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Personality of God

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    IMMATERIALITY

    THIS is but another name for nonentity. It is the negative of all things and beings — of all existence. There is not one particle of proof to be advanced to establish its existence. It has no way to manifest itself to any intelligence in heaven or on earth. Neither God, angels, nor men could possibly conceive of such a substance, being, or thing. It possesses no property or power by which to make itself manifest to any intelligent being in the universe. Reason and analogy never scan it, or even conceive of it. Revelation never reveals it, nor do any of our senses witness its existence. It cannot be seen, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled, even by the strongest organs, or the most acute sensibilities. It is neither liquid nor solid, soft nor hard — it can neither extend nor contract. In short, it can exert no influence whatever — it can neither act nor be acted upon. And even if it does exist, it can be of no possible use. It possesses no one, desirable property, faculty, or use, yet, strange to say, immateriality is the modern Christian’s God, his anticipated heaven, his immortal self — his all!PERGO 6.2

    O sectarianism! O atheism!! O annihilation!!! who can perceive the nice shades of difference between the one and the other? They seem alike, all but in name. The atheist has no God. The sectarian has a God without body or parts. Who can define the difference? For our part we do not perceive a difference of a single hair; they both claim to be the negative of all things which exist — and both are equally powerless and unknown.PERGO 6.3

    The atheist has no after life, or conscious existence beyond the grave. The sectarian has one, but it is immaterial, like his God; and without body or parts. Here again both are negative, and both arrive at the same point. Their faith and hope amount to the same; only it is expressed by different terms.PERGO 7.1

    Again, the atheist has no heaven in eternity. The sectarian has one, but it is immaterial in all its properties, and is therefore the negative of all riches and substances. Here again they are equal, and arrive at the same point.PERGO 7.2

    As we do not envy them the possession of all they claim, we will now leave them in the quiet and undisturbed enjoyment of the same, and proceed to examine the portion still left for the despised materialist to enjoy.PERGO 7.3

    What is God? He is material, organized intelligence, possessing both body and parts. Man is in his image.PERGO 7.4

    What is Jesus Christ? He is the Son of God, and is like his Father, being “the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person.” He is a material intelligence, with body, parts, and passions; possessing immortal flesh and immortal bones.PERGO 7.5

    What are men? They are the offspring of Adam. They are capable of receiving intelligence and exaltation to such a degree as to be raised from the dead with a body like that of Jesus Christ, and to possess immortal flesh and bones. Thus perfected, they will possess the material universe, that is, the earth, as their “everlasting inheritance.” With these hopes and prospects before us, we say to the Christian world who hold to immateriality, that they are welcome to their God — their life — their heaven, and their all. They claim nothing but that which we throw away; and we claim nothing but that which they throw away. Therefore, there is no ground for quarrel or contention between us.PERGO 7.6

    We choose all substance — what remains
    The mystical sectarian gains;
    All that each claims, each shall possess,
    Nor grudge each other’s happiness.
    An immaterial God they choose,
    For such a God we have no use;
    An immaterial heaven and hell,
    In such a heaven we cannot dwell.
    We claim the earth, the air, and sky,
    And all the starry worlds on high;
    Gold, silver, ore, and precious stones,
    And bodies made of flesh and bones.
    Such is our hope, our heaven, our all,
    When once redeemed from Adam’s fall;
    All things are ours, and we shall be,
    The Lord’s to all eternity.
    PERGO 8.1

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