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Trenton, Illinois
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March 23, 1894     The Sun Newspaper
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March 23, 1894
 

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TABERNACLE PULPIT. TALMAQE PREACHES ON THE RELIGIOUS REVIVAL. An Answer to the Churls 'that Chris tlaulty Is On the DeellneMeasurlng Infidelity- Christianity is Civnisa- tion. BROOKLYN, N. Y., March 18.--In the • abernacleto-day, Rev. Dr. Talmage preached a most eloquent and char- acteristically vigorous sermon in refu- tation ef the oft-renewed assertion of the enemies of religion that Chris- tianity is retrograding and the Bible losin its hold upon the hearts and consciences of men. The subject of the discourse as announced was: "From Conquest to Conquest," the text being taken from Amos 9 : xlii, "Behold the days come. saitl the :Lord. that the plowman shall over- take the reaper.'" Picture of a tropical clime wlth a season so prosperous that the harvest reaches clear over to the plantmg time and the swarthy husbandman swingin the sickle in the thick grain almost feels tile breath of the horsee on his shoulders, the horses hitched to the plow preparing for a new crop. "Behold the days come, saith the Lord that the plowman shall over- take the reaper." When is that? That is now. That is this day when hardly have you done reaping one harvest before the plowman is getting ready for another. I know that many declare that Chris- tianity has collapsed, that the Bible is an ob.olete book. that the Christian church is on the retreat, I will here and now show that the opposite of that is true. An Arab guide was leading a French infidel across a desert, and ever and anon the Arab guide would get down in the sand and pray to the Lord. It disgusted the Frelieb infidel, and after awhile as the Arab got up from one of his prayers the infidel said: "IIow do you knuw there is any God? •' and the Arab guide said: "Itow do l know that a man and a camel passed al6ng our teut last night? I know it by the footprints in the sand. And you want to anew how I know whether there is any God. Look at that sunset• Is that the footstep of a man?" And by the same process you and I have come to understand that this booh is the footstep of a God. But now let us see whether the Bible isa last year's almanac. Let uS see whether the church of God is in a Bull Run retreat, muskets, canteens and haversacks strewing all the way. The great English historian, Sharon Tur- ner. a man of vast learning and of great accuracy, not a clergyman, but an attorney, as well as a historian• gives this overwhelming statistic in regard to Christianity and in regard to the number of Christians in the dif- ferent centuries. In the first century, 500A0 Christians: in the, second cent- urv. ,000,000 Christians; in the third century, 5,000,000 Christians; in the fourth century, l 0,000,- 000 Christians; in the 'fifth century, 15,000, 000 (hristians: in t he sixth century, 30, 000,000 Christians i:l the seventh century, 24,000,000 Chris- tians: i; the eighth century, 30.000,000 Christians: in the ninth century, 40,- 00(,000 Christians: in the tenth cen- tury, 50,000,000 Christians: in the eleventh century, 70,000,000 Christians; in th e twelfth century, 80,000,000 Chris- tians: in the thirteenth century, 75.- 000,000 Christians; in the fourteenth century, 80,000,000 Christians; in the fifteenth century, 100,000,000 Chris- tians: in tile sixteenth century, l5.- 000,0u0 Christians; in the seventeenth century, 155,000,000 Christians: in the eighteenth century, 260,000,000 Chris- tians--a decadence, as you observe, in only one century, and more than made up in the following centuries, while it is the usual computation that there will be, when the record of the nine- teenth century is made up, at least 300.000.000 Christians. Poor Chris- tlanity: what a pity it has no "friend How lonesome it must be Who will take it out of the poorhouse? Poor Christianity! Three hundred millions in cue century. In a few weeks of the year 188] o,500.0(0 copies of the New Testament distributed. Why, the earth is like an old castle with twenty gates and a park of artillery ready to thunder down every gate. Lay aside all Christendom and see how heathendom is being surrouuded and honeycombed and attacked by this all- conquering gospel. At the beginning of this century there were only 150 missionaries; now there are 25,000 missionaries and native elpers and evangelists. At the beginning of this eeutry there were oniy h0,000heathen converts: now there are t.750.000 con- verts from heathendom. There is not a sea cost on the planet but the bat- tery of the gospel is planted and ready to march on, north, south, east. west. You nil know that tile chief work of an army