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Presented by cy\(2.X'<7\\Oy'^PP-r'e.3^<D'^^<S.r 

BR 125 .M7 1904 i 

Monfort, Francis Cassatte, 

Applied theology 



Rev. F. C. Monfort, D.D. 

Author of Sermons for Silent Sabbaths 

Ecclesiastical Discipline ; The Law 

of Appeals ; Socialism and 

City Evangelization. 

Monfort & Company 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1904, 


In the Office of the lyibrarian of Congress, 
at Washington. 


The value of things depends on their use 
Art for Art's sake is beautiful to those who 
appreciate it, but "Art applied to industry" 
is useful to humanity. Pure mathematics 
is the perfection of mental discipline, but 
"Applied mathematics" is the better half 
of almost every other science. So Theology 
finds its best use when applied. Every doc- 
trine has its practical side. Thoughts of 
God suggest duty and privilege. It is the 
purpose of this book to discuss doctrines 
with emphasis on their application to prac- 
tical life. 



The Purpose of Life 9 

The Scripttjee 14 

What Is God? 21 

The Divine Attributes 26 

Divine Sovereignty 33 

The Trinity 38 

Creation 44 

The Fall 50 

Human Freedom 56 

Reprobation 60 

Providence 64 

Special Providence 69 

Prophecy 76 

Spiritual Vision 86 

Miracles 88 

The Logos 93 

Atonement 98 

The Risen Savior 103 

Grace and Faith 107 

A Personal Savior 110 

6 Applied Theology. 


Feae and Love 113 

Sin Against Self 117 

Born of God 120 

Sanctification 123 

The Peace of GtOD 126 

Perseverance 129 

Christian Liberty 132 

Walking with God 137 

The Prince of This World 141 

Exact Science 149 

" Science Falsely So-Called" 152 

The Church 155 

Church Attendance 158 

Christian Unity 161 

The Sacraments 165 

Self-Examination 170 

Idolatry 173 

Profanity 176 

The Sabbath 180 

Parents and Children 185 

Suffer Little Children 188 

Thy Neighbor as Thyself 190 

covetousness 195 

National Safety 198 



Philanthropy 204 

Prayer 207 

Hindrances to Prayer 212 

Final Triumph 217 

Heaven 222 

" What Shall We Do?" 230 


The question of man's chief end is the 
great question of the ages. Religious teach- 
ers recognize this. Philosophers seek a 
"summum bonum," or highest good. The 
multitudes strive for happiness or success. 
All ask, "What is the best thing to do, or 
get, or become?" 

The answers men give to this question 
are singularly alike in all ages. Some say: 
Pleasure is the one thing. Enjoy life — 
gratify appetite and passion to the fullest 
extent. "Let us eat and drink, for to- 
morrow we die." Others say that wealth, 
or power, or knowledge is the thing to be 
sought above all else; while still others 
hold that the highest good is a spirit supe- 
rior to all lesser good, as well as evil — a 
stoicism indifferent alike to success and 

The Bible recognizes man's longing for 
the highest good. Solomon, in the Book 
of Ecclesiastes, tells the story of his ef- 
fort to find out "what was that good for 
the sons of men which they should do un- 
der heaven all the days of their life;" 
(2) (9) 

10 Applied Theology. 

Micah declares how tlie Lord "hatli shewed 
thee, man, what is good;" Paul an- 
nounces a supreme thing which, whether 
men eat or drink, or whatsoever they dc, 
if: at once their first duty and highest 
good; while Christ, in the Sermon on the 
Mount, declares that the one good which 
men should "seek first" includes all lesser 

The Book of Ecclesiastes may be read as 
a commentary on the words of Miicah, 
Paul and Christ. Solomon tested, as per- 
haps no o^ne else has ever done, all the 
answers which men give to the great ques- 
tion. He tried pleasure, the gratification 
of appetite and passion, and said: "It Is 
vanity." He tried wealth, and said it does 
not satisfy — " He that loveth silver shall 
not be satisfied with silver." He tried 
learning, and said: "He that increaseth 
knowledge, increaseth sorrow." He was 
a King, and gathered "the peculiar treas- 
ure of kings," "more than all that were 
before him," but found it "vanity and vexa- 
tion." He set forth an ideal of family 
comfort — a. man rejoicing with the wife of 
his youth and surrounded by his children 
in peaceful old age, but said though "he 
beget an hundred children and live many 
years, and his soul be not filled with good. 

The Purpose of Life. 11 

I say that an untimely birtli is better than 
he." He was a stoic, indifferent to all 
about him, but found no comfort. He was 
a cynic, but warned men against cynicism. 
He ti'ied every prescription of every land, 
and proved it a failure. After youth and 
(uanhood and old age, after pleasure and 
wealth and power, after study, and even 
after the exercise of many virtues, he 
wrote: "It is vanity." 

Pleasure is good. Honor, wealth, power, 
home, friends and peaceful old age all are 
good, but they are not the highest good. 
There is something for which men long, 
and without which they must be eternally 

The end of Solomon's experiments and 
his answer to the old, old question, were: 
"l^t us hear the conclusion of the whole 
matter. Fear God, and keep his com- 
mandments; for this is the whole duty of 
man." Micah gives the same answer: " 
"He hath shewed thee, man, what is 
good; and what doth the Lord require of 
thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, 
and to walk humbly with thy God?" Paul 
said: "Whether ye eat or drink, or what- 
soever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 
And Christ declared: "Seek ye first the 
kingdom of God and his righteousness. 

12 Applied Theology. 

and all these things [all necessary good] 
shall be added unto you." 

This question of the ages is not a ques- 
tion for theologians and philosophers 
alone. Every man and women and child 
must answer it. It is a question for the 
school-room, the play-ground, the home, 
the store, the field, the office and the fac- 
tory. What is the chief end of man? It 
is to glorify God and to enjoy him for- 
ever. The highest duty and the highest, 
blessing are one. God has put them to- 
gether, and man can not puu them asun- 
der. To fear God; to seek his kingdom; 
to keep his commandments; to love what 
he loves, and to be holy as he Is holy — 
these are to glorify him, and they who 
glorify him will enjoy him. His service 
will be a delight, and communion with 
him the highest joy. 

This enjoyment will endure. He who 
worships pleasure enjoys it only for a 
little time. Riches take wingE, and so do 
honors and power. Even friends and 
home are ours for a brief space, but he 
who glorifies God enjoys him forever. 
Christ promised them all that they ro- 
qnire for this life, and in the world to 
come life everlasting. David said: "In thy 
presence is fullness of joy; at thy right 

The Purpose of Life, 13 

hand there are pleasures for evermore." 
There is no enjoymenit to compare with 
the enjoyment of God. It satisfies while 
It lasts, and it lasts forever. 


There is truth in tlie poet's description 
of man as an "infant crying in the night.' 
Ignorance is darkness. Unaiaed humanity 
is conscious of need, and of longing, but 
knows neither what it wants nor how to 
attain it. Men feel after God if haply 
they may find him, though he is not far 
f]om any one of us. A parent may be 
near, but a child in the night knows it 
only by some word or touch. So God is 
near, and yet infinitely far, unless he make 
some revelation of himself. If he is to 
be known, he must speak. If the veil be- 
tween the finite and the infinite is to be 
removed, the infinite must remove it. If 
there is any rule to direct man how he 
may glorify and enjoy God, it is a divice 

We rejoice that our race is not left in 
ignorance. The longings and tears of hu- 
manity are answered. There is a voice 
in the night. God who spake in times past 
by his prophets has in later days spoken by 
his Son, and his Word not only brings 

The Scriptures. li 

quiet and comfort, but is our liglit and 

There is a great deal in a name. When 
we speak of the Scriptures, certain writ- 
ings are distinguished from all others as 
"the writings," for that is the meaning of 
the word. There were n?any writings 
known In Christ's day, hut when he said, 
"Search the Scriptures," his disciples knew 
that he meant the particular writings 
known as the Scriptures, and of which we 
speak as the Old Testament. We now use 
the word in a wider sense to include the 
New Testament, made up of the writings 
of apostles and evangelists, the companions 
of Christ during his earthly life, who were 
commissioned to carry on his work. These 
two Testaments, the Old and the New, 
are the Scriptures, the writing as distin- 
guished from all other writings. We speak 
of them also as the Bible; that is, the 
Book as distinguished from all other 

The Old and New Testaments are two 
covenanfts. They are revelations of God, 
and of his will to men, with promises of 
blessing. One treats of a coming Re- 
deemer. Its history, laws, ceremonies, 
prophecies and instruction all look for- 
ward to a Messiah to come. The other 

16 Applied Theology. 

treats of the Messiah who came in the 
fullness of time, and who is to come 
again without sin unto salvation. The 
two are one Book, and with it no other 
book compares. They are God's word to 
man. They meet man's necessities. They 
answer his longings. They are a light in 
Jjis darkness. Tiey show him, not only 
hi? highest good, but how it Is to be at- 

The existence of such a book is not an 
accident, nor to be explained by the rules 
of ordinary criticism. The civilized peo- 
ples of the world have not given a volume 
i^nch pre-eminence without reasons. The 
canon or catalogue of books which com- 
pose the Old Testament wa? established 
and recognized long before the coming of 
Christ, just as we have it to-day, while 
that of the New Testament was established 
very soon after the books were written, 
•and continues unchanged. True, there 
have been discussions and controversies 
as to particular books, and some have held 
that the books of the Apocrypha should be 
included, but through It all the Scriptures 
of the Old and New Testaments have held 
their place as the word of God. A thing 
is not necessarily true because it has 
been long believed, but when a book has 

The Scriptures. 17 

held such pre-eminence for so many cen- 
turies, the burden of proof is with those 
who question its genuineness and au- 

Our belief, however, that the Bible is 
the word of God does not rest on the tes- 
timony of men, nor even, on that of coun- 
cils nor of the church which accepts it. 
It speaks for itself. A child is quieted by 
a word because it knov^s the parent's voice. 
So the devout soul knows the voice of 
the Heavenly Father. There is in the 
Book itself that which proves its divine 
origin. The more we read, the clearer it 
is that never man, writing his own 
thoughts only, wrote as the writers of the 
Bible have done. Its revelation of the di- 
vine character is not of the earth. No 
man could have conceived such a God as 
it describes. Its rules of conduct are not 
man's rules. Its revelation of the 
atonement is above and beyond humian 
thinking. Its remedy for sin, so effective 
and yet so simple, proves its source. When 
the man bom blind was asked of Christ, 
he said: "Whereas I was blind, now I 
see." "If this man were not of God, he 
could do nothing." So we say of the doc- 
trines of the Bible: "Whereas we were 
blind, now we see; whereas we were lost 

18 Applied Theology. 

and hopeless, now we rejoice in the hope 
of the glory of God." If this Book were 
not of God, it could not do this. The suc- 
cess of a medicine proves the wisdom 
which prescribes it. So the efficacy of the 
doctrines of the Bible proves its divinity. 
The i>erfectIon of the Bible and the har- 
mony of its parts show its divine author- 
ship. It is one Book, with one theme and 
one purpose, and yet it is made up of sixty- 
six different books, by no less than thirty- 
eight different writers living in different 
lands, and covering a perioid of more than 
fifteen centuries. Some one, writing of 
the British navy, says that \v. the center of 
every rope, little and large, on every ship, a fine colored thread, "the queen's 
strand." So through every book and 
chapter of the Bible runs a scarlet thread, 
the mark of divine mercy, which can not 
be mistaken. The perfect harmony of the 
xvriters proves a common inspiration. That 
the different parts of a machine, when put 
together, form la perfect wholo, proves tha-t 
they were intende'd to go together. We 
can not suppose that different men pre- 
pared the d-ifferent parts with no agree- 
ment or controlling purpose. Equally irn- 
leasonable is it to think that the writers 
of the Bible, living hundreds of years 
apart, prepared books which merely hap- 

The ;:icriptures. 


pen to fit, each in its place. The hannoay 
cf the Bible pi-oves that it is God's Book. 
The Bible declares its divine author- 
ship. "AH Scripture is given by inspira 
tion of God and is profitable." The Revised 
Version says: "Every Scripture given by 
inspiration is profitable," and in the mar- 
gin: "Every Scripture is given by inspira- 
tion and profitable." These different ren- 
derings emphasize the truth that "every 
Scripture," or "all Scripture" (meaning the 
books recognized as Scripture) is inspired. 
"Holy men of old spake as they were moved 
by the Holy Ghost." It was God who 
"spake in times past unto the fathers by 
the prophets." The apostles declared that 
they gave not the word of men, but the 
word of God. The v/hole testimony of the 
Scriptures is that whatever part man may 
have had in their composition, God is their 

Witli this and with all other proofs, 
there is also the testimony of the Holy 
Spirit, who witn^ses with the Word and 
by it in the hearts of good people. His 
testimony is unanswerable. We are some- 
times perplexed by arguments, and in 
doubt as to the value of testimony upon 
which we have relied, when, in an in- 
stant, and with no explanation, we havp 
the conviction that this is God's word 

20 Applied Theology. 

God liimself seems to speak, as of old, and 
to say: "Hear the words of my mouth.." 
Unbelievers may scoff at this, and some 
good people may only partially feel its 
fcrce. It must be spiritually discerned. 
It does not take the place of other testi- 
mony, but supplements and strengthens 
It. It is a strong ground of assurance to 
tbem who live near to God. He who does 
God's will knows of the doeijrine and of 
the book that they are of God. The hap- 
piest Christian life is that of the man 
v/ho, by obedience, faith and devotion to 
God, continually invites the testimony of 
the Spirit of God. 

The purpose of Scripture is to declare 
God's character and will, so that men may 
glorify and be blessed in him. "All Scrip- 
ture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
for correction, for instruction in right- 
eousness," to the end that God's people 
loay be perfect in him. It is a rule, a 
standard, a light, a guide, and an in- 
structor. It is to be studied, reverenced 
and obeyed. It is to be translated and 
circulated wherever there aro souls in 
c'arkness. Its entrance is to give light, 
aiid its light is to increase until the wholp 
world is full of the knowledge of God. 


Is he a being high above the earth, dwell- 
ing in light inaccessible and full of glory,. 
or does he dwell -with men and care for 
them? Is he a Creator and a King, or a 
Father and a Friend? Is he a Judge, 
strict to punish sin, or is he gracious and 
full of compassion? 

He is all of these, and more. He is a 
God, near and af'ar off. He is the Author 
of all things. He rules in heaven and on 
earth, the immortal, invisible, and only- 
wise God, and yet he dwells with men, and 
is a companion of those who are humble 
and contrite in heart. He is the Judge of 
all flesh, and the source of all grace. He 
is "a consuming fire," and a God of peace. 
He is a law-giver, and a deliverer. He 
is holy; he is "light"; he is "love"; he 
"is a Spirit"; and in his beingi and attrib- 
utes is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. 

God is a person. Wo mean by this thai 
he has individuality. He is a conscious 
intelligence. In announcing himself to 
Moses, he said "I am." The Bible begins 


22 Applied Theology. 

by telling what lie did. He created the 
heavens and the earth. He is more than 
"force," and more than law. The former 
is his power, and the latter is his will. 
Neither law nor force creates itself. There 
is force in the spring of a watch, but back 
of the spring is an intelligent person who 
made and tempered it. So there is a force 
which moves worlds, as the hands of a 
watch move round their center, but back 
of this is a personal intelligence. A watch 
proves the existence of a watchmaker. So 
a world proves the existence of a world - 
maker, and a law the existence of a law- 

God is a Spirit. We associate personality 
with a form and features; but a spirit has 
no form which can be seen with natural 
eyes. Tt "hath not flesh and bones," as 
men have. We know, however, that flesh 
and bones are not all of man, nor even 
the best of his personality. Man is a 
spirit as well as a body. He does not live 
by bread alone, which nourishes his flesh, 
but by spiritual food. His body may be 
marred, or even buried and decay, but the 
spirit lives. Man was made in the image 
of God. His spirit was like the divine 

What Is God? 23 

Spirit, and, though limited and changed 
by sin, will serve as an illustration, weak, 
but the best we have of Him in whose im- 
age he was made. Man is a spirit, finite 
and fallen. God is a Spirit, infinite, eter- 
nal and unchangeable. 

How shall the finite comprehend the in- 
finite? No man can measure the immensity 
of space, or tell the length of eternity. 
Go as far as he will, and add figures to 
figures until all the paper at his com- 
mand is covered, and no man can tell in 
mathematical terms what the figures mean 
in years or miles, and the limits of time 
and space are still unreached. Tliere is 
always more beyond. 

God is infinite; he can not be measured. 
No man by searching can find out the Al- 
mighty to perfection. Our reason can go 
but a little way, and beyond that is still 
the infinite. God is everywhere, in heaven 
and on earth and in the sea. No man can 
flee from him. or hide himself. He fills 
the universe. He is in all things, and yet 
distinct from and above all things, 

God is eternal. We count back and say 
we are so many years old, but with him 
is neither beginning nor end. The world 

24 Applied Theology. 

had its beginning when he made it, but lie 
was from everlasting, and continues to 

He is unchangeable. He was never 
young, and will never be old. Before the 
mountains v/ere brought forth or ever lie 
had formed the earth, and after the earth 
is dissolved, even from everlasting to ever- 
lasting, in eternity past, present and fu- 
ture, he is the same unchangeable God. 

He is the only God. There is no room 
for another; there is no possibility of an- 
other. The heathen have idols, but they 
are not gods. The ancients deified men, or 
qualities in men, but these were not gods. 
He is the living and true God, the cre- 
ator and upholder of all things. 

How shall man stand in his presence? 
Before him angels bow and the archangel 
veils his face. Before him cherubim and 
seraphim continually do cry: "Holy, holy, 
holy, Lord God of hosts!" The greatest 
thought which can fill the mind of man is 
the thought of God and of our relation to 
him. How shall man, finite and sinful, 
stand before him? 

He is entitled to worship. For what he 
is, and for what he has done, our souls 
must bless and magnify him. He is a 

What Is Godr 25 

Spirit, and his wx>rsiliip muist be in spirit; 
not with mere forms and bodily exercises, 
but with the devotion of the heart; not 
with lip service alone, but in sincerity 
and in truth. He who best appreciates the 
divine character, who has the clearest con- 
ception of God as a Spirit infinite, eternal 
and unchangeable in all that goes to make 
up his character, will have also the best 
appreciation of his own finite and fallen 
state, and will cultivate most successfully 
that humility and purity of heart which 
are the condition and earnest of his favor. 



He who devoutly studies tke being and 
character of God feels, first of all, his own 
v^eakness. Thei finite can not comprehend the 
infinite. He cries out with the Psalmist: 
"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; 
it is high, I can not attain it." No man 
can "find out the Almighty to perfection." 
And yet some knowledge of God and of 
our duty to him is possible. The direction, 
"Acquaint thyself with him and be at 
peace," is in harmony with the Savior's 
prayer for his disciples that they might 
"know" "the only true God," and with the 
declaratioil that to know him aright is life 
eternal. All that man needs to know of 
the divine character and will is before him 
in the divine Word and works. 

Crod is revealed in nature; climly it is 
true, but unmistakably. The heavens de- 
clare his glory. The universe tells his 
visdom and power. His providence is an 
open book. "He left not himself without 
a witness in that he did good," supplying 

The Divine Attributes. 27 

the wants af his creatures. His eternal 
power and Godhead are manifest in his 
works, so that they who fail to see and 
serve liim are without excuse. 

Tlie inspired writers call attention to 
this testimony of nature, and supplement 
it. They do not limit themselves to attrib- 
utes revealed in creation and providence, 
but announce others, if possible, more 
glorious. God is infinite, not only in wis- 
dom, power and goodness, but in justice, 
mercy, truth and holiness. If those who 
fail to see him in nature are without ex- 
cuse, what is the condemnation of those 
who having his open word, Ignore his sal- 

God is wise. A workman is known by 
his works. A skillful invention shows the 
wisdom of the inventor. So the wonderful 
mechanism and laws of the universe prove 
the wisdom of him who invented it. Tliose 
who study astronomy use a planetarium 
to show the motions of the heavenly bod- 
ies. A slight touch causes spheres to re- 
volve and move about each other as the 
sun, moon and planets move in the heav- 
ens. To invent such mechanism one must 
be wise. He must have knowledge of the 

28 Applied Theology. 

universe that is represented in miniature 
as well as mechanical skill. What shall 
we say, then, of him who made the uni- 
verse itself, and, as his crowning work, 
made man, endowing him with wisdom to 
understand and imitate the great desigaV 
He who gave man knowledge, shall he not 
know? The God who gave wisdom must 
himself be wise. The Scriptures declare 
that he is the "all wise" and the "only 
wise." No other wisdom is comparable to 
his. He is omniscient. In him are all the 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He 
is the source of all wisdom. If any man 
lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gi\'- 
eth to all men liberally, and it shall be 
given him. 

God's power equals his wisdom. An in- 
ventor sometimes sees principles and pos- 
sibilities which he can not realize. His 
means are limited or materials are refrac- 
tory; some obstacle prevents, or perhaps 
the earthly life is too short. God alone is 
able to do all that his wisdom devises. 
He is not only omniscient, knowing all 
things, but omnipotent, able to do all 
things. "Gcd hath spoken once; twice 
have I heard this, that power belongeth 

The Divine Attributes. 29 

iinto God." Hg doeth according to his 
will, and none can stay his hand or say 
unto him, What doest thou? He has 
power not only over worlds, but over men 
and evil spirits. He rules in heaven and in 
earth and under the earth. His people, 
whatever their trials, or the trials of the 
Church, are assured that he will bring all 
things to pass according to the wise coun- 
sel O'f his will. Those who rebel against 
him wage a hopeless strife, for what can 
man do in conflict with the Almighty? 

