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„A THROUGH TICKET”
The above is the caption of a tract published and circulated in great quantities, by THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY of New York City, from which we give the following extract:—
„Dying fellow travelers to eternity, how long have you been on the road? May-be it is only a few years; yet in that short time, how far and fast you may have journeyed in the wrong direction—on the road which ends in woe. Apply at once for a through ticket upon the royal road which the King of heaven himself has cast up and opened—a through ticket, with the life insurance included. You know not how soon you will reach your journey’s end, or pass the station beyond which it will be impossible to change your course. An hour longer may fix your home in hell forever, as you cannot come back to remedy the neglect.
„Are you old, and near the end of your journey, and still in the wrong train, or uncertain where you are going? Oh, awake to your danger. Heaven or hell must soon burst on your vision; a company of angels or devils are waiting for your arrival; their conveyances are all ready; your place is prepared. Holy angels and saints are waiting to greet you with joy, or devils and lost spirits to aid in torturing your wretched soul. Maybe you will find among them your own children, to curse you for your example, and charge their damnation on your neglect of their souls.”
The thought that in any age any but savages would believe and teach such things must be humiliating to every one who feels the least respect for human intelligence; but when we remember that this is published in the Nineteenth Century when Bibles are printed by the million every year and can be had by the poorest, and that it is published in America, the land of freedom and schools, the humiliation is more than doubled.
But even worse than all this, this blasphemy against our Heavenly Father’s character and plans, is published in the name of Christianity—in the name of him who so loved sinners as to give himself a ransom for all. Alas! Alas! Dear Master, how far from thy spirit is that of some who call themselves by thy name! How far from thy words are theirs! how far from thy thoughts and plans are theirs! As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are thy ways higher and grander and more beneficent than theirs, and thy thoughts than their thoughts. (Isa. 55:9.) Oh that they would taste and see that the Lord is good, that his mercy endureth forever. (Psa. 34:8; 106:1.) Language fails us in seeking to express our abhorrence of such unscriptural, God-dishonoring statements. How then must it appear to the Master himself?
And yet as shown by the report of the „Amer. Tract Society” for the year past, their receipts were $357,470, out of which 56,000,000 pages of tract matter were published and distributed, carrying poisonous blasphemy, of which the above is one sample, into thousands of homes.
Those giving their dollars and their influence in proclaiming such doctrines, such poison, labelled „Gospel” will ere long be greatly ashamed of their misuse of their Lord’s money. „They shall be ashamed” when „He shall appear to your joy” (Isa. 66:5) who from love of THE TRUTH, and in its support, have sacrificed time, money, influence—all.
Think of it! over a third of a million dollars to enable the „Amer. Tract Society” to proclaim:—”Heaven or hell must soon burst upon your vision; a company of angels or devils are awaiting your arrival; their conveyances are all ready. … Holy angels are waiting to greet you with joy, or devils and lost spirits to aid in torturing your wretched soul;” and less than two thousand dollars for the same time to enable „Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” to tell the „Good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people.”
And yet those few who have given of their „living,” intelligently, from the heart desiring the spread of the „good tidings,” have not only „cast in more” than the wealthy of Babylon in the esteem of the Master, but they have given in such manner as to glorify instead of dishonor him. And furthermore, the influence and effect of the little sum, under God’s blessing is far greater than that of the large one. The walls of Babylon are crumbling and its doctrines of Eternal Torment, dying gradually, but surely, notwithstanding over a hundred thousand ministers are paid large salaries for its support, and millions of dollars are spent annually to enforce and support these doctrines and systems.
Ah, what better evidence could we have of the present power of the „Prince of this World” „The God [Ruler] of this World,” to blind and deceive and use God’s careless children as his tools, than we have here before us in this and other similar systems and circumstances: wearing the garb of Christ’s service, yet [deludedly] diverting money, influence and energy to the support of blasphemous errors and calumnies upon Jehovah the God of Justice and Love. Arise, O Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered. Awake, O Zion, put on thy strength, for one shall chase a thousand. Their ROCK is not as our rock, our opponents themselves being witnesses.
— October, 1885 —