WE are often advised by well-meaning Christians, who are ignorant of the bearings of our contention, to allow the subject of the plane earth to “drop,” and to join with them in proclaiming what they are pleased to call “the gospel.” As we are going to press we have receieved another gratuitous piece of advice of the same nature. Our friend writes : —
¶ “You believe the earth is flat and stands still. I may give it a passing notice. I am surprised to find a man of so much intelligence and learning should persist in such notions. Is it not a clear fact that we can determine the approximate size of the globe? And if you go in a straight line in any direction you will come to the place from which you started, and how do you account for the Seasons, and the difference in the length of days at different seasons; and tidal motions, &c. I think you would be better engaged in helping to swell the world-wide cry of the Gospel. Don’t you think so?
¶ In answer to the last question we say decidedly, No! not at the expense of leaving off teaching the plain truth. It is undeniable that the Holy Scriptures teach that the Earth is stationary ; that it rests on “foundations” and “pillars” ; and that it is “established so fast that it cannot be moved.” We therefore contend that if, as some of our christian friends would have us believe, the Bible is not true in its material teachings respecting the Universe, it is not reliable in its promises of spiritual blessings. But we maintain that the Bible is true ; true to fact and to every day observation ; and that the earth does not move. In future number we hope to give good proofs of the earths immobility for those who need them ; but in the meantime we have a right to ask for some one proof, and we only ask for one, of the earths supposed terrible motions? It appears stationary. It feels stationary. Then why should we give up the evidence of our God-given senses for the sake of a mere astronomical and unsupported assumption?
¶ There is much more behind this question of the shape of the earth than our good natured but illogical advisers are aware of. If we are credited, as we are by those who know us, with at least an average share of common sense, and little more than average amount of “intelligence and learning,” how is it that our advisers– who for the most part have never really studied the question– how is it they cannot credit us with understanding this subject, which we have studied, and with understanding its importance as supplying a good foundation for our confidence in the sure Word of God? We maintain that if the Bible is not true respecting the material Creation, it is not reliable in its promises of Salvation ; and that it is perfectly useless to preach the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to men who have lost their faith in the inspiration or truthfulness, of the Word of God. It is, moreover, a great pity when Christian friends unite with skeptical foes in support of godless science, falsely called “science,” which strikes at the very foundation of the truth of the Creator’s Word. They incur a grave responsibility in so doing. Let them take heed.
¶ In answer to our correspondents questions, we say. It is not “a clear fact that we can determine the approximate size of the globe.” It is not a clear fact that the earth is a globe at all. Let proof be offered. And again, it is not possible “to go in a straight line in any direction, and come back to the place of starting.” Any “straight line” is an impossibility on a spherical surface. But apart from this self-evident fact, no one has ever travelled or voyaged due North, or due South, and come back to the same place again. The great ice barriers would prevent this. Yet our correspondent thoughtlessly says “in any direction”! Men can go round the World in an easterly or a westerly direction ; but this is also possible on a plane. Hence it is no proof of the earth’s sphericity. But our opponents do not seem to be able to discriminate in these things. It is the fault, doubtless, of our system of “education,” which crams young minds with other men’s ideas, instead of teaching them to think for themselves, and to think cautiously and accurately.
¶ Let us hope that ———— will help, at least, to raise enquiry, and to teach men to think for themselves ; and not to leave all their thinking to professional and interested preachers of science. There is an evident need of such a paper as ours, even apart from its advocacy of the truth of the Bible, if only to awaken candid enquiry. Let us hope that all lovers of truth– or spiritual– and all lovers of original ideas, possessing true freedom of thought, will rally round us, and help us on towards a world-wide circulation of ———–.
First Printed in THE EARTH Not a Globe REVIEW, A Magazine of Cosmographical Science : The Organ of the Universal Zetetic Society. Edited by Zetetes. Jan. Long Ago A.D.