This E-Text © 2000, 2013 Pass the WORD Services.
E-Text Copyright renews with each published update.
On-line at PTW: March 28, 2000
Last update: July 1, 2013
Published by the Shakers
Part 1 1894
Part 2 1900
DIVINE REVELATION, is the sun of the religious and mental world. Or it may be likened to a ladder of light, let down from above, on which, by practicing the self-denials it enjoins, the children of time may climb from earth to heaven. It is strait as the sun's rays, and the only route from one to the other. To deny revelation, argues the densest ignorance and folly, or an arrested development. For man, without the knowledge imparted by revelation, is only an intellectual animal, at his best showing. Without understanding of his spiritual nature and moral accountability to a higher Power and Intelligence, he is like the beasts that perish, and is so characterized in the language of prophecy. Therefore we believe God has never left any people wholly without a witness, or the gift of spiritual instruction by dreams, or visions, or whisperings of an inward voice. To stand on the first or second round of the ladder, and denounce all who ascend higher, as fanatics, impostors, speculators, or theorizers, deluded by imagination, is extremely unwise. A refusal to go higher, and a confession of inability to keep the commandments of God, argues a lack of desire to do so, and a state of bondage to earthly conditions, or to carnal pleasure. To claim that the revelation of two thousand, or eighteen hundred years ago, is sufficient for all people in all time, and to practice a word mongering trade in the letter of ancient Scripture, argues destitution of the Spirit, and a dwelling among the tombs and shells of the infancy of the race, and a feeding on chaff that contains little nourishment.
Believers want not a conjectural commentary on the letter of the Bible, but the unfolded meaning that the Spirit designs to teach through the letter, which is but a lifeless shell or husk, without the aid of the Spirit to interpret it. This object can be better obtained in Bible study by pursuing the matter topically, that is, by subjects, than by following the historical order of the record.
The work here presented is only a beginning of a design long germinal in the writer's mind. That is, a catechistic work to instruct the young in faith, and young in years, in the foundation principles of our Gospel, the gospel of Jesus the Savior, and of Ann the Grace, Helper and Comforter. A work he deems worth the attention and labor of many minds, through a long series of years. Friendly criticism, or suggestions to aid this object will be acceptable.
Quotations from the New Testament that vary from the common English version, are chiefly taken from the Emphatic Diaglott. Translations that vary from the Original, made by uninspired translators, we regard as of only human authority. Subjects could not be treated exhaustively in the space here allowed, but the writer has sought enlightening aid of the wisdom from above, and to make answers as brief and comprehensive as he could, consistently with clearness and precision of ideas.
The following is my understanding of Scripture teaching in harmony with Shaker principles and practice.
A. G. HOLLISTER.
~ End of Preface ~
1. What is the chief end of man?
2. How can man glorify God?
3. How can we bear much fruit?
4. How do we know His commandments?
5. What is Believers faith concerning God?
6. What did Mother Ann say of God?
7. Can you define spirit?
8. What is organized spirit?
9. What is elementary spirit?
10. How is spirit distributed?
11. What else may be said of its uses?
12. Are there different kinds of Spirit?
13. Are there other distinctions that may be properly noted?
14. Is the term spirit, used with other meanings?
15. What is the quality of the Divine Being who is called God?
16. Can any living principle, evil in its nature, or opposed to good, proceed from God?
17. Did God ever make any evil thing?
18. How do you explain consistently with the foregoing, the statement in Isa. 45:7, I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these?
