Volume 2 Page 46
[ON THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE
[The second sentence in the following fragment in H.P.B.’s handwriting found in the Adyar Archives, is evidence that it belongs to the material which was eventually to become The Secret Doctrine. The year 1879 is mentioned somewhat later in this fragment. Although H.P.B.’s magnum opus did not see the light until 1888, she actually “broke ground” for it on May 23rd, 1879, as appears from Col. Olcott’s Diaries also in the Adyar Archives. Between May 25 and June 4, 1879, some work was done on preparing a Preface to the new work which, at the time, was to be a “recasting” of Isis Unveiled. For these reasons, the following fragment has been placed in this particular chronological sequence.—Compiler.]
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” once said a great philosopher. If my first work Isis appeared “half a century too early” according to a benevolent critic, everything warrants the belief that this one will prove timely. Ours is no century of
impregnable religious strongholds, of immovable idols, or of infallibility beyond appeal. Hardly born, it witnessed the downfall of that celestial slaughter house—the “Holy Inquisition,” abolished in 1808, and which had terrorised Christendom for nearly seven hundred years; and now, in its 79th period, the authority of the hitherto infallible “Word of God” undermined at its very foundation, and by the hand of its own Anglican Sanhedrin, is tottering toward annihilation.* The Divine Revelation is made subservient to [MS. breaks off here].
* The public judgment cannot be blinded by any amount of sophistry like the following.
“To readers . . . who dread the consequences of the slightest relaxation of the absolute verbal infallibility of the Old Testament . . . we hope that we may without presumption address a few words to allay their alarm. Most earnestly would we urge them to remember, that the questions answered by the ‘Commentary’ in a sense which is obnoxious to them, lie entirely within the boundaries of the Christian faith, and touch not an article of the Creed, nor a doctrine of Christianity, nor a formulary of our Church. Decide them whichever way we will, the whole fabric of divine truth remains exactly as it was, unimpaired and complete.” (Quarterly Review, supra, p. 334.)
So we are asked to believe, that after destroying the miraculous character of the Egyptian works of Moses; the verbatim accuracy of his pretended commands from God; the predictive significance of the utterances of the prophets as concerns the coming of Christ, all which have for centuries been paraded as the very foundations upon which Christian theology rests, still remains “unimpaired and complete.” It will go hard with these apologists of a supernumerary faith to satisfy the unbiased critic that when so much hitherto declared divine revelation is tossed to the winds a shred of infallibility or divinity is left. All can see, that with them as with Hamlet “To be or not to be—that is the question.” Fancy the upper portion of a house sustaining itself in mid-air, after the lower story and foundation have been taken away!
[In H.P.B.’s Scrapbook, Vol. VIII, p. 278, there is pasted an “Important Notice” dated June, 1879, and signed by Swâmi Dayânanda Saraswatî. In the last portion of it he gives information concerning Harichand Chintaman (Harichandra Chintamon), who received large sums of money and disappeared. H.P.B. appended to this the following comments:]
Expelled publicly from the T.S. for embezzling Rs. 600 of the money sent by us from America and England for the Arya Samaj. Ran away to England secretly after thus carrying away Rs. 4,000 of Dya Nand Saraswati.