God is holy. No truth is more frequently 
announced in the Bible and under more 
varied forms than this: "The Lord our 
God is holy." Holiness is the sum of all 
perfections and the absence of all sin and 
weakness. Heathen religions know noth- 
ing of it. They ascribe to their deities 
wisdom or greatness, or even goodness, but 
never holiness, Man is naturally sinful, 
and the thought of holiness is foreign to 
him. This is possibly the reason God's 
holiness is so emphasized in the Bible. 
"There is none holy as the Lord." "The 
Lord is righteous in all his ways, and 
holy in all his works." His thoughts are 
holy. His purposes, works, laws, house, 

Applied Theology. 

day and word all a-re holy. His people are 
commanded to be holy. "Be ye holy as I 
am holy." His worship is to be holy. 
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holi- 

God is just. A holy God can not be un- 
just. He is true. A holy God can not be 
untrue. He is faithful. Hath he said it. 
and shall he not bring it to pass? He is 
good. The earth is full of the goodness 
of the Lord. Holiness is like light or har- 
mony. Other divine attributes are the col- 
ors of the spectrum or the notes of a chord. 
The colors blend into pure white light, and 
the notes into a harmonious sound. 

God is merciful. At the mention of this 
attribute the mind reverts to his justice. 
It confronts also the fact of sin. How 
shall sinners expect mercy from a just 
God? With the earliest revelations of the 
divine character came declarations of Tiis 
justice and mercy. "The Lord God merci- 
ful and gracious," "forgiving iniquity, 
transgression and sin, and that will by no 
means clear the guilty." The study of 
these brings us face to face with the Gos- 
pel. "God so loved the world that he gave 
his only begotten Son." "God is love." 
In the atonement of Christ "mercy and 

The Divine Attributes. 31 

truth are met together, righteousness and 
peace have kissed each other." 

In all the&e attributes God is infinite, 
eternal and unchangeable. He is every- 
where and always the same. He is not just 
to one and merciful to another, but just 
and merciful to all alike. If in dealing 
with us his justice seems to overshadow 
the milder attributes, it is because of sin. 
If mercy is magnified, it is because his 
people find their refuge in it. To the pure 
he shows himself pure, and to the froward 
he appears froward. 

God's people delight to dwell upon his 
mercy, and even when they think of other 
attributes the thought of mercy is present. 
His wisdom and power alone would terrify, 
his justice dismay and his holiness over- 
whelm, were he not also merciful; but 
united with mercy his wis'doiit and power 
are their strength, his justice their salva- 
tion, and his holiness their rejoicing and 
the goal of their endeavor. 

Oh, to be like Christ, who v/as God man- 
ifest in the fiesh, the brightness of his 
glory and the express image of his person; 
to let the same mind be in us which was 
also in him; to live by the faith of the 
Son of God; to be holy as he is holy. 

32 Applied Theology. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they 
shall see God. When we are like him, 
we shall see him as he is. Then we will 
truly know him whom to know is ever- 
lasting life. 


I once saw a miniature stage upon 
which toy men and women were players. 
They represented kings and queens, nobles 
and soldiers and peasants. They moved as 
of their own will, and plotted and fought as 
their historical originals had done. There 
were also voices which seemed to come from 
their lips. 

So much could be seen from the front. 
But there were two sides to the stage. 
From the rear I saw that what seemed 
the acts of many players were the acts of 
one man; and what seemed the voices of 
many speakers were one voice. There was 
a power behind' the throne and behind 
the peasant's stool. By means of wires, 
skillfully laid and worked, one man played 
the play. 

Here, I thought, ia a representation of 
God's sovereignty. Men read biography 
and history, and study the course of na- 
ture, as I witnessed this performance. 
They see from the front, and do not know 
the power which holds the hearts of kings 


34 Applied Theology. 

and of common men, and, all unseen, 
"turns them as the rivers of water." The 
devout student will go behind the scenes. 
He will note effects and their causes; the 
rising of the sun and the power which 
ordained it; the fall of empires, and the 
reasons of their fall. He will weigh the 
acts of men as free, responsible actors, and 
yet see in their success or failure the con- 
trolling hand of God. 

At one point the illustration from the 
miniature stage fails. Men are not mere 
puppets, moved by wires, but intelligent 
beings, having the power of choice; influ- 
enced by motives and responsible for doing 
or refusing to do what God commands. 
Indeed, at this point any illustration will 
fail, for just here is a mystery too deep 
for human understanding. We know that 
God is sovereign. He could not be God 
and be- anything less. A being infinite, 
eternal and unchangeable in his wisdom, 
power, holiness, justice, goodness ana 
truth, the maker of all things, must be 
the lord of all things. At the same time 
we krow that man is free to choose good 
or evil; to do right or to do wrong. 

How are these apparently contrary facts 
to be reconciled? How are we to explain 

Divine (:iovereignty. 35 

the existence of sin and suffering? God 
is holy and sovereign, and yet man is a 
sinner. God is merciful, and yet man 
.suffers. God decrees, and yet man chooses 
for himself. We can not reconcile these 
things, and are not called upon to do so. 
If Christ, the Captain of our salvation, 
"was made perfect through suffering," 
who can tell the part which sorrow plays 
in our spiritual education? Temptation 
may be a means of blessing. Warfare with 
sin may give one a conception, impossible 
v/ithout it, of the holiness of God. Th<^ 
trial of faith worketh patience; and im.- 
tience, experience; and experience, hope. 
Gold is purified by the refiner's fire. So 
God for his own glory may develop in 
his people a character higher and nobler 
than that of angels who have not been 
tried. To this end he may, for a time, 
permit that which is hateful in his sight 
We do not know. We may think upon 
these things, but our hearts need not be 
troubled because we do not understand 
them. They belong to the domain of 
mystery and of faith. 

The Bible declares God's sovereignty. 
It represents him as in all things and 
above all things; as the ©ne disposer of 

36 Applied Theology. 

events; by whom and for whose glory all 
things come to pass. He was in the be- 
ginning, when nothing else was. He mad^. 
and controls the universe. "He directeth 
it under the whole heaven." Whatsoever 
comes to pass is according to his decree. 
"He causeth it to come, whether for cor- 
rection or for mercy." He governs men 
as well as things, and nations as well as 
men. By him "kings reign and princes 
decree justice." He is the King of kings. 
"The Lord reigneth." His is no limited 
monarchy, either in extent or right. "He 
removeth kings and setteth up kings." 
"He pulteth down one, and setteth up an- 
other." He ruleth "in the armies of heaven 
and among the inhabitants of the earth." 
Perhaps this may see^ji strOiig doctrine, 
but it is mainly Scripture language. The 
Bible teaches that while men are free and 
responsible for their acts, God rules; that 
he controls all things, and that whatever 
happens is with his knowledge and accord- 
ing to his counsel. 

This doctrine is one of exceeding com- 
fort. God's people exult in it. "The Lord 
reigneth; let the earth rejoice!" It means 
the triumph of righteousness and the over- 
throw of Iniquity; it means the vindica- 

Divine Sovereignty. 37 

tion of God's people, the security and suc- 
cess ot the Church, the reign of order and 
law in the State, and of temperance, purity, 
justice, peace and love everywhere. He 
who believes it wears an armor which can 
not be pierced; adversity will not harm 
him; taunts will not confuse nor threats 
disturb him. He can say with Elisha: 
"Greater is he that is with us than all 
they that be with them"; or with Paul: 
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" 
He will have no more fear of difficulties 
than of dangers. The church which believes 
and realizes it is invincible. Neither pov- 
erty nor oppression can harm it. The 
cross will be the symbol of triumph. "This 
is the victory that overcometh the world, 
even your faith." All obstacles will disap- 
pear before absolute faith in the sover- 
eignty of God. 


There is one, and only one, Ood. So the 
Scriptures assert. "Hear, Israel: The 
Lord our God is one Lord." "There is 
none other God but one." These positive 
statements are in harmony with the whole 
tO'ue of inspiration. God fills all space and 
is from everlasting. He made all things. 
He is supreme. There is no power, nor 
life, nor effort, Independent of him. There 
can be no other God. 

At the same time the Scriptures refer to 
the Father and to Christ and to the Holy 
Spirit in such a way as to distinguish be- 
tween them. The Father says: "This is 
rny beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased." The Son says: "I will pray the 
Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, even the Spirit of truth." The 
Spirit is referred to as one who shall not 
spoak of himself, but shall take of the 
things of Christ and show them to men- 
He is represented as teaching, and men 
are represented as resisting or yielding to 
him. The apostolic benediction in Second 

The Trinity. 89 

Corinthians, the basis of our doxologies, 
contains the names of the three, as does 
also the baptismal fo'rmula given by the 
Master himself. There are also frequent 
references to them individually, in which, 
now to one and now to another, are as- 
cribed the names, attributes, work and 
praise of God. 

At the giving of the law, God said: **I 
am the Lord thy God." John declared that 
Christ, the Word, which was made flesh, 
was God. Christ himself said: "I and my 
Father are one." The same truth had been 
announced In prophecy. "Unto us a child 
is born, unto us a son is given"; "and his 
name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, 
The mighty God, The everlasting Father." 
His name, Immanuel, "God with us," was 
an announcement of his deity. So was the 
promise that his name should be called 
"Jehovah our righteousness." The dis- 
ciples knew him as "God blessed forever," 
"the Almighty," the "King of kings and 
Lord of lords," and he is divinely ad- 
dressed: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever 
and ever!" In these and numerous other 
passages the names of God are applied 
to Christ. 

In other passages the Holy Spirit is dla- 

40 Applied Theology. 

tinguished in the same way. Some of these 
passages are obscure, and require com- 
parison of Scripture with Scripture to 
bring out their force. Utterances ascribed 
to God in one place are in another as- 
cribed to the Holy Ghost. One passage, 
however, is so plain that standing alone 
it would sustain the doctrine of the deity 
of the Spirit. Peter, speaking to Ananias, 
said: "Why hath Satan filled thine heart 
to lie unto the Holy Ghost? Thou hast 
not lied unto men, but unto God." There 
is also the much disputed passage in First 
John: "There are three that bear record 
in heaven, the Father, the Word and the 
Holy Ghost; and these three are one." 

The attributes and works of God are as- 
cribed alike to the Father, Son and Spirit. 
Each is spoken of as omniscient, omnipo- 
tent and omnipresent. Each is represented 
as the Creator. A comparison of the first 
chapter of Genesis with the first of John 
and the 104th Psalm shows this clearly. 
"God created the heavens and the earth." 
**A11 things were made by him;" that is, 
Christ. "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, 
they are created." These three assertions 
can be reconciled only when we accept the 
truth that the Father, the Son and the 

The Trinity. 41 

Spirit are one God. It is just here worthy 
of notice, though some do not regard It 
as bearing on the question, that the name 
of God used in the first chapter of Genesis 
is in the plural, and that God is represent- 
ed as saying: "Let us make man in our 
own image." The same plural form is used 
in the giving of the law: "Jehovah, our 
Elohim, is one." 

To each of the three is ascribed super- 
natural power for the regeneration and 
sanctification of men. Each is to be wor- 
shiped and his favor entreated. The Book 
of the Revelation is full of praise to the 
Son, who is declared worthy to receive 
honor and glory and blessedness, even as 
the Father is worthy. His grace is in- 
voked in the apostolic benediction, as is 
that of the Father and the Holy Ghost. 
Baptism into the name of the three is an 
act of the highest worship, an acknowl- 
edgment of their deity, and a pledge of 
service. The rejection of the Son is de- 
clared to be the rejection of the Father, 
and the sin against the Holy Ghost is 
named as the one sin which has no for- 
giveness, either in this world or the next. 

We freely admit that the doctrine of the 
three persons in one God involves myste- 

42 Applied Theology, 

ries "Which we can not explain, but mys- 
teries are to be expected when we deal 
with the infinite. He who tries to limit 
God to the finite measure of the human 
mind, lacks the first conception of his 
character. Eternity and infinity are as in- 
comprehensible as triunity. The thought 
of a being without beginning or end, or 
any limitation, is as foreign to finite 
thought as that of the three persons of the 
Godhead. The Bible is full of mysteries. 
The incarnation of Christ, the unity of the 
divine and the human, is the great mystery 
of godliness; a duality no less marvelous 
than the trinity. God's dealings in prov- 
idence are mysterious. The operation of 
the Spirit upon men's souls is mysterious; 
the natural birth and the new birth, the 
laws of electricity and of light and of 
grace, all are mysterious. Should we not 
expect something above and beyond us, 
too deep and vast for our understanding, 
in the being who ordained these laws? 
If we can not understand his providence, 
shall we stumble at his Word".' If all our 
scientific study leaves us in doubt as to the 
operation of his most familiar agents, shall 
we doubt because we can not find him out 
to perfection? Nay, rather let us rejoice 

The Trinity. 43 

that while clouds and darkness are round 
about him, righteousness and judgment 
are the habitation of his throne. We can 
not know him to perfection, but we can 
trust him and serve him, and seek and be 
sure of his favor. 

The doctrine of the trinity, though itself 
beyond our understanding, helps to make 
real many things in the divine character. 
God is a father. "Like as a father pitieth 
his children, so the Lord pitieth them that 
fear him." Christ as the Son is not only 
our Savior, but our brother, bone of our 
bone, flesh of our flesh, heart of our heart, 
and soul of our soul; tempted in all points 
like as we are, and able to succor us when 
WG are tempted. The Spirit is an abiding 
helper and teacher and comforter. "God 
with us" is a reality. Our baptism signi- and seals our engrafting to Christ, 
who is one with the Father and Spirit. 
The benediction which we receive with 
bowed heads is an assurance of our Fa- 
ther's grace, our Savior's love and thfl all- 
prevailing help and comfort of the Holy 


Some things are so certain that they need 
no proof. Human footprints in a desert 
prove that some one has walked there. 
The prints could not make themselves nor 
come by accident. A house in the desert 
proves that a builder with intelligence and 
skill has wrought there. 

The relation of cause and eiTect is not 
always so apparent as in these illustra- 
tions, but the principle is established. 
Every effect must have a cause. A clock 
proves a clock-maker; a piano, a piano- 
maker; a ship, a ship-builder. A book 
proves an author, a printer and a manu- 
facturer of printing machinery. A railway 
with cara suited to its track, and with 
bridges, tunnels and switches, proves not 
a builder only and a maker of machinery, 
but a designer and controHinr mind. 

Philosophers have recognized this argu- 
ment and have sought the caune which is 
behind the universe. There must be a 
cause. The world did not make itself nor 
come by accident. The sun and moon did 

Creation. 45 

not happen to be what they are. Neither 
did the law of gravitation, nor the law of 
reproduction and growth. The adaptation 
of light to the eyo, of air to the lungs and 
of food to the body can not be mere 
chance. As a house proves a builder, so 
a world proves a creator. So the evidences 
of design in the eye and in other organs, 
and indeed in the whole universe, prove 
a designer. 

Unaided philosophy, however, though 
recognizing this principle of causation, 
failed to solve the problem of the universe. 
It was necessary for God to announce him- 
self as the creator. The opening sentence 
of the Bible is an advance upon all the 
possible results of human scholarship. It 
Is a declaration that God, the eternal and 
self-existent, is the first cause and absolute 
author of all things. 

In the inspired narrative of creation im- 
portant facts are stated in the fewest pos- 
sible words, with almost no rehearsal of 
details. These facts are plain to the huEs- 
blest mind, while beyond them the wisest 
can only speculate. Who shall attempt to 
fix the date of "the beginning"? Who can 
roll anything about it? We only know 
that in the beginning God was, and that 

46 Applied Theology. 

he created the heavens and the earth. 
The strongest word which could be selected 
is used to describe absolute creation, the 
making out of nothing of all materials. 

God did not at once produce these mate- 
rial things in finished forms, but simply- 
called them into being. Some say they 
were star-dust, filling immeasurable space 
and having the potency of future worlds 
and life. It may be so; we can not tell, 
for the Scripture does not affirm it. It only 
says that God created them. Afterwards 
— we do not know how long; perhaps im- 
mediately, perhaps after myriads of years 
— the earth assumed its separate identity. 
Even then, however, it was not like the 
world to-day. It was without form, empty 
and dark. Here some give wings to fancy, 
claiming that certain changes were in 
progress, and estimating the number of 
years required. They may or may not hp» 
correct, — the Scripture does not say, anil 
there is no other authoritative testimony- 
After this came light, the dissipation of 
vapors which enshrouded the earth, the 
separation of land and water, vegetation, 
the sun and moon, fish, fowl and beasts 
of the field, and last of all. man. Each 
had its time and all were declared good. 

Creation. 47 

Here, again, some follow theories detail- 
ing the various steps, and declaring how 
long the evening and morning of each day 
mu&t have been. They may be right, but 
no man can prove it. The word translated 
"day" may mean a day of twenty-four 
hours, or an indefinite period. God could 
have made the world in six solar days, 
or he could have taken a longer time. We 
need to guard against the realistic spec- 
ulation of Milton, which some confuse 
with inspiration, as well as against the 
more scientific speculation of modem 
times. The record is plain, and we need 
not go beyond it Mr. Beecher, speaking 
of evolution, says that "an hypothesis is 
a glorious guess." All theories beyond 
what is written as to the steps in creation 
are guesses, glorious possibly, but only 

The crowning act of creation was the 
making of man, and here, as at every pre- 
ceding step, we find mystery. We do not 
know the method of Adam's creation. Tha 
record is that God created man in his own 
image, that "the Lord God formed man out 
of the dust of the ground, and breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life, and 
man became a living soul." Whether this 

48 Applied Theology. 

creation was instantaneous, and followed 
by an immediate inbreathing of divine life, 
or whether God worked by slow, myste- 
rious processes, we do not know. Tho«» 
who contend for any details beyond th« 
record must bring the proof. Some believe 
that Adam was evolved through many 
forms and myriads of years, and not a t&vr 
Christian scholars believe that after such 
evolution God breathed into the perfected 
physical form the breath of life, and that 
man then became man. All this is hypo- 
thesis or guessing. No one can prove it. 
The most its advocates can claim is that it 
seems to them to explain some facts, that 
it furnishes a working theory according 
to which investigation may proceed, and 
that it does no violence to the story in 

It is wise to avoid positive assertion* 
which can not be verified. The facts are 
simple and plain. God created the heaven 
and the earth. He created man. After- 
wards he created woman out of man, and 
the two were given dominiojL over other 
creatures, and commanded to increase and 
multiply and replenish the earth. All this 
we receive by faith, because God has de- 
clared it. "By faith we understand that 

Creation. 49 

the worlds were made by the word of Grod, 
so that things which are made were not 
made of things which do appear." 

The study of creation reveals the char- 
acter of the Creator. "The heavens declare 
the glory of God." "Day unto day utter- 
eth speech, and night unto night sihoweth 
knowledge." "The invisible things of him 
from the foundation of the world are 
clearly seen, being understood by the 
things that are made, even his eternal 
power and Godhead, so that tbey are with- 
out excuse." The deity, power, wisdom, 
gc-odness and justice of God are sio miani- 
fest that men who refuse to serve him, 
and meet the punisliment of sin, can blame 
no one but themselves. 

The purpose of creation is the divine 
glory— "The Lord hath maxie all things for 
himself" — and yet so identified is h,is glory 
with the happiness of men that all things 
work together for good to those who serve 
him. They that glorify him shall enjoy 
him forever. 


The Bible history of man is that he was 
made in the image of God; that he was holy 
and happy; that he disobeyed the command 
of God; that his nature was corrupted, and 
that he lost communion with God, and be- 
came a subject of wrath, liable to punish- 
ment, both in this life and forever. 

All this may be said of Adam, the father 
of the race, and of Eve, the first mother, 
individually and as the representative of 
their posterity. God placed them under 
law, announcing in advance the penalty of 
disobedience. Eating of the fruit of a cer- 
tain tree was made the test of their loyalty 
to their Creator, and death was declared to 
be the punishment of disobedience. 

We do not know what the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil which stood in 
the midst of the Garden was, nor why the 
particular command was given, nor why 
Satan should have been allowed in the Gar- 
den, nor even why man should have been 
tempted at all; but the fact stands revealed 
that Cod, for his own wise purposes, put 

The Fall. &1 

man to a test, and that man under this test 
failed and fell. 

We do not know how God breathed into 
man the breath of life, nor exactly what is 
included in the statement that man was 
"made in the image of God," but we do 
know that there was a communication of 
Hpiritual life, and that man was endued in 
some measure with the divine attributes; 
that he was wise, pure, just, good and 
true, and that he had knowledge and power 
to do all that God commanded. He was 
not infinite in these attributes, as God is. 
Neither was he unchangeable. He was free 
to obey or disobey, and responsible for his 
acts. Disobedience carried with it its own 
penalty. To eat was to die. The first trans- 
gression was the seed of death. In the day 
that they ate of the fruit death began. 
Their hearts did not then cease to beat, 
for that was not the meaning of the words. 
They died spiritually. They were no longer 
holy and happy. Their bodies also partook 
of the curse, and became the prey of dis- 
ease. Forces began to operate which in 
time took them to their graves. 

What was true of our first parents indi- 
vidually was true of them in their repre- 
t?entative capacity. They sinned and suf- 

52 Applied Theology. 

fered, not for themselves alone, but for 
their posterity. It was the law of creation 
that every living thing should bring forth 
after its own kind, and this is still the law. 
Diseased parents transmit diseases to their 
children, just as they transmit various pe- 
culiarities. No law is more plainly written 
In nature than the law of heredity. It is 
written also in the Scriptures: "In Adam 
all die." "By one man's offense death 
reigned." The father of the race was its 
representative and federal head, and his 
life is perpetuated in it. Whatever taint 
was in his blood, whatever corruption ruled 
In his soul, rules in it. The doctrine of 
original sin is simply a theological state- 
ment of the law of heredity. "That which 
is born of the flesh is flesh." That which 
Is born of sinful man is sinful man. 

The fall of man was complete. He did 
not merely stumble. His act was not one 
whose effects he could throw off, and from 
which he could recover. The line between 
obedience and disobedience was clearly 
drawn. Total depravity is a harsh term, 
but It expresses perfectly the result of the 
fall. Let us be sure, however, that we un- 
derstand it. It means not that man is as 
bad as he can be, but that he is all bad. 

The Fall. 53 

His whole nature is sinful. A child inherit- 
iag the results of a father's sin may not 
show it in any offensive form, but if its 
blood is diseased, it is all diseased. The 
blood is the life, and corruption which 
touches it is total corruption. The sin of 
Adam poisoned the fountain-head of hu- 
manity. "All mankind descending from 
him by ordinary generation, sinned in him 
and fell with him in his first transgres- 
sion." Man inherits an evil heart, and 
from this come all other evils. His nature 
!s sinful, and his life is like it. "They go 
astray as soon as they be born." They are 
prone to sin as the sparks are to fly up- 
v/ard. "There is not a just man upon the 
«i>arth that doeth good, and sinneth not." 