is to plant the batterie It may take many days to plant the bat- teries, and they may do all their work in ten minutes. These batteries are being planted all along the sea coasts and in all nations. It may take a good while to plant them, and they may doall their work in one day. They wilt. Nations are to be born in one day. But just come back to ChrlSten- dora and recognize the fact that dur- ing% the last ten years as many people lave connected themselves with evan. elical churches as connected them- selves with he churches in the first fifty years of this "century. o Christianity is falling back, and the Bible. they say, is becoming an obsolete book. I go into a court, and wherever I find a judge's beach or s clerk's desk, I find a Bible. Upon what book could there be uttered the solemnity of an oath? What book i apt to be put in the trunk0f theyoun R man as he leaves for city life? Tile Bible. What shall I find in nine oul of every ten homes in Brooklyn? The Bible. In nine out of every ten Itome in Christendom? The Bible. Voltaire wrote the prophecy that the Bible in the nineteenth century would become extinct. The century is nearly gone and as there have been more Bibles published in the latter part of the cen- tury than in the former part of the century, do you think the Bible will become extinct in the next six years? I have to tell you,that the room in which Voltaire wrote that prophecy, not long ago was crowded from floor to ceiling with Bibles from Switzer land. Suppose the congress of the United States should pass a law that there should be no more Bibles printed in America. and no more Bibles read• If there are 40,- 000,000 grown people in the United States, there would be 40,000,000 people in an army to put down such a law and defend their right to read the Bible. But suppose the congress of the United States should make a law against the reading of the publication of any other book, how many people would go out on such a crusade? Could you get 40,000.000 ueople to go out and risk their lives in defense of Shako speare's tragedies, or Gtadstone's tracts, or Macaulay's history of Eng- land? You know that there are a thousund men who would die in de- fense of this book, where there is not more than one man who would die in defense of any other book. You try to insult my common sense by telling me the Bible is fading out from the world. It is the most popular book oK the century. How do 1 know it I know it just as I know in regard to other books. How many volumes of that book are pub- lished? Well you say, five thousand. How many copies of that book are published? A hundred thousand• Which is the more popular? Why oi course the one that has a hundred thousand circulation. And if thi book has more copies abroad in the world, if there are five times as many Bibles abroad as any other bool, doe rot that show you that the most pol> ular book on the planet to-day is the Word of God? "Oh." say people, "the church is a collection of hypocrites• and it is los. a man jump overboard from a Cunard steamer he makes more excitement than all the five hundred people that stay on the deck, But the fact that he jumps overboarddoes that stop the ship? Does that wreck the five hundred passengers? It makes great excitement when a man jumps from thelecturing platform, or from the pulpit, into infidelity; but does that keep the Bible and the church from carrying their millions of passengers into the skies? They say, these men. that science is overcoming religion in our day. They look through the spectacles of the in- fidet scientists, and they say: "It is impossible that this book can be true; people are finding it out; the Bible has got to go overboard; science is going to throw it overboard." Do you be- lieve that the Bible account of the ori- gin of life will be overthrown by in- del scientists who have fifty different theories about the origin of life? If they should come up in solid phalanx, all agreeing on one sentiment and one theory, perhaps Christianity might be damaged; but there are not so many differences of opinion inside the church as outside the church. People used to say, "there are so many different de- nominations of Christians--that shows there is nothing in re- ligion." 