As far as twentieth century
Christian figures are concerned, Philip Mauro stands out as one of the
most captivating. After coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord
in 1903, at the age of forty five, Mauro, a member of the bar of the
Supreme Court of the United States and one of the foremost patent
lawyers of his day, began his "Testimony" of what was to him
the most important event in his life.
His repeated successes in
courts of law, coupled with his legal briefs, could not but gain
recognition, for they were "models of accuracy, conciseness, and
literary finish." As such, they were "frequently used
by judges in the text of their decisions." Perhaps one of
the most important occasions where his legal work was requisitioned
was in connection with the famous Tennessee-Scopes trial in 1925. The
brief or argument which Bryan used, and thereby won the case, was
prepared by Philip Mauro.
His early twentieth century was
a period of great expansion for many errors, such as Dispensationalism
and Anglo Israelism. Rising to the forefront of Christianity's
great struggle against these foes, he applied the preparation God had
given him, and scored great victories for sound doctrine. As a
result of his body of work, the following generations have been able
to pick up weapons at the spot where he fell and continue the struggle
for Truth, as it is to this day.
The very fact that a
materialistic, scientific lawyer of such high reputation as Mr. Mauro
had become such an earnest Christian and such an able advocate of
Christianity, both by his pen and public addresses, caused him to be
sought for increasingly as a speaker at Bible conferences and in
Christian circles generally.
Perhaps one of the most
important occasions where his legal help was requisitioned was in
connection with the famous Tennessee-Scopes trial in 1925.
True, William Jennings
Bryan, the "silver-tongued" orator, thrice Democratic
nominee for President of the United States, devout Christian and
popular Bible teacher, was retained by the State of Tennessee to
defend its law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in its public
schools. The brief or argument which Bryan used, however, and
thereby won the case, was prepared by Philip Mauro. This was a great
victory inasmuch as the defense attorney was none other than Clarence
Darrow, the brilliant and successful criminal lawyer.
And if others did not forget
Mauro's legal ability, neither did he forget his former business and
legal associates. These he had faithfully and personally
witnessed to after his conversion and fervently prayed that they, as
he had been, might be brought out of darkness into light. One of
the most famous of these was Thomas A. Edison.
As successful patent counsel
for the Columbia Phonograph Company, Philip Mauro had repeated
encounters with this wizard, who was regarded as "one of the
company's most formidable antagonists," in the extensive
litigation involving patents. Despite the fact that Mr. Mauro
was Edison's legal opponent and invariably his victor, Edison
evidently retained his respect for him personally as well as for his
intellect, for when in 1926 Mr. Mauro wrote Edison, "giving him a
personal testimony as to the peace of mind and conscience that had
come to him through trusting in Jesus Christ, the result was an
invitation to visit Mr. Edison at his laboratory in Orange, New
Jersey." When the two met on October 29, 1926, they had not
seen each other for about twenty years.
The story of their interview
is best told be Mr. Mauro himself as printed in The Last Hour,
edited and published by himself. "Mr. Edison is now in his
eightieth year; but his mind is evidently as keen as ever. All
his life his attitude regarding things not seen- God, the human soul,
life hereafter, etc.- has been severely skeptical. But now, in
the sunset of his days, he has undertaken the investigation of those
great matters, with a desire to know the truth, but with insistence
upon PROOF. 'I want FACTS,' was the way he expressed the attitude of
his mind. Owing to Mr. Edison's deafness, it was difficult for
the editor to speak to him. But it was better so; and the
promise was given that he would read attentively a short letter on the
matter discussed." This Mr. Mauro wrote "the day
following the interview."
"Dear Mr. Edison,
"It was a real
pleasure to see you and hear your voice again. Moreover, the
matters touched upon in our conversation of yesterday gave me much
to think about.
"You want facts. So
do I. A reasonable man's belief should rest upon nothing less
substantial than well-attested facts. So here is a fact for
"God (whom you reverently call "the Supreme
Intelligence") loves you and wants your love in return.
My visit to you and this letter are evidence of it, though, of
course, not sufficient to prove to your satisfaction either that God
is, or that He cares for Thomas Edison. But wait.
"Another fact: God is
"How do I know? I know only in the way that light can be known-
by experience. For the nature of light is such that it admits
of being known only in the way of experimental knowledge. I am
saying this to the man who has had more to do with the development
of artificial light than any other who ever lived in this dark
world, and who probably knows more about light, in a practical way,
than any other. How then could the existence and the nature of
light be demonstrated to one who had been shut up all his life in a
dark cell? It could be done only in some way such as by
opening a window; and then the light would enter, and prove itself.
"This I say, because
you are seeking a solution of the mystery of life and the soul by
the way of analogies form nature. Very good. Much truth can be
got in that way; as Butler, in his famous Analogy has
abundantly shown. I hope you will continue your investigation,
and in your customary thorough-going fashion; for it is the most
important you ever undertook. And in this connection I call
you attention to a clear and pertinent analogy; the point of which
is that the proof you demand can be had only by experiment.
For myself, I know that God is Light, and that He sheds light in the
heart that is opened to Him, because I put the matter to the test of
experience twenty-three years ago, and have enjoyed the
consciousness of spiritual light ever since. Moreover, my
experience is that of millions of others.
"Let me remind you
that light will not force its way into a place that is tightly
closed; but that, if only a tiny chink be opened, in it comes,
"Likewise Christ, who is 'the true Light,' does not force
Himself into the chambers of the soul against the human will.
For the nature of the matter is such that, like the smell of a
violet, the color of a sunset, or the taste of honey, it can only be
known by experiment. The 'Good Book' that you asked me not to
quote, says, 'Come and see,' 'Taste and see.' Is not that strictly
"You have been truly
doing God's work in helping to enlighten the darkness of
nature. But there is a spiritual darkness too. So follow
the analogy, and it will lead you straight to the truth, and to the
solution of the whole mystery of human existence.
affection and respect,
(Signed) Philip Mauro."
Philip Mauro was a prolific
writer. His works includes God's Pilgrims, The Church,
the Churches and the Kingdom, The Hope of Israel, Ruth,
the Satisfied Stranger, The Wonders of Bible Chronology, The
Last Call to the Godly Remnant, More Than a Prophet, Dispensationalism
Justifies the Crucifixion, Speaking in Tongues, and Things
Which Soon Must Come to Pass. Many of these works may be
obtained through Schoettle Publishing Company, Inc.