The history of man to this point is a 
s-a.d history. "Sin reigns unto death." The 
whole race is in the bondage of corruption. 
No nation or tribe is free from the taint of 
the fall. The fact of universal sin is proof 
of the unity of the race, though it is not 
the only proof. It is easy for those who 
speculate as to the method of creation to 
go further and assume different creations, 
with different lines of descent for different 
races of men, but such assumptions have 
no basis of fact. The Scriptures plainly 
assert that God hath made of one blood ail 

54 Applied Theoloay. 

nations of men for to dwell on all the face 
ot the earth, and this is in accord with sci- 
entific investigation. The philological argu- 
ment which identifies great numbers of 
words in the primitive languages of the 
new world and of islands with the words 
from the earliest languages of the Old 
World, is conclusive. So is that from simi- 
larity of customs. So are the physiological 
arguments based on the similarity of all 
races of men, the positive differences be- 
tween the lowest races of men and the 
highest animals, and the fertility of mixed 
races of men. The race is one in origin 
and one in the fall. The seed of sin, more- 
over, has everywhere developed into actual 
transgression. The picture drawn in the 
first chapter of Romans is a true picture. 
There is no child born without the taint of 
original sin, and no man is free from actual 

This, however, is not the end of man's 
history. The story of the fall does not end 
with spiritual death, but with the promise 
of redemption. The "seed of the woman 
shall bruise the serpent's head." The Bible 
views man not as a sinner only, but as the 
subject of salvation. There is a cure for 
sin, a specific for the taint of original cor- 
ruption. One of our own race, though not 

The Fall. 55 

"by ordinary generation," has opened a way 
of salvation, and we rejoice that as sin 
abounded, so grace abounds; that as sin 
hath reigned unto death, even so might 
grace reign through righteousness unto 
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Our study of the fall is a prelude to the 
story of redemption. This must be kept in 
mind. It is possible in the multitude of 
riddles which may be proposed as to the 
origin of evil, and the reason of our danger, 
to forget that our concern is with the way 
ot escape. He who is in danger from fire 
does not stop to discuss the laws of com- 
bustion. How shall we escape? Knowing 
our danger, let us flee for refuge to lay hold 
on the hope set before us in the gospel. 
Let us be admonished also that God's word 
i& law. What he saith unto us, that we are 
to do. Every one has his test. It may be 
the eating of a forbidden fruit, the gratifi- 
cation of an appetite or passion or ambi- 
tion, the surrender of something for which 
we see no reason, or possibly a succession 
of trials and temptations. No matter what 
the form or the place, the test is one of 
obedience. The great test is the accept- 
ance of His mercy in Christ. There was 
no hope for our first parents except in obe- 
dience. There is no salvation except in the 
obedience of faith. 


The words of Jesus. "Ye will not come 
unto me that ye might have life," are true 
of every lost soul. "Whosoever will" may 
be saved. 

The doctrine of man's freedom, of his 
power to choose, and of his responsibility, 
is the doctrine both of the Bible and of 
common sense. "Choose you this day 
whom ye will serve." "Come unto me." 
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." "Every 
man is tem^jted when he is drawn away 
gl his own lust and enticed." He who 
thinks at all knows that he can choose the 
right or the wrong. The Westminster Con- 
fession of Faith, stating the doctrine of 
God's sovereignty, and that "he has un- 
changeably ordained whatsoever comes to 
pass," adds: "Yet so as thereby neither 
b: God the author of sin, nor is violence 
offered to the will of the creatures, nor is 
the liberty or contingency of second causes 
taken away, but rather established." 

Some stumble at this statement They 

Human Freedom. 57 

say that if God lias uncliangeably ordained 
whatsoever comes to pass, there can be no 
huiT-an freedom; that the two are con- 
tradictions, and can not exist together. 
Others more logical and more Scriptural 
say: "We know that God is sovereign and 
man free. The Scriptures declare both 
doctrines. We can not believe in God di- 
vested of his sovereignty, and as for our 
freedom we are choosing and refusing all 
the time. One might as well tell us that 
we do not see or breathe as that we do 
not exercise the power of choice." 

How then do we reconcile the two? We 
do not reconcile them; and are not called 
to. We simply admit that they involve 
a mystery too deep for us. Here again the 
Westminster Confession puts the truth 
wisely when it says that the "high mys- 
tery of predestination is to be handled with 
special prudence and care/' We are not to 
dogmatize beyond what is written, but in 
humble dependence upon God to meet the 
responsibilities which he has laid upon us. 

It is the duty of the church to preach 
as the apostles preached, that "all men 
everywhere should repent," and turn to God 
and serve him. Peter, on the day of Pen- 
tecost, preached that the deeds of men 

58 Applied Theology. 

were "by the determined counsel and fore- 
knowledge of God," and when men asked, 
"What shall we do?" said, "Repent and be 
baptized." "And with many other words 
did he testify and exhort, saying. Save 
yourselves from this untoward genera- 
tion." Salvation is of God, and yet men 
are to save themselves. In his second 
epistle he exhorted, "Make your calling 
and election sure." The Bibld abounds in 
exhortations to seek the Lord, to forsake 
sin, to repent and believe. It declares God's 
love for men, and his will that none per- 
ish, but that all turn and live. The doc- 
trme of election is not inconsistent with 
these doctrines, and the church fails of its 
ciuty if it does not strive to preach the Gos- 
pel to every creature. No man can plead 
the doctrine of God's sovereignty as a rea- 
son for his own neglect of the offers of 
salvation, or charge the loss of his soul 
to the fact that he is not one of the elect. 
The Gospel message to him is, "Believe 
and thou shalt be saved." Now is the day 
of salvation. No Christian can plead God's 
sovereignty as a reason for his neglect or 
want of zeal. Christ said: "Ye have not 
chosen me, but I have chosen you and or- 
dained you, that ye should bring forth 

Human Freedom. 59 

fruit. His election is not only to salva- 
tion, but to service. Believing ia the sov- 
ereignty of God, his duty is obedience. 
Knowing that his salvation is all of grace, 
he strives to grow in grace, and to abound 
iD the work of the Lord. 


The word "reprobation" means disap- 
proval or abandonment, and in theology- 
describes the state of those not chosen to 
eternal life. Another word, "pretention," 
describes these as "passed by," or "left 

Many Christians can not believe that any 
are thus "passed by" or abandoned. A min- 
ister in a recently published sermon says: 
"The very thought of any soul being con- 
demned from all eternity shocks me inex- 
pressibly." So it does all good people, but 
this proves nothin?; against the doctrine. 
The burning of an excursion steamer and 
the death of a thousand women and chil- 
dren shocks a whole nation. So do many 
mysterious providences. The most startling 
and incomprehensible and terrifying things 
may be true. The doctrine of future pun- 
ishment is a fearful doctrine, but the 
"terror of the Lord" does not make void 
the truth of the Lord. The death of good 
people may shock us even though we know 
that it is well with them; how much more 

Reprobation. 61 

that of men who die in pin cursing God 
and tempting an eternity of woe. 

The doctrine of eternal punishment is no 
less shocking than the doctrine of reproba- 
tion. Indeed, reprobation and future pun- 
ishment are the same doctrine viewed from 
different standpoints. We are creatures of 
time. We see how "lust, when it hath con- 
ceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it 
is finished, bringeth forth death." God, 
who is yesterday, to-day and forever the 
same, sees this from all eternity. Con- 
demnation in the mind of God, in the be- 
ginning, and at the last judgment, are one 
and the same, and they are because of sin. 
No man is passed by or condemned but for 
his sin. 

We must not assume that God's decrees 
were because of his foreknowledge. The 
apostle says, "whom he did foreknow he 
also did predestinate," but this does not 
describe an order of events. Foreknowl- 
edge and predestination are like two spokes 
of a wheel — ^both move at the same time. 
God ia not a man that he must study and 
weigh evidence and conclude and act on his 
conclusions. The decrees of God and hi:? 
foreknowledge include man's acts and all 
other influences and secondary causes. His 

62 Applied Theology. 

purposes and judgments are not arbitrary. 
He knew from all eternity how men would 
stand at the day of judgment. He ordained 
from all eternity "what he himself would 
do" on the day of judgment. Everything 
that he does is from all eternity, and every- 
thing is infinitely wise. Our difficulty in 
the whole matter Is our finite inability t,o 
comprehend the infinite. We know his pur- 
poses as they come to pass. We may p^e 
their reason in various causes brlnj^lng 
them about, or we may not^ They may 
seem wise or unwise. It Is not of man to 
judge his Creator. "As the heavens are 
higher than the earth, so are my ways 
higher than your ways, and my thoughts 
than your thoughts." He is a Ood of love 
as: well as justice, and of justice as well 
as love. 

God's decree hinder?? no man's salva- 
tion. There Is an unpardonable sin, but 
the fear that one has committed it should 
not keep him from Christ. The promises 
are, *'Yea and nmen," "Whosoever will, let 
him come," ''He that believeth shall bo 
saved." To refuse salvation because one 
thinks he may not be elected, or may 
have committed the unpardonable sin, is 
the most absurd folly. No man should 
Ignore plain truth because other truth is 

Reprobation. 6S 

inysteTious. Tlie doctrine of reprobatiou 
is mysterious, but the commands, "Believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ," and "Preach the 
Gospel to every creature," are simple. 
Faith, even as a grain of mustard seed, is 
of more value than a volume of specula^ 
tions as to election or possible reproba- 


The sparrow is small among birds and of 
little value; yet not a sparrow falls to the 
ground without God's care. Christ by this 
thought illustrates the doctrine of God's 
providence. He who made the birds cares 
for them. He who made man provides for 
him. The Creator of the universe upholds 
and directs it. 

The Bible is full of the same truth. It 
represents God as upholding all things by 
"the word of his power." "By him all 
things consist." He governs the natural 
universe. He binds the sweet influences of 
the Pleiades, and guides Arcturus and his 
sons. The earth revolves about the sun, 
not only because he started it in its circle 
ages ago, but because he makes it revolve. 
He "commandeth the sun." The rain falls 
not only in obedience to laws established 
at the beginning, but because "he sendeth 
his rain." He "saith to the snow. Be thou 
upon the earth, and by the breath of God 
frost is given." The fruits of the earth 
grow by his will and care. He "giveth the 


Providence. 65 

increase." "He holdeth our soul in life"; 
"in whose hand is the soul of every living 
thing, and the breath of all mankind." He 
is the preserver, supporter and governor of 
all things. 

God's providence is as real as his work 
of creation. He is the maker and operator 
of the iinivprae. A poetieal writer epeakF" 
of material substance as the body, of which 
God is the soul; but this is misleading. 
God is in all things, and at the same time 
apart from and above all things. The uni- 
verse is not his body, but his creation — the 
product of his wisdom and power. Man is 
not a mere manifestation of his being, but 
a different being, produced by him, endued 
with individuality and personal responsi- 

The universe is under law; but the 
changes which take place are not the arbi- 
trary results of law. God is active In them. 
He upholds his law. Its operations are 
under his care and directions. It is the 
method by which he works. We do not 
know, and no finite mind can know fully, 
the secret of God's laws or of his omni- 
presence and infinite eflBciency. "We can 
not explain the relation of causes which 
we see effecting results, to other causes 
behind them, and to God, the great first 

66 Applied Theology. 

cause; but we know there is a relation. 
One looking upon machinery may trace the 
power which moves it through shafts and 
belts to the engine, or his search may end 
with a wire which goes into the ground. 
He knows, in one case as well as the other, 
that there is an engine — a motor of some 
kind, which explains its motion. So we 
know that every effect has its cause, and 
that behind all the machinery of worlds, 
and of society, and of individual experience, 
there is a great first cause. 

We know this. We can not see all the 
connections, or understand what seem to 
be contrary motions. We can not explain 
the presence and power of sin, or the aflHic- 
tions which vex good people, or the calami- 
ties which terrify multitudes; but we know 
that there are explanations, and that back 
of everything else is the Intelligence, power 
and goodness of God. He is "wonderful In 
counsel and excellent In working," and 
though his ways may be mysterious, he 
does all things well. Moreover, in his prov- 
idence all things work together for good to 
his people. If we are wise, we will not 
waste time on riddles, but give our best 
thought to matters of fact and duty. 

It is a fact that we are dependent upon 

Proviclence. 67 

God's providence. In him we live and move 
and have our being. "It is not of man that 
walketh, to direct his steps." Our duty is 
to recognize this dependence, and accept 
what he gives, whether in blessing or prom- 
ise, with thanksgiving and faith. We have 
neither power nor wisdom to provide for 
ourselves. We can not call the rain or the 
sunshine. We plant and cultivate, but the 
increase is of God. We can not hold our 
souls in life. We can avail ourselves of 
temporal and spiritual gifts only as God 
gives power to accept them. One thing, 
however, we can do; we can trust in him. 
When fortune is adverse, we think of adver- 
sity as a means of blessing. The doctrine 
of providence makes it possible to rejoice 
even in tribulation, knowing its fruits. God 
"remembereth our frame." "He knoweth 
us altogether," and he "doth not afRict for 

No certainty is so strong as that of faith. 
He who depends upon himself and his own 
resources must fear failure and los.'?, but he 
who depends upon one whose resources and 
love are infinite has no reason to fear. 

God is holy, and every act of his provi- 
dence is holy. He is everywhere present 
and everywhere efficient. There is no such 
thing as chance. What seem to us accl- 

68 Applied Theology. 

dents are parts of the diTlne raaohinerr. 
Even when the lot, the symbol of chance, 
is cast into the lap, "the whole disposal of 
it is with the Lord." He is infinitely wise, 
and nothing he sends can be ill timed or 
unfortunate. He is all-powerful, and his 
providence can not be anything but full 
and effective. He promises that it will en- 
dure. "While the earth remaineth, seed- 
time and harvest, and cold and heat, and 
summer and winter, and day and night, 
shall not cease." There may be failures 
here and there, and distresses, but the 
world is his, and he will care for it while it 
needs care. We are his children, and he 
is "mindful" of us. 

God's providence is accordance to a plan 
and In consistent pursuance of his eternal 
purpose. "Known unto him are all his 
works, from the foundation of the world." 
Creation and providence are parts of one 
whole. As the Lord hath made, so he sus- 
tains all things for himself. All his works 
praise him. To this end they were created 
and are sustained. The Lord hath made all 
things for himself. "Let everything that 
hath breath praise the Lord." This Is 
man's chief end, his flrst duty and his hJgh- 
pst good. 


A popular dictionary defines "special 
providence" as "the special interventioa 
in, or adnainistration of, the laws of na- 
ture and life by God for special ends," and, 
as an illustration, quotes: "There is special 
providence in the fall of a sparrow." An- 
other defines it as "a particular act of di- 
vine interposition in favor of individuals 
for special ends." 

The Scriptures teach that God "knoweth 
all the fowls of the mountain." His care of 
any one of them is special only as all provi- 
dence is special, or as circumstances render 
it specially noticeable. So, in the history 
of men or churches or nations, there are 
deliverances from danger or supplies in 
time of need, which call for recognition and 
thanksgiving, and which may be referred 
to as special providence, but which have 
their place in the established order of the 
divine care and control. To us they are 
special; to God they may be the most ordi- 
nary exercises of his power. A certain 
man never ceased to be thankful, and 


70 Applied Theology. 

to regard it a special providence that a 
shower of rain drove him into a church 
where he was influenced to accept Christ, 
and where he met one who for fifty years 
walked life's pathway with him. He was 
justified in his conviction. Many like him 
have felt that God dealt with them in spe- 
cial mercy, causing things to work together 
for their spiritual and temporal good in 
marvelous ways. Viewed from the human 
side, life is full of special providences — spe- 
cial because they come at special times or 
meet special needs. From a higher stand- 
point every creature is seen to be always 
and in every place the object of divine 
solicitude and help. 

There is close relation between the doc- 
trines of providence and divine sovereignty. 
All that God does is according to his eter- 
nal purpose. "Known unto him are all his 
works from the beginning of the world." 
Every act, whether ordinary or special, haa 
its place in the divine plan; every sunrise 
and every eclipse; every danger and every 
deliverance; every need and every supply. 
There are no accidents with hlra, no divine 
afterthoughts to correct mistakes. He is 
not the God of the valleys only or of the 
hills alone, powerful in one place and weak 

Special Providence. 71 

in another, or strong and good at one time 
and not at another. He is from everlasting 
to everlasting the same. We take comfort 
in the truth that God is omnipotent; that 
he knoweth all our needs; that afflictions 
do not spring out of the ground, but are 
sent in mercy, and that there can be no 
lack to them that fear him. We may in 
confidence seek first his kingdom and right- 
eousness, knowing that everything neces- 
sary to us will be provided. 

There is a natural association between 
the doctrines of providence and prayer. To 
those who recognize God as the source of 
all blessing, nothing is more natural than 
to entreat his favor. Daily mercies demand 
daily petition and acknowledgment, while 
special needs demand special prayer, their 
supply special acknowledgment. The peti- 
tion, "Give us this day our daily bread," 
is a recognition of God's daily care. The 
same petition offered in time of poverty and 
hunger may be answered in a special pro- 
vision. The prayer for health offered every 
day recognizes God's ordinary providence, 
while the same petition in time of ship- 
wreck or sickness may be answered in what 
to us is a special and wonderful deliverance. 

Christians are justified in special prayer. 
They are to call upon God in trouble. They 

72 Applied Theology. 

are to make their requests known unto him. 
When Peter was in prison prayer was made 
by the church without ceasing for him. In 
times of public affliction, or of degeneracy, 
or when the Church longs for an especial 
outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there is rea- 
son for special united prayer. God is ready 
to send deliverance and bestow special bless- 
ings, but he "will be inquired of" to do this 
for us. The prayers of a righteous man 
avail much v/ith him. The Apostle James 
illustrates this by reference to Elijah's 
prayer, first that there might be no rain, 
and afterwards that rain might come. God 
answered by withholding and afterwards by 
giving abundantly. 

The miracles of which record is made in 
the Scriptures were special providences. 
The giving of water and manna in the wil- 
derness, and the feeding of five thousand by 
our Savior, were for the supply of special 
needs. The deliverances of David from Saul 
and of Peter from prison were special mani- 
festations of divine care. The raising of 
the sons of the Shunammite and of the 
widow of Nain were special exercises of 
divine power. The giving of the law on 
Mt. Sinai, and the giving of the Bible 
through holy men who spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost, were special 

Special Providence. 7S 

providences in the highest sense. They 
were God's provision for the spiritual in- 
struction and government of his people, 
while the incarnation, work, death and res- 
urrection of Christ were the greatest of all 
special providences. Sin is poverty and 
helplessness. It is hunger and thirst; it is 
a leprosy and a fever, and its end is death. 
The bread and water ©f life, the balm for 
spiritual ills, the true riches, are things no 
man could secure for himself. God by the 
special gift of his Son has supplied them to 
all who accept his bounty. This great pro- 
vision is the assurance of all else, special or 
ordinary, which his children require. If he 
spared not his own Son, but gave him, how 
shall he not with him freely give us all 

What shall we render unto the Lord for 
all his benefits? We must receive them 
with thanksgiving. What shall we render 
for the greatest of these benefits, the gift 
of his Son? We will take the cup of salva- 
tion; we will accept the gift; we will call 
upon his name; we will pay our vows; we 
will meet our obligations. This was David's 
thought when he meditated upon divine 
mercy, and it is a thought which naturally 
comes to all who realize the providence of 

74 Applied Theology. 

God's providence is no excuse for idleness 
or the neglect of any duty. "Trust in the 
Lord, and do good." Faith and effort belong 
together. God has joined them and man 
can not put them asunder. He gives the 
increase, but we must plow and plant and 
gather. He may send food by ravens, but 
one who waits for what he might earn will 

As with temporal, so with spiritual pro- 
visions. They are conditioned upon man's 
diligence. He must take the cup of salva- 
tion; he must lay hold on the hope set be- 
fore him; he must use the means of grace; 
he must search the Scriptures, be instant 
in prayer, and do with his might what his 
hand finds to do. Neglecting these, he can 
not expect the Spirit in some special and 
wonderful way to convert and sanctify him 
or to use him for the accomplishment 6t 
any great work. 

God's providences are not to be rashly 
interpreted. Christ warned his disciples 
against the common disposition to regard 
aflaictions as the punishment of sin, "Those 
eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam 
fell and slew them, think ye that they were 
sinners above all men that dwelt at Jeru- 
salem? I tell you nay, but except ye repent 
ye shall all likewise perish." Great calami- 

Special Providence. 75 

ties, affecting individuals or families or 
nations, may be special judgments. It is 
not for us to say. Of one thing, however, 
we are sure, such providences are mani- 
festations of God's power and warnings to 
all who witness them. If we ourselves are 
afflicted, we may esteem them special admo- 
nitions. .Whether afflicted or not, if con- 
scious of sin. we are to heed them as calls 
to repentance. 


The Bible may be likened to a picture 
puzzle which can be put together into one 
complete picture, or separated into many 
parts. Each book is a separate part, but 
*»ach so fits in its place that the wfcol*^ ts* 
a perfect work. The fact that the parts flt 
Is proof that they belong together. That 
they make a perfect whole is proof that 
they were intended to do so. The various 
shaped pieces of a picture do not more 
Burely show design and unity than do the 
parts of the Bible. Lines which cross dif- 
ferent pieces of a picture are not more 
marked than the lines which run through 
the different inspired books. 

To Illustrate this, take the prophecies 
which refer to Nineveh or Babylon, or 
Egypt, and place them side by side with 
•ubsequent history; or take the promises 
made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, touch- 
ing the land of Canaan, or to Moses touch- 
ing the future of Israel; or, better still, 
take the prophecies of a Messiah and place 
tliem beside the story of their fulfillment 

Prophecy. 77 

in the New Testament. The first book of 
the Old Testament declares the Messiah. 
Like declarations are in the Psalms and 
Prophets. Moses and David wrote of 
Christ. It was not only necessary that 
Christ should suffer and rise again, bnt 
"thus it was written." The fifty-third chap- 
ter of Isaiah and the closini? chapters of 
Matthew are parts of onc-^ BtGr:?. Bfthlehem 
and Calvary and the grave of the ri«-h roan 
and Bethany belong to the Old a.s well as 
to the New Testament. 