19. Can you specify some moral evils?
20. Why so?
21. Please specify some examples of conditional evil.
22. Why are these called conditional evils?
23. Are there other definitions that distinguish these evils?
24. Why does the All Good create those seeming evils?
25. Please name some examples of types.
26. If God created man good, and no evil can proceed from Him, how came man to possess an evil nature?
27. Can spiritual darkness come from God?
28. What do we infer from the foregoing propositions?
29. How does the Apostle define light?
30. What did Jesus say concerning the effects of light?
31. What do we infer from this statement?
32. What else did he say in his discourse on light?
33. What are we taught by this proposition?
34. How does light affect the upright?
35. What are we to understand from the discourse here quoted?
36. Are there any of Adam's race grown to years of understanding that have not sinned?
37. What is Truth?
38. What does Jesus say of hypocrisy that covers its sins from the Witnesses of truth?
39. How can we escape the dishonor of public exposure in the judgment?
40. What does the Apostle James say about confession?
41. What is John's testimony on this subject?
42. What other effects follow confessing and forsaking sin?
43. What is the blood of Christ that cleanses from all unrighteousness? 1John 1:7.
44. What did our first spiritual Parents say would be the effect of sin wilfully covered?
45. Is confessing sin before a Witness of Christ, the strait gate, that opens on the narrow way to eternal life?
46. What does Jesus say of those who sin?
47. What does John say of those who sin?
48. What else does John testify on this head?
49. What is the MYSTERY or LAWLESSNESS and Man of sin, concerning which Paul writes to the Thessalonians? 2Thess. 2.
50. What effect does it have to be carnally minded?
51. How can we conquer death?
52. Is it serving sin to confess sins before a Witness with a resolution to forsake them forever?
53. What effect does it have to honestly persevere in this course?
54. What does the Old Testament witness to the benefit of confession?
55. Will a secret confession to God in the sinner's mind, expel the darkness and liberate the soul from slavery to sin?
56. From whom does man try to cover his sins?
57. Then is it before his fellow man or woman that the covering must be removed, and acknowledgment made, to take away sin?
58. What else was required to make atonement for sin?
59. What did Joshua say to Achan, after Achan's guilt had been discovered?
60. How does a sinner glorify God, when confessing his faults in the presence of a Witness?
61. Why was Achan killed after he had made confession?
62. What did Mother Ann say of the condition of sinners?
63. What did she say is the first step of obedience to the gospel, that a sinner can take?
64. What reason did she give for this requirement?
65. What did Mother Ann say of her own confession?
66. What was Mother's feeling of conviction for sin?
67. What did Father James testify on this subject?
68. What did Father William say of his confession?
69. Whence did he say, arises the shame?
70. Why is the shame felt in confessing, and not in committing sin?
71. Can people become so morally perverted and insane as to boast of their wickedness and knowledge of evil?
72. What is the promise of God by Mother, to those who honestly confess their sins with full determination to forsake them forever?
73. Can one be injured by other people having knowledge of his sins, whether rightfully or wrongfully obtained, after he has confessed and repented of them?
74. What do the Scriptures teach on this subject?
75. What effect has sin recorded on the soul, and not removed nor covered in the manner that God has appointed?
76. What if the mind forgets, and is not conscious of its sin?
77. Has it other evil effects?
78. What does the Prophet say is the effect of sin?
79. Can mortals then hide from God?
80. In what way can union with God be regained?
81. Does transgression which separates souls from God, separate them one from another?
82. What is the Apostle's testimony on this head?
83. Have you fully explained what this cleansing blood is?
84. What does Jesus say of those doing the lawlessness?
85. How did he answer those worldly miracle workers.
86. What day do we understand is here referred to?
87. What will be the end of lawlessness?
88. What kind of fire is here meant?
89. Will souls be tormented in this fire?
90. Does not the Apostle say The day shall be revealed by fire, and fire shall test every man's work? 1Cor. 3:13.
91. Does another Apostle declare The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a rushing sound, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and works that are therein shall be discovered? Marginal reading. 2Peter 3:10.