2 have to tell you thal all denominations agree on the two or three or four radical doctrines of tte Chtlstian religion. They are unani- mous in regard to Jesus Christ, and they are unanimous in regard tc the divinity of the scrip. turea How is it on the other side? All split up, you can not find two of them alike. Oh. it makes m, sick to see these literary fops going along with a copy of Darwin unde- one arm and a case of transfixed grass- hoppers and butterflies under the othe arm, telling about the 'survival of the fittest," and Huxley's protoplasm, and the nebular hypothesis• The fact is, that some naturalists just a soon as they find Out the difference betwee the feelers of a wasp and the horn ot a beetle, begin to patronize the Al- mighty; while Agassiz, glorious Agas. siz, who never made any pretension to being a Christian. puts both his feet on the doctrine of evolu- tion, and says: "I see that many / ing its power and it is fading out from I of the naturalists el our day are adopt- ing facts which do not bear observa. the world." Is it? A bishop of the ] tion, or have not passed under observa. Methodist church told me that that t" " ' • .... _ , an. These men warrmg wth each uenolnlnatlon averages ewe new . . .... I other: Darwm warrmg agamst cnurcnes every day of tee year• Lam .......  .... o+ -, .........  arcne, ¥¥allaee warm= =,== xnere are at least nteen nunarect new,  . ,- , . • . . . Iope, even mersehel denouncing Fer- Chmstmn churches built m Amerma t uson The do no" - " e.very year. Does that look as though., g: . " Y t agree aoou any- mn They do not agree on embr the church were fadin out, asthouh g" Y" ' • • • . | o ogy, do not a rue on the radation of t were a defunct xnstxtutlon? Which, the s eie h .... g o institution stands nearest the heart] p., s. w a ao they agree on. of " .........  herschel writes a whole chapter on the ne people o Amemca to-nayr 1 uo I" not care in what village or in what ' errors of astronomy. !: Place declares eft--y, or what negnuornoc(a° " -- you o. that. the moor ---.ts not nut in the right pace. He says that if it had been put Which institution is it? Is it the post- office? Is it the hotel? Is it the lectur- ing hall? Ah, you know it is oa You know that the institution which stands nearest the hearts of the Ameri- can people is the Christian c]ureh. It you have e"cr seen a church burn down. vu have seen thousands ot pec¢£e standing and looking at it-- people who never go into a church-- the tears raining down their cheeks. The whole story is told. fo,r times farther from the earth than • t is now there would be more harmony in the universe; but Lionvilte comes up just in time to prove that the moon was ptt in the right place, tIow mauy colors woven into the light? Seven, says Isaac Newton. Three, says l)avid Brewser. ltow high is the Aurora Borealis? Two and a half miles, says Lias. One hundred and sixty-eight miles, says Twining. How far is the sun from the.earth? Seventy- You may talk about the church be- six million miles, says Laealle- Ethty- ing a collection of hypocrites, but two million miles, says Humboldt. when the diphtheria sweeps your chil- Ninet- million miles sa F drcn off, whom do you send for o Thel .- - y ', ys enaerson. .....  " . : ne hundred and four million miles postmaster? tae attorney-general? tbe sa--  ........ ", 9 "   y mayer Unly a little oiuerenee o hotel keeper, alderman, 'o, youl - " - • : - ..... twenty-eight million miles: All sprit send for a mmmter of thm Bble rehg-I up among themselves not a reein ion. And if you have not a room in " g g on anything. They come and say that your house for the obsequies, what building do you solicit? Do you say: "Give me the finest room iu thehotel?" Do you say: "Give me that theater?" Do you say: "Give me a place n that public building, where 2 can lay my dead for a little while until we say a prayer over it?" No; you say: "Give us the house Of God," And if there is asong to be sung at the obsequies what do you want? What does any- body want? The Marseillaise hymn? God Save the Queen? Our own grand national air2 No. They want the hymn with which they sang their old Christian mother into her last sleep, or they want sung the Sabbath school hymn which their little girl sang the last Sabbath afternoon she was out before she got that awful slckncss which broke your heart. I appeal to your common sense• You know the most endearing institution on earth, the most popular institution on e:rth to-day, is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. • The infidels say: "Infidelity shows its successes from the fact that it is everywhere accepted, and it can say what it will." Why, my friends, in- fidelity is not half so blatant in our day as it was in the days of "our fath- ers. Do you know that in the days of our fathers there were pronounced in- fidels in public authority and they could get any political position? Let a man to-clay declare himself antagonistic to the Christian religion aud what city wants him for mayor, what state wants him for governor and what nation wants him for president or a for king? Let a man openly proclaim.himself the enemy of our glorious Christianity and he can not get a majority, of votes in any state, in any city, in any coun- ty, in any ward of America. Do YOU think that such a scene could be enacted now as was enacted in the days of Robespierre, when a shameless woman was elevated