This unity of Scripture v/as the Savior's 
argument when he talked with the two by 
the way, and afterward when he met the 
eleven. "He expounded unto them in all 
the Scripture the thinsrs concerning him- 
self." They read the Scriptures blindly 
until "He opened their understanding to 
understand them." Then the law, the 
prophets, the Psalms and the Master's life 
were seen as different volumes of one book; 
or rather as a mosaic, every piece of which 
had its place in the perfect work, P<^, in 
his sermon on the day of Pentecost, and tn« 
other disciples in their preaching, deciar^^d 
the unity of Scripture as Christ de^;!ared it 
to them. "This is that which was spoken 
by the prophet Joel." They wsicYn^d 
'Christ which before was preached." 

78 Applied Theology. 

Stephen and Philip and Paul also spake 
with the same understanding of the ancient 

To read the Bible profitably, our eyea 
must be opened. We must see the connec- 
tion of, and be able to fit together, the law, 
the psalms, the prophets, the gospels, the 
epistles and the apocalypse. The law was a 
schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. David 
spake of the resurrection of Christ, that 
"his soul was not left in hell." To Christ 
"give all the prophets witness." The key- 
note of inspiration is in the words spoken 
to John by the voice which came out of 
the throne: "The Testimony of .T^sus is the 
spirit of prophecy." 

Passing such general prophecies as simply 
declare a Messiah, among them the prom- 
ises to Adam and Eve, and to Abraham, we 
note first those which fix the time of ap- 

In Genesis xlix., in the blessing given 
by Jacob to his sons, it is written: "The 
scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a 
lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh 
come." Shiloh means the Peacemaker, the 
Prince of Peace, the Messiah. The condi- 
tion of political affairs at the time of 
Christ's birth met this prophecy. Jerusa- 

Prophecy. 79 

lem was still the center of a kingdom. 
Herod was a Jew and of a Jewish line, and 
he was king. Though the Roman power 
had been extended over the land, Israel had 
not ceased to be a nation, nor Judah to be 
a tribe with a tribal scepter. The native 
scepter had not passed away. The promise 
was fulfilled. The scepter did not depart till 
Christ, the Shiloh, came. Before Christ's 
death, however, it did depart, for the land 
became a Roman province, and had a 
Roman Governor. Could any prophecy and 
its fulfillment dovetail more perfectly? 

There were also prophecies as to the place 
and circumstances of Christ's birth. In 
Micah V. are these words: "But thou, Beth- 
lehem Ephratah, out of thee shall he come 
forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, 
whose goings forth have been from of old, 
from everlasting." 

Turn from this to Matthew ii. and read: 
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem 
of Judea." 

Again it was written: "There shall come 
a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch 
shall grow out of his roots." This the Jews 
understood to refer to Christ It was ful- 
filled when Christ was born of the seed of 

Isaiah wrote: "Behold a virgin shall con- 

so Applied Theology. 

ceive and bear a son. and shall call his 
name Immanuel." Seven imndred years 
after this the Lord appeared unto Joseph 
In a dream and said: "Fear not to take 
unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which ia 
conceived In her is of the Holy Ghost. And 
she shall bring forth a son and shall call 
his name Jesus." Immanuel and Jesus are 
one and the same. Immanuel means "God 
with us." Christ was with us not only in 
that he lived upon our earth, but in that ho 
took our human nature. He was both God 
and man. 

In Malachi iii. it was promised: "Behold, 
T send my messenger, and he shall prepare 
the way before me." Isaiah also predicted: 
"The voice of him that crieth in the wil- 
derness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord." 
Turning to Matthew ill., the fulfillment: 
"In those days came John the Baptist, 
preaching in the wilderness. For this Ir 
be that was spoken of by tJhe prophet 
Esaias, saying. The voice of one cryina; in 
the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the 

Here, however, we meet a difficulty which 
troubled the pious interpreters of prophecy. 
Bethlehem had been fixed as Christ's birth- 
place, and yet there were prophecies which 
led many to think he would be bom in 

Prophecy. 81 

Egypt. Hosea wrote: "I called my son 
out of Egypt." Turning again to Matthew, 
we read that after the visit of the wl^e 
men, "The angel of the Lord appeared to 
Joseph in a dream, saying. Arise, and take 
the young child and his mother, and fiee 
into Egypt." "And he was there until th» 
death of Herod, that It might be fulfillod 
which was spoken of the Lord by tb^^ 
prophet, Out of Egypt have I called my 

There was a prophecy also that "the 
child should be called a Nazarene." and 
some looked on Nazareth as the place of 
promise. This was fulfilled. When Joseph 
returned from Egypt "He came and dwelt 
in a city called Nazareth, that it might 
be fulfilled v/hich was spoken by the 
prophet, He shall be called a Nazarene.'" 

The prophecies regarding Christ's life 
and work are equally explicit. Isaiah de- 
scribed his work in these words: "Then the 
eyes of the blind shall be opened and the 
ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then 
shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the 
tongue of the dumb sing." 

Matthew records the visit of Ji)hn's di^i• 
ciples to Jesus, and says: "In rhat same 
hour he cured many of their iafirmities 
and plagues, and of evil spirits, and to 

82 Applied Theology. 

many that were blind he gave sight." Then 
Jesus, answering, said unto them: "Go 
your way, and tell John what things ye 
have seen and heard — how that the blind 
see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, 
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the 
poor the Gospel is preached." In connec- 
tion with the same prophecy read also from 
almost any chapter of the Gospel how 
Christ healed the blind, deaf, dumb, lame 
and diseased. 

The prophecies respecting Christ's death 
and their fulfillment are no less marked. 
Note the following from Isaiah liii. with 
the story of their fulfillment, from the 
New Testament, chiefly from the Gospel of 

"He is despised and rejected of men." 
"Pilate said unto them. What shall I do 
then with Jesus which is called Christ? 
They all say unto him, Let him be crucified." 

"A man of sorrows and acquainted with 
grief." "And Jesus said. My soul is exceed- 
ing sorrowful even unto death." "If it be 
possible let this cup pass." 

"We hid as it were our faces from him." 
"Then all the disciples forsook him and 

"He was despised." "And they did spit 

Frophecy. 83 

iu his face and buffeted tilm, saying 

"He was oppressed and he was afflicted, 
yet he opened not his mouth." "And the 
chief priests accused him of many things, 
but he answered nothing" (Mark xv. 3). 

"He was taken from prison and from 
judgment." "Pilate said, I find no fault 
with him." Yet he gave sentence of death, 

"He was numbered with transgressors." 
"There were also two thieves crucified with 

"And he made his grave with the wicked 
and with the rich in his death." "There 
came a rich man of Arimathea named 
Joseph and begged the body of Jesus . . . 
and laid it in his own new tomb." 

We might make similar comparison of 
the Psalms and the Gospels. "Thou wilt 
not leave my soul in hell ; neither wilt thou 
suffer thine holy one to see corruption" 
(Psa. xvi. 10). This was a promise of the 
resurrection. Peter so applies it in the 
second chapter of Acts. 

Psalm xxii. is particularly a prophecy of 
the crucifixion. It reads: "All they that 
see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out 
the lip, they shake the head, saying, He 
trusted on the Lord that he would deliver 
him: let him deliver him, seeing he delight- 

84 Applied Theology. 

eth In him." Turn now to the New Tes- 
tament: "Likewise also the chief priests, 
mocking him, with the elders, said, He 
saved others, himself he can not save. He 
trusted God, let him deliver him" (Matt, 
xxvii. 41). 

Other verses might he quoted and their 
fulfillment found in the Gospels: "I am 
poured out like water." "All my bones are 
out of joint." "They pierced my hands and 
my feet." "They parted my garments and 
cast lots upon my vesture." These were all 
prophecies written centuries before Christ, 
but they read like a history of the cruci- 

Prophecies in regard to Christ's exalta- 
tion are equally abundant: "He shall see 
of the travail of his soul, and shall be satis- 
fied." "He shall be exalted and be very 
high." As a response to such prophecies 
Paul wrote: "Wherefore God also hath 
highly exalted him." 

The same truth is set forth in the Rev- 
elation. The angel who declares things 
which are to be, commences the accomplish- 
ment of all prophecy when he says: "The 
kingdoms of this world are become the 
kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ." 

As the testimony of Jesus is the spirit 
of prophecy, it should be the spirit of all 

Prophecy. 85 

Christian teaching as well as of Christian 
lives. What grander theme is there than 
that upon which the whole Bible is written? 
Paul desired to know nothing but Christ 
and him crucified. There are interpreters 
who count the years of Daniel, and identify 
the beasts of the Revelation. They find all 
manner of modern things in the Bible 
prophecies — the Pope, the Suez Canal, the 
United States, etc. They may be right or 
wrong, but this we know, they miss the 
central truth. The testimony of Jesus is 
the heart of the Bible. Jesus, born accord- 
ing to promise, crucified, dead and buried, 
raised from the dead and exalted, to be a 
Prince and Savior. 


A writer calls the Bible "an unrivaled 
collection of classics," of which "pious, 
credulous souls make an oracle." He has 
not grown superstitious, but would be "sec- 
ond to none in asserting the great literary, 
historical and philosophical value of the 
Scriptures." He would give them a place 
among the greatest writings of all ages. 

His words call to mind an old story. 
Hodge was an English peasant, who worked 
till 40 years old in the mill where his 
fathers had worked before him. Being 
proud of England's greatness, he was 
anxious to see the sea; and so, after much 
preparation, journeyed to Brighton. He 
was disappointed. The sea was no great 
matter. He told his neighbors how he 
reached Brighton at night, and went at 
once to the dock and found some stone 
steps, and went to the water and peered 
into it. "And thur wur ncth'n uv it; 
t'wur just loike our millpond when yo go 
afore mornin' to turn on the water!" 

Paul eays: "The natural jr;ian receiveth 
not the things of the Spirit of God," for 

Spiritual Vision. 

"they are spiritually discerned." The Bible 
is an ocean to him. whose eyes are opened, 
but to him that walketh in darkness it may 
seem a pond, valuable only as it furnishesf 
a stream to his literary or historical mill. 
Many Christians study the Bible by very 
dim li^t. Want of faith, or a sinful life, 
clouds their vision. God's Word is as the 
ocea^n in a fog, except that the fog is on 
their hearts, and not on the Word. We 
nay all pray the prayer of the Psalmist: 
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold 
v/ondrou® things out of thy law." 


When the Jews asked Jesus, "What sign 
showest thou, seeing thou doest these 
things?" they voiced the feeling of human- 
ity in all ages that the man who claim.s t© 
speak with divine authority must show his 
credentials. When Moses appeared before 
Pharaoh he showed signs or performed 
miracles. Joshua and Elijah and other 
prophets and leaders gave like proof thnt 
they were sent of God. 

Christ claimed that miracles proved his 
Messiahship. "Believe me," he said, "for 
the very works' sake." And again: "If I 
had not done among them the works which 
none other man did. they had not had sin." 
His judgment was that those who, after his 
miracles, did not believe in him, had sinned 
both against him and his Father. 

The apostles rested Christ's Messiahship 
on his miracles. Peter said: "Jesus of Naz- 
areth, a man approved of God among you 
by miracles and wonders and signs which 
God did by him in the midst of you, as 

Miracles. 89 

ye yourselves also know." He appealed to 
common knowledge and conviction. Early 
in Christ's ministry Nicodemus said: "No 
man can do these miracles which thou 
doest except God be with him." And the 
record is that many "believed on his name 
when they saw the miracles which he did." 

Infidelity has viciously assailed the doc- 
trine of miracles. It claims that a miracle 
is contrary to natural law, and therefore 
impossible. Christianity, on the other hand, 
holds that "with God all things are pos- 
sible," and that as to natural law, we know 
very little of it. Advanced science only 
touches its surface. Every now and then 
a great discovery forces changes in our 
interpretation of it. 

Christ's miracles were not seriously dis- 
puted during his lifetime. Some charged 
tlm with deceiving the people, but they 
could not deny his works. The raising of 
Lazarus was seen by too many people. The 
feeding of five thousand could not be denied. 
Even as Paul declared of the resurrection: 
"This thing was not done in a corner," 
Christ's enemies did not deny his miracles. 
"This man doeth many miracles." The 
worst they oould say was: "He casteth 


90 Applied Theology. 

out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of 
devils." The explanation was an acknowl- 

Some in our day think to serve Chris- 
tianity and make it more plausible by elim- 
inating the supernatural, or at least by 
finding natural explanations of miracles. 
They suppose that the Red Sea was simply 
driven back by "a strong east wind"; that 
manna was only a seed blown from trees 
or grass; that when Moses smote the rock 
he happened to strike a spring, and that 
many of Christ's works were the result 
of personal magnetism or other natural 
causes. This is not the Scripture method. 
Moreover, it ignores the object for which 
miracles were given. They were God's tes- 
timony to those who performed them. 

That some miracles may be explained 
by natural laws does not make them less 
miraculous. The "strong east wind" sent 
by the Lord at the time his people were 
ready to cross the sea was his interpo- 
sition in their behalf. Moreover, some mir- 
acles can not be so accounted for. If they 
are according to any natural law, it is 
hidden from us. The wise plan is to ac- 
knowledge the power of God and his testi- 
mony to his messengers. Let one satisfy 

Miracles. 91 

himself that God is infinite in wisdom and 
power, and the matter of miracles involves 
no difficulty. 

Christ did not always perform miracles 
when challenged to do so. On one occasion 
he refused, referring his challengers to the 
sign of Jonas the prophet, and on another 
he simply said: "Destroy this temple and 
in three days I will raise it up," referring 
in each case to the great crowning miracle 
01 his own resurrection from the dead — a 
miracle which stands as God's testimony 
to his deity and redemptive work. 

The question is som.etimes asked v/hether 
holy men may not still have power to work 
miracles for the beaefit of the church or of 
particular people. The answer is in the 
words of John, who, speaking of signs and 
v/onders which Jesus did, says: "These are 
written that ye might believe that Jesus is 
the Christ, the Son of God, and that, be- 
lieving, ye might have life through his 
name." The purpose of miracles was to 
identify the prophets who testified of a 
Messiah to come, and Christ himself, and 
the apostles. This purpose has been ac- 
complished. There is no reason why any 
one should doubt Christ's deity, atonement 
or power to save, and therefore further 

92 Applied Theology. 

miracles are unnecessary. "When the rich 
man in torment asked that Lazarus might 
De sent to his brethren to warn them, Abra- 
ham replied: "If they hear not Moses and 
the prophets, neither would they be per- 
suaded though one rose from the dead." 
So if men will not be convinced by the 
proof already given, they can not be con- 
vinced by any proof. 

No man can say, of course, that there 
will be no more miracles, for no man knows 
all the secrets of the Almighty; but so long 
as this dispensation lasts there is no reason 
to expect them. 


The opening words of the Gospel of John 
were a startling declaration to thinkers 
of the time. In them the gospel asserts 
itself, not as the story of uneducated, en- 
thusiastic men, but as a well-grounded phi- 
losophy. The "Logos," or, as we translate 
it, "The Word," was a philosophical term. 
It meant the divine intelligence, or wisdom, 
or reason, or, perhaps better, the sum of 
all truth. This "Logos" John declared had 
been "made flesh" and dwelt with men. 
We can better realize the force of his words 
if we put ourselves in his place, studying 
the condition of things before "the Wor;! 
was made flesh," the extent of man's knowl- 
edge, the character of his worship, and his 
hope for the future. 

The world never was without a religion. 
Man knows without teaching that there is 
a God, and that he is entitled to worship. 
"The heavens declare his glory, and the 
firmament showeth his handiwork." Some 
have more of the religious instinct thais 
others, but all have written in their nature 
enough knowledge of God and of his law 


94 Applied Theology. 

to render them responsible for sin. Natu- 
rally, therefore, they seek to find out about 
and to propitiate God. Read the proof of 
this in the history of heathen nations. In. 
their incantations and sacrifices, efforts to 
win the favor of their deities. Read it also 
in the history of Philosophy, in strivings 
to find out the truth, in theories and sys- 
tems, the expression of hope and disap- 
pointment. Man has always been feeling 
after God and after future happiness, if 
haply he might find them. Nature is an 
oracle to which he puts his questions. Is 
there a Cod? She answers Yes! Will he 
punish sin? Yes! Has he no mercy? Is 
there any hope? She is dumb. Man stands 
as the modern Egyptian stands before the 
Sphinx or the great pyramid. He may 
wonder and speculate, and hope and de- 
spair, but there is no answer. He knows 
that there is a secret locked in the stone, 
but he can not find it out. So he knows 
there is a divine intelligence, the secret of 
truth and life, but he can not lay hold of it 
His philosophy is baffled, and his worship 
that of an unknown God. 

At this crisis comes the gospel, with its 
declaration: "The Word was made flesh, 
and dwelt among us." God has revealed 
himself. The divine intelligence has ex- 

The Logos. 

preesed itself In language, or as John has it, 
in a "Word," which may be seen and heard 
and understood, and in which are mani- 
fest the glory, the grace and truth of God. 
The first statement of the chapter could not 
fail to arrest the attention of all interested 
in the search for truth. "In the beginning 
was the Word." That is: This Logos, this 
truth, whch all men seek^ is from everlast- 
ing. Solomon had declared substantially 
the same thing in the eighth chapter of 
Proverbs, where Wisdom describes herself 
as "with God" before the creation, as "one 
brought up with him," and "daily his de- 

We might stop here to speak of the 
unchangeableness of truth. Philosophies 
change, but the one object of philosophy, 
the Logos, the truth, is always the same. 
Right and wrong are not mere accidents, 
the result of human regulation. They are 
eternal and unchangeable. They are the 
sanctions of God, and were in the begin- 
ning. The foundation of all truth and of 
all moral obligation is God's will. This 
was an advance upon the philosophy of 
John's time. Solomon had, indeed, given 
Wisdom a personality and associated it 
with God, but John, by a bold stroke, an- 
nounced the deity of the "Word." He put 

96 Applied Theology. 

before men the Logos, or sum of truth, for 
which they had striven, as not only asso- 
ciated with God. but itself divine. "The 
Word was God." 

Some writers find in this simply a poetic 
statement equal to the phrase, "Wisdom is 
divine." We prefer to read the words as 
the assertion that all truth and all wisdom 
and all right are to be traced back to, and 
are embodied in, a person, and that person 
is God. 

All the attempts of the old philosophers 
to find out the truth, or the greatest good, 
were the search after God — a search which 
could only end in failure unless God re^ 
vealed himself. John's declaration was 
that God has made such a revelation. The 
Word, the sum of all truth, had become 
flesh, and dwelt with men. 

Words are the expression of thou^t. 
"The Word" was the expression of God's 
thoughts, of his character and purpose for 
the salvation of men. Christ, the Word 
made flesh, was the manifestation of the 
Father's glory and the express image of 
his person. At Christ's birth the scales 
dropped from the eyes of our humanity. 
Worship was no longer ignorant devotion, 
for the answer to man's yearning after 

The Logos. »7 

truth was come. He bowed no longer to 
a sphinx, but to a God able and willing to 
hear and bless. As a recent writer has 
said, "Natural religion is the worship of 
an eternal silence, but Christianity is the 
worship of an eternal Word." 


It is true of Christ in a profounder 
sense than of other men that he "was born 
to die." His death was the reason of his 
birth. He came of his own will to do a 
work which involved his death. As the 
time drew near he prayed, "Father, save 
me from this hour," and added, "For this 
cause came T unto this hour." During his 
trial, knowing what death he should die, 
he said, "To this end was I born, and for 
this cause came I into the world, that I 
should bear witness unto the truth." 

Then followed the acquittal, "I find no 
fault in him"; the demand that he be 
crucified; the scourging; the crown of 
thorns; the mocking and contempt; the 
cross; the nails and the spear; and then 
the cry, "It is finished; Father, into thy 
hands I commit my spirit." 

Why did he die? He could have called 
twelve legions cf angels, and even the one 
angel who rolled back the stone from the 
door of the sepuicher could have blinded 
and dismayed his? persecutors. It was 

Atonement. 99 

necessary that he should die. "Thus it is 
written, and thus it behooved Christ to 
suffer, and to rise from the dead the third 
day, and that repentance and remission of 
sins should be preached in his name." "The 
wages of sin is death," and man haid 
sinned. 'Without the shedding of blood 
there is no remission of sins." Man could 
not save himself. If salvation was to be 
secured, God himself must secure it. "When 
there was no eye to pity and no arm to 
save, God pitied and his arm brought sal- 
vation." "God so loved the world that he 
gave his only begotten Son, that whoso- 
ever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." Christ so loved 
the world as to die for it. The punish- 
ment which men could not bear he bore 
for them. " He was crucified for our 
offenses." He himself bore our sins in 
his own body upon the tree. "We are 
justified by his blood." "By the obedience 
of one shall many be made rig'hteous." 
Christ gave "himself a ransom for us all." 
"He became sin for us who knew no 
sin." "He redeemed us from the curse of 
the law, being made a curse for us." "He 
is the end of the law for righteousness for 
every one that believeth." The only ex- 

100 Applied Theology. 

planation of Christ's death which meets 
the language of Scripture and the neces- 
sities of men is that he died as the sin- 
ner's substitute. He was wounded for our 
transgressions. Ho was bruised for our 
iniquities. The chastisement of our peace 
was upon him, and by his stripes we are 
healed. "All we like sheep have gone 
astray, and the Lord hath laid on him 
the iniquity of us all." 

Calvary was the manifestation of divine 
love. It is an object lesson for all time. 
It moves the hearts of men and influences 
them for good; but all this avails noth- 
ing if there be no sacrifice for sin and no 
way of approach to God. "If Christ be 
not risen, your faith is vain. Ye are yet 
in your sins." So if Christ did not die for 
our sins, "the just for the unjust," we are 
still in our sins. If he did not bear their 
penalty, we must bear it. The only hope 
of humanity is in the truth that he did 
bear it, and that whosoever believeth in 
him is free. "There is therefore now no 
condemnation to them which are in Christ 
Jesus." As "Abraham believed God and 
it. was counted to him for righteous- 
ness," so every man who by faith accepts 
the riffhteouanesf of Christ is counted 

Atonement. 101 

righteous. The purpose of Christ's death 
was that men might be reconciled to God, 
and made fit for his presence. "God was 
in Christ reconciling the world unto him- 
self, not imputing their trespasses unto 

Christ's part in the salvation of men has 
been done. He has made it possible for 
God to be just and yet justify sinners. This 
"justification is an act of God's free grace, 
wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and 
accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only 
for the righteousness of Christ, imputed 
to us, and received by faith alone." This 
receiving by faith is our part, and it is 
just as necessary to salvation as that 
which Christ has done. He has secured 
terms of reconciliation; we must accept 
thenL He has opened a way of salvation; 
we must walk in it. 