92. What are the heavens that are passing away?
93. Is the rushing sound also mental and spiritual?
94. What are the elements dissolved with fervent heat?
95. What effect has that day upon the earth and works in it?
96. Why is not this mighty revolution recognized and voluntarily aided by nominal Christians?
97. Is this the reason it comes upon them as a thief?
98. How will this ignorance terminate with those who reject the warning gospel of the harvest?
99. What did Father James testify on this subject?
100. Mention one encouraging promise given by Father James to the faithful.
101. What is Father's testimony of God's mercy?
102. How does our gospel testimony affect the standing in the Day of the Lord, of those who obey it?
~ End of Part 1, Chapter 1 ~
1. What is the manifest Order of Deity?
2. Does God possess the attribute of Father and Mother?
3. Is Wisdom the Mother Spirit in Deity according to Scripture?
4. What does Jesus say of Wisdom?
5. Have we in Scripture further evidence of this dual order?
6. What are we taught by this?
7. What was the opinion of the Ancients concerning the order of Deity?
8. Can God be seen by mortal sight?
9. If mortals cannot see God, how can they know such a Being exists?
10. How is the invisible Creator known by His visible works in creation?
11. What is the law of cause and effect?
12. Please give an example.
13. What other law can you describe of cause and effect?
14. How does this reasoning assist us to a knowledge of God?
15. Can we see more of God in His creation, than we have light from His Intelligence?
16. What is necessary in order to see God?
17. How is this light acquired?
18. How is creation preserved and brought into higher and higher degrees of progressive order?
19. Why cannot we see God, as we do man, with our natural eyes?
20. Can the reason why we cannot see God with outward eyes be illustrated by anything in nature?
21. How then are spirits sometimes seen like persons in the body?
22. In what other way can we know the existence of spirit?
23. What is this spirit within us?
24. What is the soul?
25. Can the body act without the soul?
26. Can the spiritual eye of the soul while in the physical body, see spiritual things, as the natural eye sees natural things?
27. Can the Eternal Divine Being ever be seen by the spiritual eye of the soul?
28. What is the Apostle's testimony in this line?
29. What is spiritual vision?
30. What may be seen in spiritual vision?
31. What is the difference between soul and spirit?
32. What relation does it hold to the physical body?
33. Of what is it composed?
34. Do animals have souls?
35. What is the human spirit apart from soul?
36. What does spirit administer to soul?
37. What is the Apostle's prayer for disciples of Truth?
38. Is the soul and spirit our real being, that exists after the body perishes?
39. Does the body serve any other purpose?
40. Does the destruction or death of the body disorganize the soul?
41. What does the Apostle Paul say on this subject?
42. Can we feel the influence of the Divine Spirit, and certainly know that what we feel and sense is from God, and is true?
43. What says the Apostle James, concerning good gifts?
44. How can we certainly know that what we feel is really from God?
45. What other virtues or principles can we be sure are proceeding from God?
46. Will you name other feelings that proceed from God?
47. Does God see us at all times, and know all our thoughts and actions?
48. What is the Scripture evidence on this subject?
49. What further evidence of this, do we find recorded?
50. What does Jesus say of our heavenly Father's cognition of human affairs?
51. What do the revelations of clairvoyance and of psychometry teach us?
52. What is this Astral light?
53. Is there any allusion to it in the Bible?
54. Can mortals hide from this omnipresent light?
55. Are we required to walk in this light of the pure mind, to be accepted of God?
56. Ought we always to be as we seem to be, and seem to be what we really are?
57. Can one have true self respect who secretly does mean things, that he or she wishes to conceal from respectable people?
58. What do the foregoing propositions teach us?
59. What will be the consequences of our action?
60. What did Jesus say concerning the judgment?
61. What action will be taken then?
62. Are Divine rewards and punishments arbitrarily dispensed, as is done by the governments of men?
63. Is there any way to extract these evils from the doer of them?
64. What are the conditions of the purchase of eternal life?
65. What more is indispensably requisite to complete the purchase?
66. What is gospel fire?
67. What does the Apostle testify is the final outcome of these steps?
68. Is God submission?
~ End of Part 1, Chapter 2 ~
More Excerpts from the Morning Star Pearly Gate Bible Lessons
Index of Other: Shaker Manuscripts On-Line
Printing the Manuscripts: For step by step instructions, how to possibly deal with printer problems, how to customize page headers/footers, suggestions for those with no computer/printer, and more information about the on-line documents at PasstheWORD.
Please report typographical errors to the Site Stewards.