as a goddess, and was carried in a golden chair to a cathedral where incense was burned to her and people bowed down before her as a divine being, she taking the place of the Bible and God Almighty, while in the corridor o that cathedral were enacted such scenes of drunken- ness and debauchery and obscenity as have never been witnessed? Do you believe such a thing could possibly occur in Christendom to-day? No, sir. The police, whether of Paris or New York, would swoop on it, I know in- fidelity makes a good del of talk in our day. It is on the principle that if the churches of Jesus Christ are di- vided on the great doctrines. All united they are, in Jesus Christ. in the divinity of the scriptures; while they come up and propose to render their verdict, no two of them agree on that verdic "Gentlemen of the jury, have you agreed on a verdict?" asks the court or the clerk of the jury as they come in after having spent the whole night in deliberating. If the jury say, "Yes. we have agreed." the verdict is recorded; but suppose one of the jurymen says, "I think the man was guilty of murder," and another says, "I think he was guilty of man- slaughter in the second degree," and another man says, "2 think he was guilty Of assault and battery with intent to kill, the judge would say, "Go back to your room and bring in a verdict; agree on something; that is no verdict." t Here these infidel scientists have  [empaneled themselves as a jury to /decide this trial betweeu infidelity, tbe plaintiff and Christianity, the de- fendant, aud after being out for centu- ries they come in to render ir ver- dict. Gentlemen of the jury, ha're you agreed on a verdict? ,o, no• Then go back for another five hundred years and deliberate and agree oa something. There is not a poor miser- able wretch in the Tombs court to- morrow that could be condemned by a jury that did not agree on the verdict, and yet you expect us to give up our glorious Christianity to pleaae these men who can not agree on anything. Ah! my friends, tbe church of Jesus Christ, instead of falling back', is on the advance. I am certain it is on the advance. O Lord God. take thy sword from thy thigh and ride forth to the victory. I am mightily encouraged because I find among other thivgs that while this Christianity has been bombarded for centuzies, infidelity has not de- stroyed one church, or crippled one minister, or uprooted one verse of one chapter of all the Bible. The church all the time getting the vic- tory and the shot and shell el its enemies nearly exhausted. I have been examininq their ammunition lately; I have looked alYthrugh their. cartridge-boes. They have not in the [ last twenty years advanced one new I idea They have utterly exhausted[ their ammunition in the battle against ] the church and against the scriptures htle the sword of the Lord Almighty | xs as keen as it ever was. We are just getting our troops into line; they are coming up in companies and in regi- ments nd in brigades, and you will hear a shout after a while that will make the earth uake and the heavens ring with Alleluia. It will be this: "Forward the whole line." And then 2 find another most en- couraging thought in the fact that the secular printlng-press and pulpit seem harnessed in the same team for the proclamation of the gospel. Every Wall street banker to-morrow in New York, every State street banker to- morrow in Boston, every Third street banker to-morrow in Philadelphia, every banker in the United States. and every merchant will have in his pocket a treatise on Christianity, a call to re- pentance, ten, twenty, or thirty pas- sages of scripture iu the reports of ser- mons preached throughout these citrus and throughout the land to-day• It will be so in Chicago, so in New Orleans, so in Charleston. so in Boston, so in Philadelphia, so everywhere, 2 know the tract societies are doing a grand and glorious workbut I tell you there is no power on earti to-day equal to the fact that the American printing- press is taking up the sermous whieh are preached to a few hundred or a few thousand people, and on Monday morning and Monday evening, in the morning and evening papers, scatter- ing that truth to the million What a thought it is! What an encourage- you can appropriately write: "Quod erat demonstrandum." You tellme that two and two make four. I do not dis- pute it, but it is not so plain that two and two make four as that the Lord God Almighty made this world and for man, the siuner, he sent his only be- gotten Son to die. 2 put on the witness stand to testify in behalf of Christianity the Church on earth and all the Church in heaven• Not fifty, not a thousand, not a mil- lion, but all of the Church on earth and all the redeemed in heaven. You tell me James A. Garfield was inaugurated President of the United States on the 4th of