Salvation is offered to all men. It is 
promised to those only who believe. The 
atonement is sufiicient for the sins of the 
world. It is eflBcient only for those who lay 
hold on the hope set before them. Those 
who do not believe or who neglect divine 
mercy are in the v.'^ay of death. "How shall 
we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" 

The crucifixion of Christ is the central 

102 Applied Theology. 

fact of history. We count dates before 
and after his birth because his birth was 
the beginning of the chapter which ended 
with his death. Prom the Fall men looked 
forward, as we look back, to the fullness 
of time. God manifest in the flesh bear- 
ing the penalty of his own law is the 
mystery of the ages. Angels wonder at it. 
We rejoice in it. With the inspired apostle 
we '^joy in God through our Lord Jesus 
Christ by whom we have now received the 

Joy moreover begets love. "We love him 
because he first loved us and because he 
is altogether lovely." "His love constrain- 
eth us." As he has died for us, we will 
die to sin and live to him, "Let the same 
mind be in you which was also in Christ 
Jesus." As he came to seek and save the 
lost, we will above all else seek to make 
known and persuade men to accept his 


Faith in the resurrection is the test of a 
rising or falling church. Christ, when 
asked for a sign proving his authority, re- 
ferred to his rising from the dead. Dur- 
ing his ministry he taught his disciples the 
details of his hetrayal, death and resurrec- 
tion, saying of himself, "And the third day 
he shall rise again.' 

Such prophetic announcements made 
their impression upon the disciples. The 
next day after the crucifixion even "the 
chief priests and Pharisees came together 
unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that 
that deceiver said while he was yet alive. 
After three days I will rise again." The 
enemies of the Savior feared nothing so 
much as his resurrection; for, said they, 
in case he should rise, "the last error shall 
be worse than the first." By the order 
of the Roman Governor, who unconsciously 
served the truth, saying, "Make it as sure 
as ye can," a guard was set and the stone 

These and other details of the grea;t 

C 103 ) 

104 Applied Theology. 

miracle of all history — the resurrection of 
Christ — were given for a purpose: that we 
"might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Son of God, and that believing, we might 
have life through his name.'' As to the 
prophecy of the great event of Christianity, 
there is no question, either by friend or 
enemy; and as to the fact of its fulfillment, 
provision was made for abundant testi- 
mony, which the pen of inspiration has put 
on record, that the Church of Christ in all 
ages might "know assuredly that God hath 
made that same Jesus who was crucified 
both Lord and Christ." 

In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, 
Peter, as the spokesman of all the witness- 
es, declared, "This Jesus hath God raised 
up, whereof we all are witnesses." No bet- 
ter or stronger testimony could be asked 
by reasonable people. These witnesses fol- 
lowed Jesus in adversity, and were un- 
questionably intelligent, conscientious and 

There was no division among them. He 
was seen first of the women who came 
early to the tomb. They had known him 
in life, and, after some delay incident to 
the changes which had passed on him. 
knew him as their risen Lord. He was 

The Risen Savior. 105 

Known "in the breaking of tread" to the 
two disciples who met him on the way to 
Emmaus. The brethren to whom he ap- 
peared by the Sea of Tiberias knew him, 
and ate with him. When the disciples ex- 
cept Thomas saw him they knew him, and 
even Thomas was afterward satisfied, and 
said, "My Lord and my God." He appeared 
a number of times, once to "above five hun- 
dred brethren" at one time. This was 
Paul's argument, while those who had 
known him were still alive. No one ques- 
tioned their testimony, and it stands for 
all time as proof of the resurrection. 

The apostles handled this testimony re- 
peatedly in logical and invincible argu- 
ment. The substance of Paul's preaching 
was that "Christ must needs have risen 
again from the dead"; and he does not hesi- 
tate to declare the severe alternative — "And 
if Christ be not risen, then isi our preach- 
ing vain, and your faith is also vain." 

This declaration goes to the very center 
of the Christian's hope. The precious as- 
surance of the child of God is that he shall 
awake in the likeness of Christ; that in his 
flesh he shall look upon his Redeemer; 
that he shall see Jesus as he is. The 
resurrection of Christ and that of the 

Christian stand together. They are either 

106 Applied Theology. 

both false or both true. If Christ is not 
risen, there is no resurrection of the dead; 
but if Christ rose from the dead, then they 
that sleep in Jesus shall also rise. He has 
taken the sting from death, and robbed the 
grave of victory. 

Naturally the return of Easter in the 
spring of the year, when buds swell and 
blossoms unfold, reminds Christians of 
this doctrine of their faith. The early 
Christians were in the habit of saluting 
each other on Easter morning with the ex- 
ultant phrase, "The Lord is risen." The 
declaration of the disciples who hastened 
to the open tomb was "The Lord is risen 
indeed." In this declaration and the estab- 
lished doctrine, we have a broad and sure 
foundation for our hope of sternal life for 
the body and the soul. 


The value of a promise depends on the 
ability and trustworthiness of the maker. 
We accept the promise because we believe 
in the man. So with the promises of the 
Bible. We accept them because we believe 
in the God who makes them. 

Faith in the Scripture sense is belief in 
Christ and acceptance of him as a Savior. 
It is the act "by which we receive and 
rest upon him alone for salvation as he is 
offered to us in the Gospel." We are saved 
by faith, not because there is merit in the 
faith itself, but because "he is faithful who 
has promised," and because he is able to 
fulfill his promises. 

Salvation is of God. Faith is a condition 
or test. Abraham believed God, and "it 
was counted to him for righteousness." He 
anticipated the gospel message: "Believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be 
saved." Like all the company of the re- 
deemed before and since Christ's day, he 
was "justified by faith." 
Faith is the greatest power within man's 


108 Applied Theology. 

reach. By faith, we remove mountains, stop 
the mouths of lions, and defeat the plans 
of the evil one. By faith we secure all 
that is best in this life and "in the world 
to come life everlasting." 

There are some things, however, that 
faith can not do. It can not change false- 
hood into truth or evil into good. Confi- 
dence in a dishonest man or a bankrupt 
does not make his note good. There must 
be something in the man to justify the 
confidence. So there must be that in God 
which justifies faith. Christians should "be 
ready to give a reason for the hope" that is 
in them — a hope based not on themselves 
or on any merit in their faith, but on God 
and his gracious purpose. Salvation is 
"through faith," but it is "by grace." It 
is of man's choice, and yet not of his choice 
alone, for "it is God that worketh in you 
both to will and to do of his good pleasure." 

When the apostle says, "By grace ye are 
saved through faith, and that not of your- 
selves, it is the gift of God," he puts into 
simple language the profound doctrines of 
God's sovereignty and man's freedom. More- 
over, he so expresses and combines these 
apparently contradictory doctrines that no 
man can object to either of them. When 

Grace and Faith. 109 

the soul says, "Lord, I believe; I accept 
thee and thy salvation," it meets the test 
God has imposed upon it as truly as Adam 
would have met the test if he had not 
taken the forbidden fruit It complies with 
the conditions of salvation as truly as the 
chosen people would have complied if they 
had kept all the commandments. At the 
same time it knows that salvation is not 
ot right or by its own power, but of God, 
who loved it and chose it, and inclined it, 
and gave it power to believe and lay hold 
of the hope set before it in the Gospel. 

Christians have reason to rejoice that 
salvation is by grace. If it were solely by 
faith or by any act of their own, or by any 
mental state, they might be troubled; but 
if n is by grace, they are safe. Their faith 
might waver or fail, but God changes not, 
and his purposes never fail. "Where is 
boasting then?" "It is excluded" "by the 
law of faith." Humility follows faith as 
naturally as a flower comes from the seed. 
Where is neglect or sinful indulgence or 
indifference to the salvation of others? All 
are excluded by the same law of faith. 
Saved by grace, we are to grow in grace 
and to make known to others the riches of 
this grace. 


The Gospel is the proclamation, not of a 
system of philosophy nor even of a moral 
code, but of a peraonal Savior. Many mes- 
siahs have spoken to humanity and many 
systems of religion and philosophy have 
offered relief from the ills of life and hope 
for the future; but the Gospel differs from 
all these. It is the announcement of a 
person. It is comprehended in a name. 
Philip, in dealing with the Ethiopian eu- 
nuch, "preached to him Jesus." Peter de- 
clared, "There is none other name under 
heaven given among men whereby we must 
be saved; "and Paul, looking to the future, 
announced that every knee in heaven and 
earth shall bow to Christ and every tongue 
confess him Lord. 

The whole Gospel is comprehended in 
the name of Christ. We preach not only 
his words and what he did. but him We 
call upon men to accept not only his pre- 
cepts, but him. Other leaders have taught 
truth; He is the truth. Others have pointed 
out ways; He is the way and the life. 
Others have demanded obedience; He de- 

A Personal Savior. Ill 

mands love. Others have offered rewards; 
He gives himself. Others have lived and 
taught and left maxims and rules for their 
disciples; He is with his people always, 
a Savior, teacher, comforter, helper and 

The most important truths may some- 
times be the starting points of error, and 
just here there is a possibility of such de- 
parture. We emphasize the personal ele- 
ment in the Gospel message. Let us not 
at the same time discredit the doctrines of 
him we honor. Let us draw no contrasts 
between Christ and creed. He who preaches 
Christ, preaches his doctrines, and he who 
denies his doctrines, denies him. 

In preaching Christ one must preach his 
deity. He was from everlasting. "Before 
the world was he was," and "being in the 
form of God, thought it no robbery to be 
equal with God." Men have been known to 
cry out against the doctrine of the Trinity, 
of Christ's oneness with the Father, while 
in the same breath pleading his claims as a 
great and wise teacher and helper of men; 
but this is not the Scriptural method. The 
message which is to save the world is the 
Gospel of a divine Savior — of "Immanuel," 
God with us. He who preaches Christ, 

112 Applied Theology. 

preaches botli his deity and humanity. He 
is "God and man in two distinct natures 
and one person forever." 

The incarnation is part of the doctrine 
of Christ. So is the vicarious atonement. 
He who fails to tell what Christ did on 
Calvary does not truly preach him. "He 
was wounded for our transgressions," "The 
Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 

So the preaching of Christ includes the 
doctrines he taught. It includes his resur- 
rection, and his testimony as to the Scrip- 
tures, and as to himself and the Spirit and 
the Father. It includes also his commands 
as to faith, diligence, purity, helpfulness 
and holiness. 

They who contrast the strong doctrines 
of God's Word with the simplicity of Christ 
really turn away from him. His Gospel is 
in one sense simple, but in another myste- 
rious. "God manifest in the flesh, justified 
in the spirit, seen of angels, believed on 
in the world, received up into glory." The 
incarnation and atonement are things at 
which angels wonder. The Gospel is simple 
in so far as the duty it requires of us Is 
concerned — the duty to love, trust, serve 
and imitate Christ; but in itself it is the 
mystery of mysteries. 


Natural religion begins in fear. Its wor- 
ship is the effort to propitiate an angry 
deity. Creation teaches man that there is 
a God, and that he is powerful; and provi- 
dence that he is just and will punish sin. 
Man dreads the judgments of God. He 
fears pestilence and loss of property, and 
other ills, and strives by sacrifices to divert 
them and gain favor. A tremolo of per- 
vasive uncertainty and fear distinguishes 
all heathen theologies. Gods are worshiped 
not because they are worthy of worship, 
but because the worshipers are afraid of 
them. God's people of old felt the influence 
of this heathen error. They did not rise 
to a true conception of the revelation given 
through Moses and the prophets. They 
strove to keep the letter of the law, with 
no thought of its spirit. Christ showed 
them that love is better than formal obe- 
dience, and even than sacrifices; that "God 
is love," and that "love is the fulfillment 
of the law." 

This was not a new doctrine, for it was 
taught in their Scriptures, and that they 


114 Applied Theology. 

had not seen it was because "blindness in 
part had happened to Israel." "I have 
loved you, saith the Lord, but ye say, 
wherein hast thou loved us?" In Christ, 
the "express image" of God's person, love 
was so magnified that no one who reads 
the New Testament can fail to see it. 

It was love that prompted the plan of 
salvation. "God so loved the world that 
he gave his only begotten son, that who- 
soever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." It was love that 
prompted Christ to die. "Greater love hath 
no man than this, that a man lay down 
his life for his friends." The "love of the 
Spirit" is also asserted as an incentive to 
prayer. We come, therefore, n^Dt to a God 
of power and justice only, but to a God who 
with these attributes unites love; who is 
'gracious and merciful, unwilling that any 
should perish." The "fear of the Lord" is 
not dreads but reverence. We have, if chil- 
dren of God, nothing to dread from our 
Heavenly Father. 

No two things could be in stronger con- 
trast than the spirit of the Gospel and that 
of heathen religions. "Fear hath torment." 
He who worships simply to avert wrath, 
whose God is the impersonation of venge- 
ance, has no peace. His fear is continual 

Fear and Love. 115 

torment. But the assurance of God's love 
is the soul's rest It begets love in the 
soul, and so banishes fear, for "perfect love 
rasteth out fear." 

We distinguish, for convenience' sake, be- 
tween faith, hope and love, though really 
the three are one, and the greatest, because 
it includes the others, is love. He from 
wnom fear is cast out has faith and hope. 
'•He that loveth is born of God." 

God's love to us is the foundation and 
reason of our love to him. We love him 
because he first loved us, and gave himself 
for us. "The love of Christ constraineth 
us," not only because we are blessed by it, 
but because he is manifest in it as "chiefest 
among ten thousand and the one altogether 

God's love begets love to our fellow men. 
"If God so loved us, we ought also to love 
one another." If Christ so loved us and 
all men as to die for us, we ought, indeed 
we must, be interested in making known 
this love and in the salvation of souls. 
Love finds its highest manifestation in the 
effort to save men. The word has been, 
and is, much abused, being made to cover 
all manner of likes and dislikes, as well as 
the expression of sensual desire. True love 
seeks the good of its object. Love to God 

116 Applied Theology. 

seeks his glory. Love to men seeks to 
bring them to Christ. "Knowing the terror 
of the Lord," the danger of those who will 
not serve him, it persuades them. It is 
purely unselfish. "Charity seeketh not her 
own." It is interested, not in a limited 
family or church circle, but in the world. 
As "God so loved the world/' it would give 
the Gospel to every creatur**. 

Nothing better exemplifies the mind of 
Christ than the spirit of missions. The 
love which takes men and women from 
home and comforts, to devote themselves to 
work amoTig the heathen in India or Africa, 
or among the Freedmen, or in destitute 
parts of our own land, is divine. That unbe- 
lievers should wonder at it is not strange, 
for love is a hidden motive to those who 
have not felt it. Neither is it strange that 
the heathen in many places have suspected 
personal or political promptings. On the 
other hand, the presence of men actuated 
only by love is an object lesson. In their 
devotion and self-sacrifice Christ is "lifted 
up," and so, both by word and example, 
they draw men to him. 


Human laws prevent injury or trespass 
by one person upon another. They do not 
recognize the necessity of restraining sane 
men from self-injury or from trespass upon 
their own rights. Yet in the light of Scrip- 
ture, he who injures his neighbor injures 
himself. All sin is against God, but it is 
equally a wrong to the sinner. "Whoso sin- 
neth against me wrongeth his own soul" 
is the utterance of that wisdom which, in 
inspiration, is called the fear of the Lord. 

The law says, "Thou shalt not kill." The 
punishment of murder by man's law is 
death, but the murderer may escape it. 
He may fly, or there may be technicalities; 
but the wrong to his own soul can not be 
escaped. It is a present and continuous 
punishment. A man appeared at a police 
station and yielded himself a prisoner. 
Years before he had killed a man in an- 
other city. The remembrance of his deed 
and the face of his victim had never left 
him. His sin had proved a wrong to his 
soul. Death would have been a less griev- 
ous punishment. Anger is a violation of 

(117 ) 

118 Applied Theology. 

the sixth commandment, and, though it 
may pass quickly away, leaves the soul 
worse for its indulgence. 

Another command enforces honesty. The 
man who steals wrongs his soul more than 
the amount he takes from his fellow. The 
cases continually reported of those who are 
pushed by conscience to return money un- 
justly taken are illustrations of this. The 
wrong may not, in every case, be realized, 
for the conscience is often so seared that 
the sinner does not know his condition. 

Another command enforces chastity. Our 
Savior interprets it to forbid impurity of 
thought, as well as of deed. It can not be 
broken without sin; every violation makes 
its mark on the soul. The sin is against 
God; it is also against self. The soul, under 
its influence, is wronged of its purity; it 
becomes polluted. The wrong can not be 
estimated. The sin may be repented of and 
the pollution removed, but a scar is left, 
uglier than any possible on the face of 
man. As in the case of other sins, the 
sinner may be unconscious that he wrongs 
himself. Sin may be sweet to him, so that 
he does not know his suffering. He does 
not see himself, or. if he does see, fails to 
note the changes which have passed and 
are passing upon him. If it were possible 

Sin Against Self. 119 

to compai'e liis soul scarred with sin, with 
the same soul pure as in the days long 
past, he would be startled, and realize that 
in sinning against God he has wronged 
himself beyond repair. 

Application of the same truth might be 
made to all of the commandments, no one 
of which can be broken without peril. It 
i& spe<jially true of the law in its entirety, 
as summed up by Christ. He who fails to 
love God with all his heart, wrongs his soul 
unspeakably, defrauding it of that which is 
niore valuable than all other possessions— 
of eternal life. To repulse God's spirit 
and refuse salvation is a quickly punished 
crime. The soul is hardened; with each 
repulse it is more and more indisposed to 
receive the offered mercy. 


Salvation is more than the forgiveness 
Ojl' sins. It is more than repentance and 
conversion. It is a new life. Christ said: 
"Ye must be born again." The child of God 
is "born of God," or "born from above." 
He is not merely reformed, but regenerated. 
He is "a new creature in Christ Jesus." 

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, 
and that which is born of the Spirit is 
spirit, and the growth of each is accord- 
ing to its own nature. The carnal mind is 
enmity against God, and its growth is evil. 
Its tendencies are bad, and of itself it goes 
from bad to worse. The spiritual mind is 
in harmony with God, and its tendencies 
are good. It is not left to itself, but, led 
by the Spirit, grows in grace and in tlie 
knowledge and love of God. 

Some good people stumble at the doctrine 
of "total depravity." Perhaps the term is 
unfortunate. It does not mean that unre- 
generated men are as bad as it is possible 
for them to be. but that their nature is 
corrupted by sin, and indisposed to good 
and wholly inclined to evil. The re-born 

Born of God. 121 

soul, on the other hand, is inclined to good. 
Salvation is a matter of direction, or dis- 
position. As seed produces after Its own 
kind, one soul grows in sin and the other 
in holiness. The first may have estimable 
traits, but its tendency is downward. The 
other may be weak and may fall often, but 
its tendency is upward. 

The final judgment to be pronounced upon 
men will be not only according to what 
they have done, but according to what they 
are. John's vision of the future represents 
Christ as saying: "He that is unjust, let 
him be unjust still, and he which is filthy, 
let him be filthy still, and he that is right- 
eous, let him be righteous still, and he that 
is holy, let him be holy still." As the tree 
leans so it grows, and in time will fall, and 
"in the place where the tree falleth, there 
shall it lie." As a man lives, so he grows; 
and as he grows, so he will be at death; 
and as he is at death, so he will be forever. 
Standing alone, this would be the doc- 
trine of despair; but it does not stand 
alone. Christ, who said, "Ye must be born 
again," has made it possible for all who 
will to be the children of God, and to grow 
is his likeness. "As many as received him 
to them gave he power to become the sons 
of God, even to them that believe on his 

122 Applied Theology. 

name, which were born not of blood, nor 
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of 
man, but of God." Faith is the secret of 
regeneration. He that believeth is born of 
God. He is begotten again in the divine 
image. As he grows in grace this image 
becomes more distinct, and one day it will 
be perfect. "Beloved, now are we the sons 
of God, and it doth not yet appear what 
we shall be; but v/e know that when he 
shall appear, we shall be like him." 

This is our hope. "Every man that hath 
this hope purlSeth himself, even as he is 
pure." If we are to see Christ and be like 
him in glory, the wise plan is to cultivate 
his likeness here. 


Sanctification is a thing to be sought, but 
not boasted of. It is to be sought not as 
one seeks a lost piece of money, or even the 
pearl of great price, but as one follows an 
iDcreasingly rich vein of precious metal, or 
a path which at every step becomes plainer 
and more delightful. 

Sanctification is a process. It is growth 
ill grace. All life, spiritual as well as nat- 
ural, begins with birth. The word is used 
in a wide sense. There can be no growth 
until there is life. The soul must be "born 
from above," not of the flesh, nor of the 
will of man, but of God. 

Sanctification is of God. It is not of man 
to convert, regenerate, sanctify or save him- 
self. Sanctification, moreover, is of God's 
free grace. We are sanctified just as we are 
justified, "by grace through faith." Paul, 
in his farewell to the Ephesian elders, said: 
"1 commend you to God and to the word of 
his grace, which is able to build you up 
and to give you an inheritance among all 
them which are sanctified." 

This is testimony not only to the work 


124 Applied Theology. 

of the Spirit, but to the value of the Scrip- 
tures. The "word of his grace" is the 
means or instrument of salvation and 
growth. Christ, in promising the Com- 
forter, which is the Holy Ghost, said, "He 
shall receive of mine and shall show it 
unto you," and then he prayed for his dis- 
ciples, "Sanctify them through the truth. 
Thy word is truth." The Spirit works 
"when and where and how he pleases," but 
ordinarily he uses the Bible as the means 
of sanctification. 

What, then, shall we do in order to be 
sanctified? Must we wait until the Spirit 
moves on us and in some mysterious way 
applies the Scriptures? Just as man must 
lay hold of the offers of salvation, so he 
must lay hold of the offers of sanctification. 
Just as he is justified by the obedience of 
faith, so he is to grow in grace by faithful 
use of the means of grace. 

