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Way of Life Literature

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Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Way of Life Bible College
The Poison of America’s Great Poets
March 5, 2024
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
What is happening in America today is shocking, but it is the product of 250 years of the leavening work of Satanic poison. The 19th century witnessed an explosion of end-time apostasy. Even most professing Christians have been unwittingly influenced by it or at least by the society it has helped create. The poison has been promulgated in the public school system, low and high. I was brainwashed by a public school education and only by the grace of God was I delivered into the glorious light of Jesus Christ and His Word.

Consider just four examples of the influential writers who poisoned society with barely a whimper of resistance even from the staunchest Bible churches.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), author of On Walden Pond, was a Unitarian. He denied man’s fall, the necessity of the new birth, and Christ’s sacrificial atonement. He rejected God’s Word and exalted human thinking. He sought for “truth” through communion with nature, study of eclectic philosophies, and reflection. He was his own god. In Walden, Thoreau said, “No man ever followed his genius till it misled him.” Like Emerson, Thoreau loved Hindu doctrine. He wrote, “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial” (On Walden Pond).

Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882) was introduced to Hinduism as a child by his aunt Moody Emerson. Though he was for a while the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Boston, he held Hindu concepts of pantheism and the divinity of man. He wrote, “... the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God” (Emerson, Nature), and, “... there is no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause, begins” (Emerson, The Over-Soul, 1841). Emerson taught that man is his own ultimate authority. In his message to the Phi Beta Kappa society at Harvard in 1837, entitled “The American Scholar,” Emerson exhorted scholars to free themselves of tradition (such as the Bible) and to maintain a “self-trust.” He taught that man should follow his own heart. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,--that is genius” (Emerson, Self-Reliance).

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) was a Unitarian. He was a professor of modern languages at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, which was a hotbed of Unitarianism and abolitionist thinking fueled by the liberal social gospel. Influential Unitarian Hezekiah Packard was a trustee of Bowdoin in the 1830s and 1840s. Packard’s son Alpheus was a professor of Latin and Greek at Bowdoin from 1824-65. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), was the wife of a Bowdoin professor and wrote her book in her husband’s office. She is known as “the little woman who started the big war,” as her book incited anger against the slavery states and provoked hotheads on both side of the issue. Her brother Henry Ward Beecher was the liberal pastor of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. During Beecher’s career there, he opened his pulpit to Unitarians such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Horace Greeley and even to agnostics such as Mark Twain. Henry Beecher “once argued that a Sharps rifle held a better argument than a Bible for persuading slaveholders--hence these rifles were nicknamed ‘Beecher’s Bibles’ when used to combat the spread of slavery in the Kansas Territory before the American Civil War” ( The Beechers were related to Julia Ward Howe, a Unitarian universalist and the author of the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which confused the coming of Christ with the American armies of the North. She misidentified God’s altar with “the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps” and falsely claimed that His gospel was “writ in burnish’d rows of steel.” Julia Ward Howe delivered a pantheistic, universalistic message at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893 entitled “What Is Religion?” (

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was perhaps America’s most influential and acclaimed poet. He has been called a prophet, and his work Leaves of Grass, “a new American bible.” Whitman was a transcendentalist, a pantheist, a universalist, a New Ager who believed in the divinity of man. He worshipped himself and encouraged others to do the same. “Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from, The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer, This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds. ... I celebrate myself, and sing myself. ... I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it, The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. ... And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s self is. ... And I say to humankind, Be not curious about God, For I who am curious about each am not curious about God. ... I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself” (“Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass).

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