March, 1881. How do I know it! You tell me there were twenty thousand persons who distinct- ly heard his inaugural address. I[ deny botlL I deny that he was in-I augurated. I deny that his inaugural ] address was delivered. You ask why `) ] • . , . --" ! Idd not seet, I dd not hearlt. But[ you say there were twenty thousand I persons who did see and hear him. [ I say I cannot take it anyhow;I I did not see and hear him. Whose testimony will you take? You will not take my testimony. You say. "You know nothing aboutit, you were not there: let us have the testimony of the twenty thousand persons who stood before the capitol and heard that magnificent inaugural." Why of course that is as your com- mon-sense dictates. No, here are ment for every Christian man! some men who say they have never Besides that have ou noti .... seen Christ crowned in the heart, and , y ceu tna , the " y do not beheve t m ever done during the past few years every one of  . ' " " • [here is a group of men who sa the the doctrines of the Bible came under ] ' Y Y • • • have never heard the voice of Christ dtscusslon m the secular press? Do [ the have never heard the v i : you not remember a few years ao [ Y o ee o • ". " God. They do not believe it ever when every paper in the United States l ..... . ............ ,-  ransplreo, or was ever heard that nan an ectltorlal on cue suoject: ' Is ! _. .._ . _ . . _ ......... . anytmng nge it ever occurred. I point snere sucn a tang as uture pumsn-  .... _ .. ment?' o wenty, a nunured tnousana or a ' It was the strangest thing that there should be a discussion in million people who say, "Christ was the secular papers onthat subject bu • crowned in our heart's affections, wc ave seen him and felt him in our soul every paper in the United States and " • in Christendom discussed: "Is there and we have heard his oice: we have such a thing as retribution?" I know there were smaiI wits who made sport of the discussion, but there was not an intelligent man on earth who, as the result of that discussion. did not ask himself the question: "What is going to be ny eternal des- tiny?" So it was in regard to qyn- dali's prayer gauge. About twelve years ago you remember the secular papers discussed that. and with just as much earnestness as the religious paners, and there was not a man in Christendom who did not ask himself the question: "Is there anything in prayer? May the creature impress the Creator?" Oh. what a mighty fact, what a glorious fact, the secular print- ing press and the pulpit of the church of ,Jesus Christ harnessed in the same team. Then look at the international series of Sunday school lessons. 'Do you know that every Sabbath betweeu 3 and 5 o'clock, there are 5.000.000 chil- dren studying the Same lesson, a les- son prepared by the leading minds of the country and printed in the papers, and then these subjects are discussed and given over t5 the teachers, who give them over to the children; so whereas once---and within our memory ] --the children nibbled here and there [ at a story in tile Bible, now they are taken through from Genesis to Revela- tion and we sbali have 5,000•00o chil- lren forestalled for Christianity. My .oul is full of exultation. I feel as if I could shout--I will shout. "Alleluia, the Lord God omni otent rei ,,, Then you notice  m ores;n eth'an t fact. if you have talked with peopleon the subject, that they arc getting dis- satisfied with philosophy and science as a matter of comfort. They say it does not amount to anything when you have a dead chiI& in the house. They tell you, when they were sick and the door of the future seemed opening, the only comfort they could find was in the gospel. People are having demonstrated all over the land that science and philosophy can not solace the trouble and woes of the world, and they want some other reli- gion, and they are taking Christianity. the only sympathetic religion thatever came into the world. You just take your scientific consolation into that room where a mother has lost her child. Try in that case your splendid doctrine of the ' 'survival of the fittest." Tell her that child died because it was not worth as much as the other chil- dren. That. is your "survival of the fittest." Go to that dying man and tell him to pluck up courage for the future. Use your transcendental phraseology upon him. Tell him he ought to be- confident in "'the great to be," and the "everlasting now," and the "eternal what-is-it•" Just try your transcendentalism and your phi- losophy and your science on him. Go to that widowed soul, and tell her it was a geological necessity that her companion should be taken away from her, just as in the course of the world's history the mega- ,therium had to pass out of existence: and then, you go  in your scientific consolation until youet to the sub- lime