Above alL he who would be sanctified 
must use the Scriptures. He must read 
and meditate and feed upon the Word. 
There is nothing like it. Nothing can take 
its place. He must also seek divine guid- 
ance. Christ prayed for his people that 
they might be sanctified. They must pray 
for themselves; that they may understand 
the Word; that their hearts may be enlight- 

Sanctification. 125 

ened; that the Spirit may make the Word 
plain to them, and that they may have wis- 
dom and strength to "stand perfect in all 
the will of God." 

Can we, then, live perfect lives? Did not 
even the apostle who prayed for such com- 
pleteness admit that he did not attain to 
it, and was not perfect, but only pressed 
forward toward the mark? Yes, this is the 
teaching of Scripture. Sanctification is a 
work, not an act; it is a growth, not a 
birth; but it is a growth which goes on. 
He who has begun the good work will per- 
fect it. "Christians are at their death made 
perfect in holiness." This is our hope. We 
are in a world of trial and temptation. The 
flesh is weak and the powers of evil are 
strong, but our hope is in God, who will 
"not suffer us to be tempted above that we 
are able to bear." We are justified in ex- 
pecting such help as will enable us to keep 
God's law, and where we fail, we are jus- 
tified in expecting forgiveness and strength 
for another effort. Beyond all this we have 
the assurance that we shall one day be 
perfect in the likeness of Christ, when we 
shall see him as he is. 


Christians are exhorted to "let the peace 
of God rule" in their hearts, and are as- 
sured that this peace is of grace, and is a 
thing to which they are "called," or chosen, 
and for which they are to give thanks. 

What is this peace? It is not rest from 
strife. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, 
and Satan is still to be resisted. We are 
to stand fast, and strive, and put on the 
whole armor of God. It is not freedom 
from trial. Sickness and pain and bereave- 
ment are our lot. Friends may prove false 
and riches take wings and fly away. It is 
not release from labor. The earth still 
brings forth thorns and briers. "In the 
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" is 
the divine law. It is not a condition of 
ecstasy, in which the soul revels and sings, 
oblivious to the strife and trials and re- 
quirements of life and the sin and need 
of humanity. It is not a second conversion 
or superior attainment in holiness, which 
justifies Pharisaical satisfaction or invid- 
ious comparisons with others. 

It is first of all a matter of grace. Chris- 

The Peace of God. 127 

tians are chosen to it of God just as they 
are chosen to salvation. The Scriptures 
say "that as many as were ordained to eter- 
nal life believed." This was the first step. 
Growth in grace, the peace of God, service 
for and likeness to Christ, perseverance, 
and heaven came afterwards All were 
psrts of the eternal life to which they 
were ordained. When Paul wrote, "Let the 
peace of God rule in j^our hearts," he 
added, "to which also ye are called." 

Just as one chosen to salvation must 
"work out" his salvation, so he must appre- 
hend and lay hold of the peace of God. 
Here, as at every stage of the Christian 
life, he is to make his "calling and election 
sure." "By grace ye are saved through 
faith," and so by grace ye have peace 
through faith, "According to your faith be 
it unto you" is a divine law. They of little 
faith have little peace. "Thou wilt keep 
him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed 
on thee, because he trusteth in thee," 

This peace makes God's people content, 
no matter what their state. They endure 
calamities and persecutions without com- 
plaint. Though there be "no flock in the 
fold and no herd in the stall," yet they re- 
joice in God. They are not delivered from 
trials, but have peace in them. They know 

128 Applied Theology, 

that whatever their condition, "all things 
work together for good to them that love 
God." "Certainly I will be with thee." "My 
grace is sufficient for thee." Christ said: 
"My peace I give unto you. Let not your 
heart he troubled, neither let it be afraid." 
The dove is an emblem of peace, but so 
also is another and very different bird. 
One who watches an eagle at the beginning 
of a storm notes the confidence with which 
he rises above turmoil and danger, and 
may hear, after the clouds have hidden 
him from view, his note of triumph. It is 
written of God's people: "They shall mount 
up on wings as eagles." Their peace is 
that of the upper air. It is the persuasion 
that nothing shall separate us from the 
love of God. 


The doctrine of the final perseverance 
of the saints includes the doctrine of the 
faithfulness of the Almighty. It is part of 
the doctrine of election. Those whom God 
has chosen and called and justified he will 
also glorify. Paul put the matter clearly 
when he wrote: "We are confident that he 
which hath begun a good work in you will 
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." 

Of course the Christian has a part in his 
own perseverance, just as he has in repent- 
ance, faith and growth in grace; but the 
better he does his part, the more fully he 
realizes that salvation from beginning to 
end is of the Lord. He obeys the command, 
"Work out your own salvation with fear 
and trembling," and accepts the word of 
caution and encouragement which follows: 
"For it is God which worketh in you both 
to will and to do of his good pleasure." 

There is no comfort in the doctrine of 
the perseverance of the saints for those 
who live in sin. The testimony of their 
lives is that they are not saints. God's 
purpose to save and uphold any one is 


130 Applied Theology. 

known only as he gives evidence that he 
is saved. 

The doctrine of election, with all that it 
involves, is one of comfort to Christian 
people, but it has no comfort and furnishes 
no excuse to those who fail to make their 
calling and election sure. So the doctrine 
of perseverance, comforting to those who 
persevere in it, is nothing to those who do 
not. The suggestion that one who is in 
Christ, being sure of salvation, can go on 
ill sin, is utterly contrary to the spirit of 
the Gospel. Paul says: "Shall we continue 
in sin because grace abounds? God forbid. 
How shall we who are dead to sin continue 
any longer therein?" The doctrine is that, 
by God's grace, Christians will persevere, 
not that they will give up and live as hea- 
then. Christ said: "My sheep hear my 
voice, and I know them, and they follow 
me; and I give unto them eternal l?fe, and 
they shall never perish. Neither shall any 
man pluck them out of my hand." It is the 
mark of saints that they "follow" Christ. 
They are "ordained" to this as well as to 
eternal life. God's grace is sufficient for 
them both in this life and that which is to 
come. They depend not on their own good- 
ness, nor, when they fall, on their own re- 
pentance, but on God. Their prayer is: 

Perseverance. 131 

"Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." 
Their faith is: "Thou wilt not suffer my 
foot to be moved." "The Lord will perfect 
that which concerneth me." Their deter- 
mination is: "As for me, I will serve the 


The word "liberty" is hard to define. 
Dictionaries make it synonymous with "in- 
dependence" and "freedom"; but these are 
indefinite. There is no absolute independ- 
ence for man. Our "War of Independence" 
only gave us freedom from foreign political 
control. We are still subject to limitations, 
and can do as we please only within a cer- 
tain sphere. The same is true of every 
man individually; for while, in one sense, 
all "are born free and equal," in a higher 
sense men are not equal, and no man is 
independent of law. 

Political economy recognizes the fact that, 
for the best good of men, liberty must be 
limited by law. Every man is born under 
law. He is entitled to life, but not to lib- 
erty and the pursuit of happiness, except 
within certain prescribed lines. He must 
pay taxes. He is not at liberty to kill or 
steal. He can not pursue happiness by eat- 
ing his neighbor's fruit or taking his neigh- 
bor's wife. He is thus limited, not only by 
the statutes of the State, but by the higher 
law, of which these are an expression. God 

Christian Liberty. 133 

has written his commandments, not only on 
tables of stone, but in man's nature. Con- 
science says that certain things are wrong, 
and he is not at liberty to do them. 

It may be said in reply to this that law- 
abiding people are not oppressed by the 
statutes against crime. Criminals are re- 
strained, but we have all the liberty we 
want. "Rulers are not a terror to good 
works, but to evil." This is true, and illus- 
trates the fact that the highest liberty is 
inseparable from law; that it is not in inde- 
pendence of all restraint, but in approval 
of and submission to reasonable authority. 
A man's liberty is not compromised by laws 
which forbid what he does not wish to do. 
If all people appreciated and approved the 
laws of the land, the ideal free state would 
be attained. So, if all delighted in the law 
of God. all would be free, and the millen- 
nium would be here. There would be law, 
and men would be bound to obey it; but no 
one would feel himself limited by it 

Let us imagine ourselves in a world 
where there is no sin. There is. perhaps, 
a "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," 
or some other test of obedience, but no 
code of laws has been formulated. Right 
and truth are the same as in our own 
world. It would be sin to kill or steal or 

134 Applied Theology. 

commit adultery, but no man's liberty is 
lessened, because no man wishes to do any 
of these things. The law in which all de- 
light is love. The Spirit of God rules all 
hearts, and "where the Spirit of the Lord 
is, there is liberty." 

Such a world was ours before the fall; 
but there entered it another spirit, bring- 
ing the seeds of bondage. Sin is slavery. 
"Whosoever committeth sin is the servant 
of sin." Our first parents sold themselves. 
They came under the law of sin and death. 
A single sin is a cord. A sinful habit is a 
cord doubled and twisted, which, unlike 
other cords, does not wear out nor weaken 
with age, but grows stronger. It binds not 
only the sinner himself, but his children. 
We talked once to a man who, as the heir 
tc five generations of drunkards, felt him- 
self the hopeless slave of drink; but every 
man is heir to five times five, and more, 
generations of sinners, and is bound in 
chains, which from generation to genera- 
tion have grown stronger. Can he break 
these chains? As well might a Russian 
serf have set himself against the empire. 
There is no hope, unless deliverance comes 
to him from without. Man is helplessly 
bound, "sold under sin." and there is no 
release save in the Gospel. 

Christian Liberty. 135 

Christ preached "deliverance to the cap- 
tives." He came to "set at liberty them 
that are bruised." He was the truth, and 
his message was "Ye shall know the truth, 
and the truth shall make you free." Not 
only does he introduce men into the glo- 
rious "liberty of the sons of God," but by 
grace his image is restored. We partake of 
bis Spirit. We are not only freed, but 
fitted for freedom. We receive the adop- 
tion of sons, "being led by the Spirit of 
God," and, with Paul, can say that "the 
law of the Spirit of life has made us free 
from the law of sin and death." 

This is Christian liberty. It is not, as 
we have seen, independence of law. It is 
the position of one under laws in which 
h'.^ delights. The commandments are still 
binding, but they are not grievous. The 
authority and obligation remain the same, 
but the heart is changed. A new affection 
has expelled old desires. What the soul 
loved, it hates; and what it hated, it loves. 
Pleasures which before seemed indispen- 
sable have lost their charm, and duties 
once oppressive are a delight. The Chris- 
tian does not say, "I can not do this, for 
it is sin"; but "I do not wish to do it, for 
I am delivered from sin." 

We do not always speak so positively. 

136 Applied Theology. 

The flesh is weak, and. though in our best 
moments we know that we are free, there 
is always danger; for our old master, 
knowing our weak points, strives to bring 
us again into subjection. There is need 
of watchfulness. Old habits and easily- 
besetting sins must be especially guarded 
against. Both grace and personal effort 
are necessary if we would stand fast in 
the liberty with which Christ hath made 
U3 free," and not be again entangled with 
the yoke of our old bondage. 


Enoch walked with God, and the inspired 
writer testifies that he pleased God. The 
implication is that we are to have such fel- 
lowship with God as warrants the expres- 
sion, "walking with" him. John wrote: 
"He that saith he abideth in him, ought 
also to walk even as he walked." Peter 
commands to "walk not after the flesh," 
and Isaiah, to walk "in the light of the 
Lord"; and in the Revelation it is prom- 
ised that those who are worthy "shall walk 
with him in white." 

Men may walk together without fellow- 
ship. They are marshaled in ranks as sol- 
diers, or united in business partnerships. 
Enoch walked with God as one walks with 
a friend; as chosen companions seek each 
other, that they may, as they journey, enjoy 
each other's society. 

To walk with God, one must feel his pres- 
ence. This is not possible save by faith; 
no man hath seen God at any time, but, as 
revealed in Christ, h© is seen with the 
eye of faith, and spoken with in the prayer 
of faith. As one sees and talks with a 


138 Applied Theology. 

fiiend, so the Christian sees and communes 
with God. He feels not only that he is near, 
but that his love and help are realities. 

To walk with God, we must be at peace 
with him. "How can two walk together, 
except they be agreed?" Men may agree 
to differ, and yet not separate; but if we 
would have fellowship with God, we must 
be at one with him. This fellowship and 
oneness are ours through Christ. We were 
naturally at enmity. Your sins have sepa- 
rated between me and you, saith the Lord; 
but God has, in Christ, reconciled us to 
himself, not imputing to us our sins. 

We must not only be at peace, but must 
be like-minded with God. Two travelers 
with different tastes rarely enjoy travel to- 
gether — one is drawn one way, and the 
other another. If we would enjoy our walk 
with God, we must love what he loves. We 
must, therefore, study his will, as revealed 
in his Word and in the life of his Son. 
Our controlling aim must be to grow in 
grace, and be "holy, as he is holy." We 
can not in this life attain to his perfection, 
but we may become more and more like 
him. It is said by some that husband and 
wife, living together, grow as the years 
pass into each other's likeness; their tastes, 
aims and hopes become more alike. Cer- 

Walking with God. 139 

tainly the Christian walking with God be- 
comes more like him. If evil associations 
corrupt good manners, association with the 
infinitely pure and holy God will elevate 
and purify the soul. 

The duty and blessedness of walking with 
God may lead to a dangerous error. They 
did so lead men in the dark ages. Holy 
men thought that to be with God they must 
withdraw from all association with their 
fellows. They retired to cells and caves, 
and gave themselves to prayer and penance. 
Such a course, though pursued in sincerity, 
is radically inactive and selfish. There was 
once a Hindoo who gave himself to the 
adoration of the Infinite. In his house he 
built a chamber with but one window, and 
that in the roof. His eyes were ever turned 
upward. When he went abroad he rode in 
a palanquin closed at the sides and open 
at the top. As he passed along, his bear- 
ers saw poverty and distress, while he saw 
nothing but the sky. He could contemplate 
the Infinite without a thought of finite sor- 
row. This may have been good heathenism, 
but it is not Christianity. 

Christ, while in the world, went about 
doing good. He sent out his disciples to 
heal the sick and cast out devils. They 
would have enjoyed walking with him and 

140 Applied Theology. 

sitting at his feet; but he sent them to min- 
ister, even as his Father sent him, and as 
he ministered. "Pure religion and unde- 
filed before God and the Father is this, To 
visit the fatherless and widows in their 
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted 
from the world"; to live in the world as 
not of it; to live by the faith of Christ, 
and do everything in his name and to his 
glory. He who thus lives finds God every- 
where. He does business with his fellows, 
and his business is sanctified. God is pres- 
ent in his office and at his home, and those 
who see him know not only that he has 
been with Jesus and learned of him, but 
that he walks with him every day, and 
continues to learn. 


Christ did not underestimate the power 
of Satan. He recognized him as a prince, 
having authority and the world as his do- 
minion. This is what Satan claimed. 
When he appeared to Christ im the wilder- 
ness tempting him, he showed him the 
kingdoms of the world and said: "All these 
are delivered unto me." Christ, by not 
contradicting him, admitted his claim, as- 
serting, however, at the same time his own 
independence and superior authority. "Get 
thee hence, Satan: for it is written. Thou 
Shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him 
only Shalt thou serve." 

A like admission and claim are found 
in the words, "The prince of this world 
Cometh, and hath nothing in me." I once 
read a description of Satan by a man who 
said he had seen him. He described him 
a'^ an enormous creature, half man and half 
bat, with cloven feet and fingers like eagle 
claws, and his tail was a fiery dart, and 
smoke and flames came from his mouth, 
while all about him were fumes of sulphur, 


142 Applied Theology. 

and the air was full of strange and un- 
oarthly flashes and terrifying sounds. 

Tlie description reminded me of Apol- 
lyon in the "Pilgrim's Progress." It was a 
faithful picture of the Satan of supersti- 
tion. Many people when they think of 
Satan think of such a creature. Another 
article, much better written, in the same 
paper, described the Satan of modern phi- 
losophy. It ridiculed the idea of "a per- 
sonal devil." It regarded Satan as the 
spirit of evil, "an abstraction put into the 
concrete," an "unknown quantity represent- 
ing the origin and highest degree of sin." 
As I read, Satan seemed to vanish, not 
according to the popular idea, in smoke 
and the odor of brimstone, but in a mist 
of sneers and learned phrases. 

One conception is perhaps as accurate 
as the other, but neither is at all like the 
Satan of the Bible. We know nothing in 
regard to Satan's outward appearance. He 
came to Eve in the form of a serpent, and 
i^i other places is described as a roaring 
Hon and "the dragon." The words may be 
U£>ed figuratively, or Satan may have as- 
sumed the forms. He certainly did take 
agreeable forms, as, for instance, during 
the temptation of Christ. He appeared 
sometimes as an angel of light. 

The Prince of this Worla. 143 

As to his character and history we are 
more fully informed. He was originally 
holy and happy, an angel of high rank 
among the hosts of heaven. Through sin 
he fell from his estate, drawing after him 
multitudes of other angels, over whom he 
retains power, and whose leader he is in 
warfare on all that is good. As to his char- 
acter, if there is anything in a name, his 
names condemn him. He is the "adver- 
sary," "the enemy," "the accuser," "the de- 
stroyer," "the devil/' "the deceiver," "liar," 
"tormentor," etc. These show also his work. 
He goes about to deceive and torment and 
destroy. Other names indicate his dignity 
and rulership over other spirits and men. 
He is the "prince of devils," the "prince of 
the powers of the air," the "prince of this 
world," and even the "god of this world." 

As the prince of this world, "he rules 
not by divine right nor through any inher- 
itance, but by conquest." The Garden of 
Eden was a battlefield in which his cun- 
ning accomplished more than the general- 
ship of all the ages. Adam and Eve were 
the representatives of a race, and, in their 
subjection, the world came under his power, 
and, as a strong nation possesses and rules 
a conquered province, he has appointed his 
officers and imposes his taxes upon it. 

144 Applied Theology. 

His officers are legion. Some are, like 
himself, fallen angels. Others are men who 
have yielded themselves unreservedly to 
him. These do his will and he pays them 
their wages; to some money, to others 
pleasure, to others fame or position or 
power. He is a liberal master, but hard 
and deceitful. He can afford to be liberal, 
for the coin of his realm is not what it 
seems. It does not satisfy nor meet the 
necessities of those who labor for it. "He 
that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with 
silver." There are pleasures and honors 
which seem good to men, but the "ends 
thereof are the ways of death." Whatever 
he may promise to pay or seem to pay, the 
wages of sin are always death. 

His subjects are heavily taxed. Every 
subject must pay in money and health and 
peace of mind for the curse of his govern- 
ment. His most willing subjects pay most. 
These give conscience and purity, and even 
their very souls. Where they are slow in 
paying, he sends his agents, demons or evil 
spirits. These do not enforce collection, but 
persuade through appetite, passion, pride 
and ambition. Sometimes he sends other 
men, who tempt through good fellowship 
or evil suggestion. Often he uses the evil 
nature, selecting points which by habit or 

The Prince of this World. 145 

heredity are weakest. At his touch covet- 
cusness, intemperance and licentiousness 
ripen into theft and adultery and murder. 

Satan's authority over the world is not 
undisputed. The hour of his victory in 
Eden was clouded by the shadow of future 
defeat. The curse pronounced upon his 
agent, the serpent, was pronounced upon 
him. The seed of the woman should bruise 
his head. This was the prophecy of an- 
other conflict, the pledge of a deliverer, a 
child of Adam, who should suffer, but in 
the end should redeem men. 

In its darkest hours the world has never 
entirely lost sight of this promise. It was 
the hope of our first parents, and of Abel 
and Enoch, and Noah and Abraham. It in- 
spired David to sing and Isaiah to prophesy. 
It was the battle-cry of a holy war; a re- 
bellion against sin begun in faith, and to 
be carried on until Messiah should come 
and Satan be cast out. 

With the ministry of Christ the expected 
conflict began. After his baptism was Jesus 
led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be 
tempted of the devil. We can imagine 
"silence" in heaven like that described in 
the Book of Revelation. The angels won- 
der and wait. The fate of earth is in the 
balance, and when, after three assaults and 

146 Applied Theology. 

three defeats, Satan leaves the field, heaven 
rejoices and angels minister to the victo- 
rious Christ. 

The battle of the wilderness, however, 
was only the beginning of the end. Satan 
left, only to return at other times and 
places. He who had come "to destroy the 
works" of the devil must be himself de- 
stroyed. For three years his path was 
beset, and everything which cunning or 
power could do to defeat his work was 
done, but demons and evil men, enemies 
and false friends, open persecution and 
secret hate failed to turn him from his 
purpose. He had meat to eat and grace to 
sustain which men knew not of. Neither 
ambition nor fear nor bodily distress in- 
fluenced him. 

The time came at last for a final assault. 
Jesus knew it and prepared his disciples. 
"The prince of this world cometh." He did 
not disguise his trouble of soul. "Now is 
my soul troubled." But he comforted them 
with assurances of triumph. "The prince 
of this world cometh and hath nothing in 
me." He was sure of accomplishing his 
work. The serpent would bruise his heel, 
but his foot would be upon its head. Satan 
would cause him to suffer, but his triumph 
was certain, for Satan had nothing in him. 

The Prince of this World. 147 

There is a law of aflanities in the spiritual 
world. Just as some physical substances 
attract and others repel each other, so holi- 
ness attracts holiness and repels sin. As a 
cement fastens itself upon some substances, 
and will not fasten upon others, so Satan 
has a hold upon hearts in which there is 
sin, but had no hold upon Christ. There 
was nothing in Christ upon which he could 
fasten. There was no sin upon which he 
could hook a chain. There was not even a 
flaw in his righteousness through which he 
could thrust a dart. Christ knew this, and 
so declared in advance the result. Neither 
in Gethsemane nor on Calvary did Satan 
find "anything in him." 

Christ's victory was a victory not only 
over death, but over "him that hath the 
power of death, even the devil." It was a 
victory both for himself and for his people. 
Before he came Satan had something in 
every child of our race. Sin was a barbed 
hook, fastened; and gave him a hold which 
no human power could loosen. Christ has 
redeemed all who trust in him. He has 
brought in a righteousness in which they 
are secure. Satan may come, but by faith 
they can say, "He hath nothing in me." As 
the years pass and the gospel gains power, 
the rebellion against Satan grows in extent. 

