniel such deep knowledge in the sciences, and yet has not preserved for men any treatise of Salvation? There is a reason for this, and the reason is that Salvation is the one thing that men need first of all, and more than anything else, or than all other things together.
Solomon indeed had understanding of the sciences more than any other man who ever lived: yet a man might have all that, he might understand all that, as Solomon did, and what good would it do him, if he did not have the science of Salvation first of all? Solomon had it all; yet when he turned his heart from God, from the science of Salvation, what good to him was his knowledge of the other sciences? How much power was in the sciences to hold him back from sin? How much power was there in his great scientific knowledge to keep him back from his natural self, and from the deviltry and corruption that was in him.
Everybody knows that when he turned his heart from God’s science, from the science of Salvation, though he had all the others, he was just as bad, he was just as wicked, he was as thoroughly swallowed up in idolatry and every profane practice, as though he had not known the A B C of anything.
Here we see a master mind; and yet the one who had such an understanding, such wisdom, in all the sciences, demonstrated in his life that all such knowledge is absolutely impotent for any good in a man or to a man, without the science of Salvation being there to control, and hold in righteousness the balance over all.
Mention was made a moment ago, of the fact that God did not bring to us any of Solomon’s treatises on science. Now we call attention to the fact that he did bring to us a record of Solomon’s life after he turned away from God. He did bring to us a record of the enormous failure which that man made in spite of all this knowledge, when he forgot the science of Salvation. Why, then, did God consider it more important for you and me to record all that man’s life after he turned from God, than to bring to us a record of the scientific instruction that he gave? The record of the failure, the enormous failure, made by Solomon is of more value to mankind than would have been all the scientific teaching that Solomon ever spoke put in a book for mankind to-day. Because in that failure it was demonstrated to all the world how altogether vain and less than nothing, is a knowledge of all things without the knowledge of the salvation of God.
Another great example is seen in the Greeks. The natural mind never can attain to a higher, closer and more perfect thinking than the Greek mind did. In this is portrayed the perfection of human thinking without God.
But what did it do for them? That is the question. What did their literature do for them? What did their philosophy do for them? What did their art do for them? What did their religion do for them?—It sunk them into such wickedness as is unfit to mention.
Rome learned from Greece and followed her example and came to the same end.
It must be borne in mind that the Greeks and Romans were not low, degraded, ragged, ignorant heathen; they were aristocratic, cultivated, and most highly educated heathen. The things which they knew and taught are the pinnacle to which teachers of to-day aspire. Thus Cesar was one of the most accomplished men that had lived—in courtliness, etiquette, esthetics, and … generally. But what was his character? The most guarded description of it, to be anywise full or fair, would be unfit to print.
Therefore, when the fact stands thus demonstrated in threefold measure before the world, of the absolute impotence of every effort of the human mind in its perfection to attain to any good when the heart is turned from God, what can the Lord do for the world if these three world-lessons will not teach the people? What can he do for men if they will follow in that way, in spite of these examples of solemn warning? In all this history, men are taught the impotence of the highest effort of the mind in all branches of science, art, and literature, to … men any good, to keep them back from sin, to lead them toward any good of any kind whatever, when they forget the science and literature of Salvation, which God has given to purify the hearts of men.