fact that fifty million years from now we ourselves may be scientfid specimens on a geological shelf, petri- fied specxmens of an extinct human race. And after you have got all through with your consolation, if the oor afflicted soul is not crazed by it• I will send forth from this church the lainest Christian we have, and with one half hour of prayer and reading of scripture promises, the tears will be wiped away, and the house rom floor to cupola will be flooded with the calmness of an Indian summer sun- set. There is where I see the triumph of Christianity. People are dissatisfied with everything else. They wantGod. They want Jesus Christ. Talk about the exact sciences, there is only one exact science. It is not mathematics. Taylor's logarithms have many imperfections, The French metric system has many imperfec- tions. The only eaet science is Chris- tianity-the only thing under which heard it in storm and darkness; we have heard it again and again." Whose testimony will you take? These men, who say they have not heard the voice of Christ', have not seen.the coronatmn: or will you take the thousands and millions of Christians who testify oi what they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears? Yonder is an aged Christian after fifty years' experience of the power ot godliness in his soul. Ask this man whether, when he buried his dead, the religion of Jesus Christ was not a con- solation. Ask him if through the long years of his pilgrimage the Lord eve forsook him. Ask him when he looks forward to the future, if he has no a peace and a joy and a consolation the world can not take away. Put his testi- mony of what he has seen and what he has felt opposite to the testimony of a man who says he has not seen anything ou the subject or felt any- thing on the subject. WilP you take the testimony of people who have no seen, or people who have seen? You say morphia puts one to sleep. You say in time of sickness it is very useful. I deny it. Morphia never puts anybody to sleep, it never alle- viates pain. You ask me why I say that. 1 havenever tried it. I never took it. I deny that morphia is any soothing to the nerves, or any quiet in times of sickness. I deny that mor- phia ever put anyboay to sleep; but here are twenty persons whc say they have alt felt the sooth- ing effects of a physician's pre- "scribing morphine. Whose testimony will you take? Those who took the medicine, or my testimony, I never having taken the medicine?" Here is the gospel of Jesus Christ. an anodyne for all trouble, the mightiest medicine that ever came down to earth. 2ter is a man who says: "I don't believe in it; there is no power in it." Here are other people who say, "We have found out its power and know itssoothing in- fluence; it has cured us.•' Whose tes- timony will you take in regard to this healing medicine? I feel that I have con.vinced every man in this house that it is utter folly to take the testimony of those who have never tried the gosDe2 of Jesus Christ in their own heart and life. We have tensof thousands of witnesses, l believe you are ready to take their testimony. Young man. do uot be ashamed to be a friend of the Bible. Do not put your thumb m your vest as young men sometimes de.and swagger about, talking of the glorious light of the nineteenth century, and of their being no need of a Bible. They have the light of nature in India and China and in all the dark places on earth. Did you ever hear that the light of na- ture gave them comfort for their trouble? They have lancets to cut and juggernauts to crush, but no comfort. Ah! my friends, you had better stop your skepticism. Suppose you are pm in this crisis. 0 father! Your chlh] i dying• What are you going to say to her? Colonel Ethan Allen was a famous infidel in his day. His wife was a very consecrated woman. The mother in- structed the daughter in the truths of Christianity. The daughter sickened and was about to die, and she Said to bet father: "Father, shall 2 takeyour instruction? or shall I take mother's instruction? I am going to die now; I must have this matter decided." That man, who had been loud in his infidel- ity, said to his dying daughter: "My dear, you had better take your mother's religion.', My advice is the same to you, O young man, you had. better take your mother's religion. You know how it comforted her. You know what she said to you when she was dy- ing. You had better take your mother's religion.. Unt e1Ish Love, He--If you loved me you would marry me while I am poor. SheYou do me injustic I love you too much to have your precious health risked by my cooking. Wait until you can afford to keep servants The Mode Way Commends itself to the well-l do pleasantly and effectuall formerly done in the crudest disagreeably as well. 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