148 Applied Theology. 

Even now it is filling the whole earth, and 
the time, we hope, is not far distant when 
Christ's words shall be fulfilled: "Now is 
the judgment of this world. Now shall the 
prince of this world be east out." 


Science is knowledge, and exact science 
is accurate knowledge. An exact scientist 
is one who demands proof of a proposition 
before he accepts and teaches it as true. 
He who theorizes or speculates can not be 
so classified. A mere theory, the conclu- 
sions of which rest on supposed facts, is 
not exact, and, indeed, is not science, ex- 
cept by courtesy. For any advocate of an 
unproved hypothesis to talk of exact science 
is to transfer the phrase to the domain of 

Every Christian should be an exact scien- 
tist. Not only should he be able to give a 
reason for his hope, but he should demand 
demonstration before accepting new theo- 
ries. As Paul expresses it, he should "prove 
all things," and "hold fast that which is 
good." The gospel, in which he believes, 
has been proved. The Spirit, witnessing 
with his spirit, tells him that it is true. 
The life of Christ, which from the begin- 
ning to the end was a fulfillment of proph- 
ecy, proves it true. The resurrection of the 
dead, certified to by witnesses, proves it 


150 Applied Theology. 

true. More than this, the fruit of Chris- 
tianity establishes it as the true religion. 
Wherever it goes, civilization and safety 
follow. Its principles are the foundations 
of prosperity. It turns the wilderness into 
fruitful fields, and heathen cannibals into 
good men and women. Were infidelity to 
do this, it would have some claim to atten- 
tion. Christianity cares for the sick and 
the poor; it builds hospitals and orphan 
asylums, and promotes morality and unself- 
ishness and obedience to law. If skepti- 
cism did these things, they would be some- 
what in its favor. Christianity does them. 
For eighteen centuries it has clothed the 
naked, and fed the hungry, and lifted up 
those that were bowed down. If it had no 
other proof, this would be enough to com- 
mend it above all the contrary theories, 
wise or otherwise, which have ever been 

When skeptical philosophy, therefore, 
mocks at our Bible, with its story of cre- 
ation and its plan of salvation, let us ask 
for something better, or at least as good. 
Some advice which I once received from an 
old Indian guide, as we were entering a 
vast swamp, is not inappropriate by way of 
illustration. Said he: "When you're going 
through a cedar swamp, never take up one 

Exact Science. 151 

foot till you've found a solid place for the 
other." When science so-called asks us to 
leave Christianity for the ground it offers, 
we may ask it to prove that it is really 
science; that its facts are real facts and not 
guesses, and that the gaps in its hypotheses 
will not let us through into mire deeper 
than that of a cedar swamp. 


A radical writer regards this phrase as 
"objectionable," "belonging to the diction- 
ary of cant," and "one which no reputable 
writer would use." It may be answered 
that Paul the apostle, a reputable writer 
in the judgment of most men, used the 
words, and that other writers, esteemed for 
learning and piety, have also used them. 
That they have become cant may be admit- 
ted. Good expressions of truth are apt to 
bo used thoughtlessly and too frequently. 
Science could hardly do without its cant 
phrases, and the fact that men use them 
carelessly does not lessen their truth. Many 
quotations from the Bible are used hypo- 
critically, and become cant, but this does 
not condemn them. The invitation, "Come 
to Jesus," and the prayer, "Revive thy 
work," are cant when uttered carelessly. 

Whether the phrase "Science falsely so 
called" is "objectionable" depends upon the 
way it is used. Paul was no narrow-minded 
ecclesiastic. He saw no controversy be- 
tween religion and science. He was thor- 
oughly educated in the wisdom of his time, 

"Science Falsely So-Galled" 153 

and used the words as any true scientist 
of to-day migtit use them. There is a sci- 
ence properly so called which deals in facts 
and proceeds according to established laws; 
and there is a "science so called" which 
theorizes, and if suitable facts are not at 
hand, anticipates, or imagines, or does with- 
out them. The two are sometimes so closely 
associated that careful study is required to 
distinguish them. 

Here, for instance, is a book twenty years 
old. It deals with certain fossil bones of 
animals in an intelligent way. The writer, 
however, proceeds to answer the question, 
"Who was the first man?" by a prediction 
that his bones will some time be found in 
the earlier rocks. He has found no trace 
of them, nor has any one else, yet he gives 
a pen-picture of a man-like animal as the 
father of our race. His hypothesis, which 
has since been generally repudiated, is an 
illustration of "science falsely so called." 

When one investigates nature and makes 
discoveries, and classifies objects, he is a 
true scientist; but when he draws a pic- 
ture of a gorilla and calls it the first man, 
admitting that no link connecting man with 
such a creature is known, he is simply 
guessing, and his guesses are as valuable, 
and no more so, than those of an unedu- 


154 Applied Theology. 

cated man. His picture is as liable to be 
accurate as that which a child would draw. 
When one finds a new substance or a new 
force and teaches men to use it. he is a 
benefactor; but when he begins to recon- 
struct the universe and to resolve all things 
into electricity, and to displace the Creator, 
be is a dreamer, and his work is of no 
practical use. To call it science is a mis- 
nomer. It is "science falsely so called." 


The church is a divine institution. God 
has established it, and given it a ministry, 
with other officers, and committed to it his 
oracles. As Moses made all things accord- 
ing to the pattern shown him in the mount, 
so the apostles, in establishing the New Tes- 
tament church, followed the pattern shown 
them by the Spirit given at Pentecost. 

God might have chosen a ministry of 
angels, and his message might have been 
declared with trumpets from the tops of 
mountains. That he chose men and estab- 
lished the church is evidence that this was 
the wiser plan. Moreover, when we con- 
sider his purpose and the need of mankind, 
the wisdom of the plan is apparent. The 
kingdom of heaven is set up on earth. 
Christianity is an organized force. Every 
convert is a recruit. Every disciple is 
chosen and ordained to bring forth fruit. 
In union there is not only strength, but 
confidence, steadiness of purpose, a view of 
the whole field, and the possibility of meet- 
ing the command to preach the Gospel to 
every creature. 


156 Applied Theology. 

No one who desires to do his part in win- 
ning the world to Christ can ignore the 
church. It is the Lord's host. It carries 
his banner. Its members have his mark 
and bear his name. They may be enrolled 
in different companies, under different lead- 
ers, and may differ in minor matters, but 
all acknowledge him as the Captain of sal- 
vation and their Leader and Lord. 

It is the divine plan that every convert 
shall acknowledge Christ and be known as 
his. There are no special commissions for 
free lances or for sub-rosa service. He that 
is not with Christ is against him. 

The church in any community is a center 
of organized Christianity. Every member 
adds to its power. The churches in a larger 
territory, operating together with mission- 
ary organizations, schools, etc., bless the 
whole land and the dark places of the earth. 
No Christian should stand apart and so 
fail to do his share in the church's work. 

Christians not only owe service to the 
church, but need the help of the church. 
No man liveth unto himself or by himself. 
If "evil communications corrupt good man- 
ners," good communications promote them. 
It is easier to be a Christian among Chris- 
tians than among unbelievers. It is easier 
to maintain a high standard when men 

The Church. 157 

know that one strives and sympatliizes with 
him. There is encouragement to the sol- 
dier in the fact that at his right and left 
are other soldiers, and beyond them still 
others, and that over all is a commander 
who sees and directs every movement. 

It was an advantage to the Jew that to 
his nation were committed the oracles of 
God. So it is an inestimable advantage to 
the Christian to belong to the church which 
has the oracles and ordinances. These are 
means of grace which God has appointed, 
and without which the highest spiritual 
success is impossible. 


There were some in Malachi's day who 
said: "What profit is it that we have kept 
his ordinances?" So now some ask: What 
good does it do to attend church? They 
may not put the question in this form, but 
vacant seats speak louder than words. 

Well, suppose we do not see that it does 
any good. Shall we disobey God's com- 
mand because we see no good in it? The 
Bible says: "Forsake not the assembling of 
yourselves together, as the manner of some 
is." Shall a child refuse to obey the plain 
command of its parents because it sees no 
good in the command? 

It does a great deal of good to attend 
church. First, one hears the Gospel. Of 
course we can read this at home or at 
other places, but God makes the preaching 
of the Gospel the means of saving men. 
All who wish to be saved should attend 
church. So should all. whether believers 
in Christ or not, who feel that they are not 
so good as they would like to be. To grow 
in grace we should attend the means of 
grace, and one of these is the regular 
( 158 ) 

Church Attendance. 159 

preaching of the Word; others are the ordi- 
nances and other services of the church. 

Church-going is a part of the Christ-like- 
ness which all ^ould cultivate. H© en- 
tered into the synagogue on the Sahbath 
day, as was his custom. 

Church-going does good not only to the 
church-goer, but to others. It does good to 
the family. It makes men more faithful to 
duty. It makes husbands and wives kinder 
to each other. It makes children more obe- 
dient to parents. It makes children, as 
v/ell as grown people, purer in their lan- 
guage and more honest in all things. It is 
good for the community. It makes better 
citizens and safer business men. 

Church-going sets a good example. It 
commends religion to the world. It is a 
constantly repeated confession of faith. It 
is an effective way of letting one's light 
shine, and so of glorifying God and leading 
others to glorify him. It brings one into 
line with the forces of righteousness, and 
so encourages and strengthens those who 
labor to elevate humanity. It increases 
interest in the kingdom of God and in the 
means used to extend it, and invites oppor- 
tunities to take part in the great work. 

Church-going is a strength to those who 
are in doubt, a relief to those in trouble, 

160 Applied Theology. 

a comfort to those whose friends have been 
taken away. It is a reminder of our rela- 
tion to Christ, and of heaven, our future 
home. All this it is because of the Gospel 
preached from Sabbath to Sabbath. 


All good people desire Christian unity. 
Tiie Psalmist spoke of it as "good and 
pleasant." Paul urged it. The Savior 
prayed for it. 

Christian unity is good not only in itself, 
but for its influence on the world. It is 
testimony to the truth of Christianity. The 
natural heart is selfish, envious, and in- 
clined to strife. Every man seeks his own. 
A gospel manifest in love, peace and help- 
fulness proves its divine origin. Where 
men look not every man on his own things 
and the things of his own denomination, 
but every man also on the things of others, 
the world sees that Christ, whose example 
and commands they follow, was indeed sent 
of God. Hence Christ's prayer, "that they 
all may be one, that the world may know 
that thou hast sent me." 

All truth may be misunderstood and mis- 
applied, and no truth is so liable to mis- 
application as that which appeals to the 
heart rather than to the intellect. That 
Christ desired and prayed for the unity of 
his people is such a truth. It is so large 


162 Applied Theology. 

and so in harmony with the spirit of the 
Gospel that one may dwell on and delight 
in it to the neglect of other equally impor- 
tant truths. 

Christ did not pray that all people might 
be one, but that those who "believe" in 
him, who are "given'* to him, who "know 
God and Jesus Christ" whom he has sent, 
who are not of the world as he was not of 
the world, might be one, even as he and 
the Father are one. Christian unity is the 
unity ofl true believers. A recent writ(=r ad- 
vocates the union of a denomination which 
believes in the deity of Christ with one 
which denies his deity. Christ did not pray 
that his disciples should be one with those 
who deny the unity ©f the Father and the 

Christian unity does not mean the union 
of all Christians in one ecclesiastical organ- 
ization, under one government. Such union 
existed when Roman Catholicism domi- 
nated the world, and those who denied 
its authority were subject to persecution. 
Christ did not pray that his disciples should 
be one as the Church was one during the 
Dark Ages. He did not pray for such one- 
ness as exists in Russia, where the State 
Church dominates the consciences of a hun- 
dred million of people. 

Christian Unity. 163 

Christ certainly did not condemn in ad- 
vance those who in after years should pro- 
test against ecclesiastical corruption and 
tyranny. He did not pray that the oneness 
of Rome should be maintained against the 
efforts of Luther and Huss and Knox. He 
did not pray for the failure of any denomi- 
nation which, in loyalty to him and to the 
truth as it apprehends it, maintains its sep- 
arate orginiz.alion. 

Christian unity is not an organization, 
but a spirit. It is love of the brethren and 
of the cause and of the Master. It is com- 
mon interest in the triumph of the king- 
dom of heaven on earth. A devoted mis- 
sionary prayed God to bl«ss "every one 
who will help to heal the oi)en sore of the 
world." He who has the spirit of Christ, 
which is the spirit of unity, prays God to 
bless every church, no matter whsit its 
name or distinctive doctrines, which truly 
seeks to advance the cauae of Christ. He 
delights not in contentions, but in agree- 
ment. He may hold fast the articles of his 
creed which separate him from others, but 
he rejoices that all evangelical creeds are 
in harmony touching so much truth. 

Christian unity is a matter of loyalty to 
Christ. Organic union of Christian churches 
may be a matter of expedience or convic- 

164 Applied Theology. 

tions, or even of disposition, or of language 
or location. Organic union is desirable 
where denominations can see eye to eye, 
and can work more effectively together 
than apart Christian unity manifest Id 
mutual esteem, a common love for the lost 
and co-operation in the work, is testimon 
to the Messiahship of our Lord. 

Organic union may come in time. The 
different churches are more and more in 
clined to emphasize points of agreement 
Presbyterian Churches are nearer together 
than they were; so are the different Bap- 
tist and Methodist Churches. But unity 
need not wait on union. Christians can 
love one another and work together, while 
agreeing to differ as to points of doctrine, 
government and worship. Indeed, unity is 
the way to union. Attempts to force union 
often end in strife, and pleas for union may 
be only philippics against denominational- 
ism; but when love has its way, differences 
and difficulties disappear. 


Sacraments are object lessons. "A sac 
rament is a holy ordinance instituted by 
Christ; wherein, by sensible signs, Chrisi 
and the benefits of the new covenant are 
represented, sealed and applied to be 
lievers." The spirit makes not only the 
reading and preaching of the Word, but 
also its illustration by sacraments, the 
means of salvation and sanctification. 

A sacrament is first of all "instituted by 
Christ." It is a "holy ordinance," designed 
to teach a spiritual truth. It does this by 
the use of some "sensible sign" or cere- 
mony, in which Christ and his benefits are 
shown forth and our interest in them de- 
clared. It further establishes a line be- 
tween those who are in the visible Church 
and those who are not. 

The sacraments of the Old Testament 
Church, divinely instituted, were Circum- 
cision and the Passover. Those of the New 
Testament Church are Baptism and the 
Lord's Supper. The Roman Church holds 
that marriage, penance, extreme unction, 
confirmation and holy orders are al3o sac- 

( 165 ) 

166 Applied Theology. 

raments; but these are not "sensible signs," 
showing forth spiritual truth. They may 
bo important in themselves, but do not 
represent, seal and apply the benefits of 
the new covenant. Moreover, they are not 
divinely instituted to this end, and do not 
in any way show the differences between 
those who are and are not in the Church. 
In baptism the visible sign or ceremonial 
is the "washing with water in the name of 
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost," and the thing signified is "our en- 
grafting into Christ," our "partaking of the 
benefits of the covenant of grace, and our 
engagement to be the Lord's." The sacra- 
ment has no saving power. It is a sign and 
seal of an engagement already made and a 
relation already established. One is not a 
Christian because he is baptized, but is bap- 
tized because he has received Christ, and 
rests upon him for salvation. The infant 
children of believers are baptized, not to 
bring them into the church, but because 
they are born in the church. They are bap- 
tized upon the faith of their parents, who 
pledge to bring them up in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord, and it is to be con- 
fidently expected that when they arrive at 
rears of discretion they will themselves as- 

The Sacraments. 167 

sume the vows which their parents assume 
for them. 

Every baptism has a lesson for those who 
witness it. Christians are reminded of their 
own vows of separation from the world and 
union with Christ. Those without are sol- 
emnly admonished as to duty. Where a 
child is baptized, all Christian parents are 
reminded that they, too, have taken vows; 
and all baptized children, that they are of 
the household of faith, and have privileges 
and are under solemn obligations. 

In the Lord's Supper the visible sign is 
the "giving and receiving of bread and wine 
sccording to Christ's appointment." The 
thing represented is Christ's death for us 
upon the cross. "As often as ye eat this 
bread and drink this cup ye do show the 
Lord's death until he come." Speaking of 
the Passover, Moses instructed the Jews 
that when their children should ask as to 
its meaning, they should say: "This is done 
because of what the Lord did in the day 
that the Lord brought me out of the land 
of Egypt." The Passover was a memorial 
of what God had done. The unleavened 
bread, the bitter herbs and the lamb, all 
reminded them of their deliverance. There 
was a lesson also as to the future. The 

168 Applied Theology. 

lamb represented not only the lamb whose 
blood was sprinkled upon the doors, but 
also the Lamb slain from the foundation of 
the world. They looked back to Egypt and 
forward to Calvary. 

The Lord's Supper is an object lesson to 
the church and the world. The bread and 
wine represent the broken body and shed 
blood of Christ. When our children or 
others ask, "What mean ye by this serv- 
ice?" we say, "This is what the Lord did 
for us on Calvary." As the Jews represented 
salvation by the Passover, so we represent 
it by the Lord's Supper. We were lost in 
sin. A darkness denser and more hopeless 
than that of Egypt had settled upon us. 
There was no eye to pity and no arm to 
aave, when God's eye pitied and his arm 
brought salvation. 

Like the Passover, the Lord's Supper is 
a prophecy as well as a memorial. It is to 
be observed "until he come." It looks for- 
ward to the time when Christ, who suffered 
and died and rose from the dead, shall 
come again without sin unto salvation. It 
la a reminder of two great facts: the atone- 
ment for sin. and the final triumph of the 
Redeemer. He who poured out his soul 
unto death is to see of the travail of his 
soul and be satisfied. He who humbled 

The Sacraments. 169 

himself and became obedient unto death is 
to be highly exalted, and his name is to be 
above every name, and the whole earth is 
to bow to him. 

The Lord's Supper is a profitable ordi- 
nance. Worthy receivers feed upon Christ. 
They are, not after a corporal or carnal 
manner, but by faith, made partakers of 
his body and blood, with all its benefits to 
their spiritual nourishment and growth in 



The chief end of self-examination is not 
to determine whether one is a sinner. 
Every one of sound mind knows that he is 
a sinner. It is not to find out whether he 
has particular evil habits or is neglectful 
of duty. These are important, but not the 
chief thing. Paul says: "Examine your- 
selves, whether ye be in the faith." The 
first thing to determine is, whether one is 
a Christian — whether he is "in the faith," 
or " in Christ." Again he says: "Let a man 
examine himself, and so let him eat of that 
bread and drink of that cup, lest coming 
unworthily he eat and drink judgment to 

A service preparatory to communion with 
self-examination is not that one may render 
himself worthy, for no one can do this, but 
that he may come "worthily." If he come 
in faith, he comes worthily. True, he is a 
sinner, and has been neglectful, and has 
easily besetting sins. All that Christ re- 
quires of those who come to his table is 
that they are his; that they stand in right 
relation to him. That relation is one of 

Belf-Examination. 171 

humility, penitence and faith. It is also 
one of new obedience, for no man can prop- 
erly examine himself as to his relation to 
Christ without resolving to serve him more 

The question to be settled by self-ex- 
amination, either when coming to the com- 
munion table or at any time, is the ques- 
tion upon which our future will depend at 
the day of judgment. 

Self-examination may be a sore trial and 
altogether unsatisfactory. If one simply 
tries to find out his sins, he will be over- 
whelmed. If his thoughts rest on his rela- 
tion to Christ, his song will be: "Blessed is 
the man whose transgression is forgiven, 
whose sin is covered." His prayer will be: 
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
try me and know my thoughts, and see if 
there be any wicked way in me, and lead 
me in the way everlasting." 

He whose heart is right will take heed to 
his ways. He who trusts in Christ will re- 
pent of and forsake his sin. Though he 
fall seven times, yet will he rise again. He 
who is "in the faith" will seek to live the 
life of faith, but his mind will not contin- 
ually rest upon his sin. He will not con- 
tinue in sin or ignore it, or think light of 
it. "How shall we, who are dead to sin. 

172 Applied Theology. 

continue any longer therein?" How shall 
one whose life "is hid with Christ in God" 
live a Christless, godless life? Self-ex- 
amination, like the observation by the cap- 
tain of a ship at sea, is to determine the 
course. How shall a captain who has set- 
tled his course sail in the opposite direc- 
tion? How shall one who is in Christ, and 
is going to heaven, turn aside or yield to 
sin? He who delights in sin may well ques- 
tion whether he is truly "in the faith/' They 
who journey to Zion have their "faces 
thitherward." He whose face is the other 
way is ordinarily going to some other place. 


It is a sin to worship an idol. It makes 
no difference whether the idol is of gold 
or of lead, or is a person, or property, or 
position. The first principle of the divine 
government is that God alone is entitled to 
worship. He must be first in the affections 
and service of men. "Thou shalt have no 
other gods before me." Our Savior's inter- 
pretation of this is, "Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart and with 
all thy soul and with all thy mind." 

The requirements of the first command- 
ment are positive as well as negative. It 
is so with all the commandments. "Thou 
shalt not" always involves "Thou shalt." 
The prohibition of other gods requires the 
worship of the true God. He is entitled to 
faith and service and praise. The day 
which he has set apart is to be a day of 
rest and worship. His sanctuary is to be 
regarded. "Enter into his gates with 
thanksgiving and into his courts with 
praise." "Give unto the Lord the glory 
due unto his name." Unbelief, irreverence, 
indifference, selfishness and sensuous in- 


174 Applied Theology. 

duigence are forms of idolatry. It is idol- 
atrous to worship and serve "the creature 
more than the Creator," whether the crea- 
ture be another person or one's own self. 
When the apostle says of some that their 
"god is their belly," he describes in none 
too vigorous language those who make sen- 
sual indulgence their chief end, giving to 
appetite and passion the place which be- 
longs to God. 

Our Savior said: "Take heed and beware 
oc covetousness." And again we read of 
"covetousness which is idolatry." He who 
makes it his chief end to be rich or to 
attain a high position, or to serve any self- 
ish purpose, gives to something else the 
first place in his affections. He may not 
think of it as a god or realize that his devo- 
tion is worship, but he violates the spirit 
of the command: "Thou shalt have no other 
gods before me." 

