Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Atomic Explosion and the End of All Things" By H.E.M. Snyder

This staplebound booklet — "Atomic Explosion and the End of All Things" — was published with an initial press run of 10,000 copies in 1946 by H.E.M. Snyder.

It had a price of 30 cents.

Snyder, a pastor, moved around Pennsylvania a good bit. According to the title page, he was "Formerly Teacher of Bible and Evangelism in The Lancaster School of The Bible and School of Theology, Lancaster, Pa., and Pastor of Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church, Manheim, Pa."

There are also two ink stamps for H.E.M. Snyder on the title page. The first one has been crossed out with crayon and indicates he served as a pastor in Royersford, Pennsylvania.1

The second stamp reads:
H.E.M. Snyder, Pastor
1906 Carlisle Road
York, Pa.

I'm not sure if 1906 Carlisle Road was once a church, or if that's Snyder's residential address when he resided in York County. (My friends at Preserving York or Only in York County might be able to help with that question.)

The religious booklet discusses the fears and questions that had been raised since the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 5, 1945. Snyder writes:
"No event since the death and resurrection of Christ has left such an impress universally upon the mind of man. Everywhere one can hear the question being asked: 'Is this the end of civilization? Does this mean the end of the world?' In this pamphlet we propose to answer this question, and to show some of the lessons God would teach us through the increased knowledge gained through the splitting of the atom."
Some of Snyder's discussion points include:
  • I. The atomic bomb demonstrates the reality of the unseen. Snyder writes: "Scientists have gone down into the infinitesimal, invisible specks of matter called atoms to unlock the secret of God's power. ... They went into the atom, split its nucleus, and released the energy of the sun. Just think for a moment. The atom is so tiny that there are billions and trillions and quadrillions of them on the tip of your nose.2 And man picks out one of these invisible specks, splits it and releases its power. How did the scientist ever dream that such a tiny thing existed?"
  • II. The atomic bomb confirms the truth of the word of God.
  • III. The atomic bomb also gives us a good conception of the power of the son of God. Here, we get a little bit of biographical insight about Snyder: "Before the Lord called the writer to the Holy Ministry, he was employed by the New Jersey Zinc Company. Adjoining our office was a chemical laboratory. Here we heard the discussions of some of the leading research scientists. ... Here we first learned that in our universe there is a system of more than 90 elements, constructed of tiny, invisible atoms of different weight and construction."
  • IV. The advent of the atomic bomb has made Christians yearn more intently for the advent of our Lord, and to pray more fervently the prayer of John: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
  • V. Finally, atomic explosion makes it easier for us to see how God is going to bring this world to an end by fire. Snyder writes: "If man, with all his limitations and sin, can invent a bomb that is capable of destroying entire cities, how easy it should be for men to believe that the everlasting God, the Great Creator of all things visible and invisible, can make weapons of destruction so horrible that man's atomic bombs in comparison will be as paper caps that a little boy shoots on the fourth of July in a toy pistol! ... [But] our ominipotent Lord will keep the new man-made bomb under His control. I am not afraid it will get out of His hands."

The booklet concludes with the music and lyrics for two songs written by Snyder in 1935: "He is Coming" and "Not Ashamed of Jesus." The latter was co-written by Ruth Mae Snyder and Marian L. Snyder.

1. A Google search also places Snyder in Easton at one point.
2. Paging Amedeo Avogadro! Also, later in the booklet, Snyder changes from "billions of trillions of quadrillions" of atoms on the tip of one's nose to "quintillions of quadrillions of billions" of atoms on the tip of one's nose. Carl Sagan has nothing on Snyder.


  1. I gave this entry Quintillions of Quadrillions of Billions Thumbs Up :)

  2. Chris, are you the author of the poem, "It Didn't Just Happen"???