When a man holds up a book, and says, “You must believe this, because it says, ‘Thus saith the Lord,'” should we not pity that man? Does he comprehend the liberty of man to acquire knowledge?
Any book that imparts knowledge of the life and destiny of man, is a good book. Any book that unfolds the character and person of Jehovih, and the wonder and glory of His creations, is a good book.
When a book gives us information of things we know not of, it should also give us a method of proving that information to be true. This book covers that ground.
The day has arrived, when man will not accept proclamations and assertions; he wants plausible reasons, or substantial proofs, that the authority be not merely a presense, but a demonstrable fact.
The time of man-worship is at an end; readers no longer accept a book as good and great, merely because any certain one wrote it. The book must have merits of its own, otherwise it will soon pass out of existence.
When a man says, “I heard the voice of Jehovih, saying,” that part of his speech is worthless. When he says, “I heard the voice of Jehovih, saying: ‘Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you,'” then the words become valuable. His assertion of his authority is of no avail in this age of the world. The words purporting to be Jehovih’s should, therefore, be the only consideration as to merit. And all men have a right to pass judgment thereon. Is it not the light of Jehovih within all men, that makes them conscious of wisdom and truth? If so, then man’s expression of any truth or wisdom is Jehovih’s expression.
If a book were to fall down from the sky with Jehovih’s signature to it, man would not accept the book on that account. Why, then, should anything be said about how this book was written? It blows nobody’s horn; it makes no leader. It is not a destroyer of old systems or religions. It reveals a new one, adapted to this age.
New York, 1882.