There is little temptation in our day to 
make graven images or to bow before and 
worship them; but sensuality, and ambition, 
and personal ease, and inordinate earthly 
affection have their devotees. It is easy to 
magnify and give them the supreme place 
in the heart. Whereas God's command is: 
"Give me thy heart," "Delight thyself in 

Idolatry. 175 

tlie Lord," "Worstiip tlie Lord in the beauty 
of holiness." The chief end of man is to 
glorify him, and he who fails, giving his 
first affection to any other object, is an 


Sin is always unreasonable and inex- 
cusable, but no sin is more unreasonable 
or inexcusable than profanity. At the same 
time, it is prevalent, and causes grievous 
evil. "Because of swearing," said Jere- 
miah, "the land mourneth." Profanity was 
a cause and a symptom of the desperate 
wickedness of the Jews before the captiv- 
ity. We may echo the words: our land 
mourns because of swearing. Vices, like 
virtues, go in clusters, and profanity is one 
of the most wicked and harmful of the 
black kinship. It was associated in Jere- 
miah's day with "lying, killing, stealing 
and committing adultery." The association 
was natural. Men who violate one com- 
ma'nd of God's law are apt to hold the other 
nine lightly. They are equally sure to dis- 
regard human laws. 

Swearing is a habit to which Impulsive 
people are specially prone. Their surprise 
or pleasure or anger expresses itself in ex- 
clamations. The use of particular words 
becomes habitual. The divine name, which 
should be sacred, and the call for curses 

Profanity. 177 

upon those who offend, are uttered almost 
unconsciously. Some excuse themselves on 
this ground. They would rejoice to be free 
from the habit, but can not overcome it. 
This is the plea of some who, though pro- 
fane with their, fellow men, can pass time 
in the society of ladies without even a slang 
exclamation. They control their words 
when the need of control is felt. A realiza- 
tion that swearing is sinful would be a step 
toward overcoming it. 

Profanity is offensive to good people. 
They may keep silent, but they are shocked 
and hurt by profane words. Hence the 
same courtesy which causes the swearer to 
refrain his lips when talking with ladles 
should make him careful when any, 
whether acquaintances or not, are within 
hearing. Particularly should he be careful 
in the presence of children. A Christian 
mother would rather herself hear profane 
words than to have her children hear them. 
She may make no remonstrance, but is 
nevertheless insulted and injured by the 
man who forces her children to hear his 
bad language. 

More important than this is the truth 
that the habit is offensive to God. To take 
his name in vain is an insult to him. In 
his sight the swearer is guilty. The third 

178 Applied Theology. 

commandment has an emphasis in addition 
to the usual "Thou shalt not." God adds: 
"I will not hold him guiltless" who violates 
this command. We may affirm this of all the 
commandments, but here God declares it 

God's name is taken in vain when men 
speak carelessly and irreverently of him 
or his attributes, when they worship him 
hypocritically, and when they swear falsely, 
as well as when they use profane language. 
There are laws against perjury, blasphemy 
and profanity, but they are seldom en- 
forced. Violators have little fear of pun- 
ishment by men, and so esteem the law 
lightly. This may be the reason for the 
added assertion that the Lord will not hold 
them guiltless. 

Much of the slang prevalent In our day 
is really profane. Christ said: "Swear not 
at all," "neither by heaven" "nor by Jeru- 
salem," "nor by thy head." James said: 
"Neither by heaven, neither by earth, 
neither by any other oath, but let your vea 
be yea and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into 
condemnation." In writing, italics are used 
for emphasis, but italics freely used lose 
their force; so the constant use of profane 
or slangy words destroys their force and 
leaves only their offense. 

Malicious and slanderous words have 

Profanity. 179 

been called "first cousins in sin to profane 
ones." They cause pain. They are the 
beginnings of strife. They destroy friend- 
ships. They are sparks liable to set on fire 
the family and the church. Paul says: 
"Let all bitterness and evil speaking be put 
away from you, with all malice." 

The best cure for profanity is a profound 
realization of the truth, "Thou, God, seest 
me," and hearest me. A certain court 
chaplain once rebuked a nobleman for pro- 
fanity, and when told that he could not 
help it, replied: "You never swear in the 
presence of the king. I remind you of the 
King of kings." "For there is not a word 
in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest 
it altogether." 


God is entitled to and claims a share 
of man's time, and it is man's interesc 
to recognize the claim. The Sabbath was 
made for man. God rested after the cre- 
ation, and sanctified the Sabbath day, not 
because he needed rest, but because man, 
whom he had created, would need it. He 
hallowed the day because man would need 
a day set apart to religious worship. 

Tjhe Fourth Commandment was not a 
new law given to the Jews. It was a re- 
minder of the universal law given at cre- 
ation. They were to "remember" the 
Sabbath day. Six days they were to work 
as the Lord worked, and the seventh to 
rest as the Lord rested. 

Man needs one day in seven for rest 
His body needs it, and so does his mind. 
Just as he needs the rest of the night, so 
he needs the Sabbath. The night does 
not entirely repair the waste of the day. 
It requires an additional rest one day in 
seven to restore full vigor. Experience 
has demonstrated that men who rest on 

The Sabbath. 181 

the Sabbath not only do better work, but 
last longer, and in the end do more than 
those who work seven days in the week. 

Man needsi also a day of worship. True, 
he may worship at any time, but absorbed 
in the ordinary affairs of life it is easy 
to slight or entirely neglect religious 
service. The Sabbath is the divinely ap- 
pointed time to lay aside ordinary affairs 
and engage in the worship of God. Man 
needs this not only as an opportunity to 
pay the service which he owes to God, 
but for his own mental and spiritual im- 
provement. He needs at stated intervals 
to rise above the things which fill His 
mind during the week. These are impor- 
tant, but they are of the earth. They deal 
with what is "seen and temporal.*' He 
needs time to meditate upon the "unseen 
and eternal." 

The Family needis the Sabbath. It is 
man's lot to labor, and labor separatee 
and absorbs and wearies the laborers. A 
day of rest is a day of home asisociation 
and acquaintance and affection. 

The Community needs the Sabbath. All 
that it is to the individual and thp family 
it is to the State. Labor is honorable; but 
labor with no day of rest furnishing op- 

182 Applied Theology. 

portunity for intellectual and spiritual 
cultivation, is demoralizing, A nation 
without a Sabbath is on the down grade. 

The Church needs the Sabbath. It has 
a message for men; but how will they hear 
if they are absorbed in earthly things? 
The problem of reaching the masses is 
difficult enough always, but is increas- 
ingly difficult where the Sabbath is dis- 
regarded. It is simplified where the Sab- 
bath is properly observed. 

The Sabbath is not only the Church's 
opportunity to reach men with the Gospel, 
and its time of worship, but is a reminder 
of the great central truth of its faith, the 
resurrection of Christ from the dead. It 
was on the first day of the week that our 
Lord came forth out of the tomb. Before 
this the seventh day had been the Sab- 
bath, but from this time on the disciples 
observed the first day as "the Lord's day 
and Christ justified the change by his ap- 
pearance to them during their meetings 
on that day. The day was the set time for 
preaching, for the "breaking of bread," or 
the Lord's Supper, and for collections for 
the relief of poor saints, and has so con- 
tinued in the Christian Church to this 

The Babhatn. 183 

The Fourth Commandment is still the 
law of Grod's kingdom. The change of day 
makes no difference in the requirement to 
keep the Sahbath as a time of rest and 
worship. All should do this, not only 
because the Sabbath is of such value to 
man and its observance so profitable, but 
because God commands it. He is the Lord, 
and has a right to command. 

Here, however, diflSculty arises. Good 
people are sometimes a law unto them- 
selves. They see no harm in certain 
amusements or work on the Sabbath day, 
and assert their Independence of rules 
which others observe. They argue that too 
great strictness Is an evil, and makes the 
day burdensome and not restful. There 
may be a measure of truth in this, but the 
tendency of the time is not to over-strict- 
ness, but to laxity. Moreover, the ques- 
tion, while personal, is also one of public 
policy and the general good. The Sabbath 
question has developed a conflict, and it is 
important that good men throw their In- 
fluence upon the right side. One may feel 
that he is justified in doing certain things; 
but if they line him up with the enemies 
of the Sabbath, he is equally justified in 
not doing them. It is always the rigM 

184 Applied Theology. 

of a Christian to give up his rights. He 
may be more strict than the law requires, 
if such strictness is for the general good. 
He can hardly be too strict for his own 
good. Spending the entire day In rest, 
and in the public and private exercises of 
God's worship, except so much as is taken 
up in works of necessity and mercy, he 
will himself be blessed in body, mind and 
soul, and his influence will be on the side 
of truth and righteousness. 


The principle of the Fifth Oommand- 
ment is the foundation of all human gov- 
ernment. In primitive times the family 
was the State, with the father as head 
or chief. Afterwards familiea grew, or 
were combined with other families, into 
tribes, and tribes into nations. Govern- 
ment is a divine institution. "The powers 
that be," or the rulers, are ordained of 
God, and are to be obeyed and honored. 

The family, though only a part of the 
State, is still a government; and the 
parents are its divinely appointed rulers. 
TO honor them is to recognize the neces- 
sary conditions of life and submit to law- 
ful authority. 

It is natural for children to depend upon 
their parents. In early years they must 
do this, and the habit clings to them after 
they are grown. It is natural also to love 
them, and to manifest this love in acts 
of tenderness and helpfulness. 

The Bible requires more than this. It 
emphasizes the duty of children to obey 
( 13 ) ( 185 ) 

186 Applied Theology. 

and honor their parents, and assigns two 
reasons, viz.: because it is right and be- 
cause it is for the child's good. "Chil- 
dren, obey your parents in the Lord, for 
this is right." "Honor thy father and thy 
mother, that thy days may be long upon 
the land which the Lord thy God giveth 

Obedience to law promotes health and 
prosperity. Youth is surrounded by 
temptations. Appetites and passions need 
restraint. Indulgence means weakness 
and early decay. Obedience of children to 
those who are over them in the Lord 
means health and strength and long life. 

The duty of children to honor and obey 
their parents involves the duty of parents 
to show themselves worthy of honor and 
obedience. "Ye fathers, provoke not your 
children to wrath, but bring them up in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord." 
Harshness, arbitrariness and neglect are a 
violation of the Fifth Commandment. Pro- 
vision for the body and mind is not the 
full measure of parental duty. Children 
are entitled to be taught the way of salva- 
tion and to a godly example. He who 
expects honor from his children must him- 
self honor his Father in heaven. 

Parents and Children. 187 

Every age has its peculiarities and per- 
ils, and one of our perils is irreverence, or 
obliviousness to law and authority. Chil- 
dren mature early, and cast off parental 
restraint. The trend in the family and 
school is toward mild suasion in prefer- 
ence to strict requirement and discipline. 
The danger in this is that children will 
grow up with the impression that there 
is no law and no punishment, and that 
while they are to be reasoned with and 
advised, they themselves are the final au- 
thority in all matters. This impression 
Is the starting point of lawlessness. Dis- 
regard of parental authority leads to dis- 
regard of the law of the land and of the 
divine law. 

The State has a right to require of 
parents that they train their children to 
respeet and obey the civil authorities. God 
does require that they train them to fear 
and honor him. 


Ask the children in a Christian family 
to recite a Bible verse, and in most cases 
they will recite: "Suffer little children to 
come unto me and forbid them not. for of 
such is the kingdom of heaven." This is 
"the children's verse." It expresses Christ's 
love for children, and his readiness to re- 
ceive and bless them. 

This verse, however, was not spoken to 
children, but to the disciples who were to 
be ministers and teachers and rulers of the 
Church. It is therefore a minister's verse, 
and an elder's verse. It is a direction to 
the Church as to its duty to children: 
"Of such is the kingdom." They have their 
place and rights. They are not to be for- 
bidden or discouraged or shut out. 

It is a parent's text. Parents must not 
keep their children from Christ. Neither 
by command nor by example, nor by any- 
thing which disturbs their childish faith, 
nor for any reason, must they hinder the 
child from accepting the salvation offered 
in the Gospel. 

Suffer Little Children. 189 

"Forbid them not" is really an invita- 
tion. It means: "Bid them to come." They 
are not only not to be discouraged, but to 
be encouraged. They are to be taken to 
church, and taught that Christ is the Sav- 
ior, and that he desires their love and 
service. It is their right to be trained in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lora, 
and to have a good example set for them 
by their parents and all who are over them 
in the Lord. 


Religion is a matter not only of wor- 
ship, but of life. It involves relations to 
God and man, and has rewards for the 
present as well as the future. Christ 
summed up tlie whole law in two command- 
ments: "Thou Shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy 
soul, and with all thy mind; and thy 
neighbor as thyself." 

Love is a comprehensive word. Lofve to 
God includes such recognition of his di- 
vine character and devotion as makes him 
the chief object of worship and service. 
Love to man includes such interest in his 
welfare, such regard for his rights, and 
such helpfulness in his distress as puts 
him upon a par with ourselves in all our 
dealings. "Do unto others as ye would 
that others should do unto you" is a re- 
assertion of the command, "Thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself." 

Love seeks the good of its object. It 
takes no pleasure in smiting or giving 
pain. The natural heart is selfish and 
hasty and revengeful and brutal. Cain rose 
up against Abel his brother and slew him. 
History is a long succession of conflicts 

Thy Neighbor as Thyself. 191 

in which anger and ambition have tri- 
umphed through violence. 

The law as given amid the thunders 
of Sinai was, "Thou shalt not kill." 
This was the announcemenit of the sacred- 
11 ess of human life. Excepting for crime, 
and by the constituted authorities, no man 
can shed another's blood. To kill or maim 
or mutilate a fellow being is a sin against 
God. So it is to kill or maim one's self. 
The law, "Thou shalt not kill," with the 
interpretation, "Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself," forbids violence either to 
others or to ourselves. Suicide is as sinful 
as any other form of murder. 

The sin of murder is not all in the act. 
"Whosoever is angry with his brother 
without a cause shall be in danger of the 
judgment." "He that hateth his brother is 
a murderer." The spirit of the sixth com- 
mandment is the spirit of forgiveness. He 
wlio has not this spirit finds no favor with 
G-od. "If ye forgive not men their tres- 
passes, neither will your Father in heaven 
forgive your trespasses." "If thou bring 
thy gift to the altar and there rememb cr- 
est that thy brother hath aught against 
thee, leave there thy gift before the altar 
and go thy way. First be reconciled to 
thy brother and then come and offer thy 
gift." Unrighteous anger unfits one for 

192 Applied Theology. 

religious service. Sucti anger, whether 
manifest in violence or not, is sin both 
against man and God. 

Adultery is as Injurious to our fellowmen 
and as heinous in the sight of God as mur- 
der. The family relation is sacred. To 
violate it is a sin not only against the par- 
ticular family, but against society. To set 
aside the divine law of marriage, either 
through lawless love or wicked laws, is 
demoralizing and hateful to God. Polyg- 
amy, unscriptural divorce and prostitution 
are evidences of poison in the blood, and 
pledges of evil, unless the national con- 
science is aroused. Adultery is not in the 
overt act alone. Our Savior taught: "Ye 
have heard that it hath been said by them 
of old time, Thou shalt not commit adul- 
tery, but I say unto you that whosoever 
looketh upon a woman to lust after her 
hath committed adultery- with her in his 
heart." As anger is a violation of the 
sixth commandment, so lust is a violation 
of the seventh. Both are sins against God, 
and violations of the command, "Thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself." This subject 
is one of peculiar delicacy, and many pas- 
tors, teachers and parents pass it with gen- 
eral remarks as to purity. In some cases 
this is best, but in others it is not. People 
are more familiar with evil than they once 

Thy Neighbor as Thyself. 193 

were. Suggestions of impurity wMcli 
would not have been tolerated a generation 
ago are noiw common. Signboards display 
pictures advertising impure plays. Novels 
treating of illicit love and marital infidelity 
are widely circulated. Tbese are talked of 
even by young people, wbo are thus famil- 
iarized with sin. Moreover these things 
stimulate passion and blunt the moral 
sense, and render one weak in time of 
temptation. Every Christian, considering 
the commandments, s'hould pray with each 
one, and certainly with the seventh, "Lord, 
be merciful unto us and incline our hearts 
to keep thy law." Moreover he should 
pray: "Deliver us from temptation," and 
should be watchful against defiling sug- 
gestions in any form. "I will set no wicked 
thing before my eyes." I will not look 
upon impurity or talk about or meditate on 
it, or read it or hear it. "Blessed are the 
pure in heart, for they shall see God." 
Love for one's neighbor requires him not 
only to be pure, but to promote purity. 
Stealing is the most natural manifestation 
of selfishness, and selfishness is the oppo- 
site of the love required by God's law. The 
desire to gain property and hold it safely 
ic at the foundation of social prosperity. 
He who steals strikes at this foundation. 
He injures not only the one from whom he 

194 Applied Theology. 

steals, but the connnunity as well. So 
does he who obtains money by false pre- 
tense or fraud, or avoids the payment of 
honest debts. As one wishes to keep and 
enjoy what belongs to him, so if he love 
his neighbor as himself he will wish the 
same for his neighbor, and the thought 
of dishonesty will be hateful to him. So 
will the thought of false testimony against 
a neighbor. The command forbids not 
only false swearing in court, but all un- 
truth, scandal, exaggeration and evil sug- 
gestion. It requires kindness in judging 
and speaking of others. "Charity thinketh 
no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity. Its ears 
are not open to evil reports. It discourages 
hurtful gossip, and delights in things 
that are lovely and of good report. 
Ihe spirit of love is the spirit of 
truth, honesty, purity and kindness. It 
is the spirit of fair dealing, of respect for 
person, property, reputation and feelings. 
It seeketh not its own at the expense of 
another. It is generous. It even yields its 
rights for the good of others. It is this 
spirit which the Apostle Paul commended 
when he said: "Look not every man on 
his own things, but every man also on the 
things of others. Let this mind be in you 
which was also in Christ Jesus." 


When the inspired apostle writes that 
"the love of money is the root of all evil," 
or "a root of all kinds of evil.." he does 
not condemn money nor the effort to earn 
it, nor even the desire to accumulate a 
competence. His subject is not money, 
but "the love of money." 

"Love" is a strong word. It describes 
the ruling passion. It is not admiration, 
nor fancy, nor liking, but complete devo- 
tion. Christ said, "Take heed and beware 
of covetousness," illustrating his words 
by the parable of the rich fool, whose pas- 
sion was to hoard up his property, and 
whom he condemned not because he was 
rich, but because his treasure was "for 
himself," and not "toward God," and be- 
cause wealth with him was "the God," 
and because he counted wealth the su- 
preme thing. It, above all, was to be 
sought and kept, and from it he expected 
his greatest gratification. 

The root of evil is the passion for money 
which makes it the chief end of life. Such 


196 Applied Theology. 

love is a violation not only ef the Tenth 
CkDmmandment, but of thp First, for the 
two are essentially one. There is great 
force in the statement of the apostle when 
he speaks of "covetousness which is idol- 
atry." He who gives to wealth, or any- 
thing else, the place which belongs to God 
is an idolater. 

Covetousness is a sin not only against 
God and man, but against self. It exalts 
an inferior motive. It prompts one to 
seek first of all that which in the end will 
not satisfy him. The Scriptures and hu- 
man experience testify: "He that loveth 
silver shall not be satisfied with silver, 
nor he that loveth abundance with in- 
crease." It disturbs the mental balance. 
It dwarfs the ideal of enjoyment, and of 
the family, and of social life, and of busi- 
ness, and even of money Itself. It crowds 
out better motives and good impres- 
sions. As some plants exhaust the soil 
and others prevent useful growth, so it 
impoverishes the soul and prevents the 
grow^th of Christian graces. 

It is a root of evil not only in the Indi- 
vidual soul, but in the community. It is 
the starting point of sharp practice, extor- 
tion and fraud. It leads to gambling and 

Covetousness. 197 

speculation. When these bring great for- 
tunes they are an evil object lesson. Men 
are not satisfied with daily bread or a 
competence, or even with moderate wealth. 
Their ideal is the vast fortune some one 
else 'has attained. 

The only way to rid the soul of this 
root of evil is by planting something bet- 
ter. The secret of deliverance is in the 
expulsive power of a new affection. Cov- 
etousness is selfishness. Love to God and 
man will banish it. "Set your affections 
on things above." "Look not every man 
on his own things, but every man also 
on the things of others." "Let this mind 
be in you which was als® in Christ Jesus." 
He is the perfect example of unselfishness. 
"Though he was rich, yet for our sakes 
he became poor." The one thing which 
every man should covet is the loving, un- 
selfish, helpful mind of Christ. Deliver- 
ance from selfishness, covetousness and 
every evil motive is in love to God, and 
recognition of his character and will. 
"Because he hath set his love upon me, 
therefore will I deliver him. I will set 
him on high, because he hath known my 


Few Americans are willing to admit that 
there can be defect in our system of gov- 
ernment or serious danger to its perpe- 
tuity. We glory in our Constitution and 
history, and enter with zest into the cele- 
bration of our national holiday. Let ua 
not, however, be blinded by smoke nor 
deafened by noise. A nation's safety Is 
neither in its Constitution nor in its his- 
tory, nor in the enthusiasm with which its 
people celebrate its anniversary. National 
permanence and greatness depend on na- 
tional morality; using the word in a wide 
sense, for obedience to G-od's law. "Happy 
is that people whose God is the Lord." 

The question for us is one of loyalty to 
the righteous principles upon which our 
government was founded. We live in an age 
of great things. The country has grown in 
population, territory, wealth and influence 
among nations. But prosperity has dangers. 
Power breeds self-satisfaction. Luxury is 
demoralizing. Great fortunes, hastily accu- 
mulated, are an evil object lesson. Worldly 

National Safety. 199 

success is magnified, and by many made the 
chief end of life. 

The spirit of the age is a spirit of 
covetoiisness. Men are in haste to be rich. 
It is a spirit of irreverence. Children mar- 
ture early and throw off parental restraint 
So they throw off the restraints of religion. 
It is a spirit of carelessness in regard to 
right and wrong, and in regard to truth. 
This is manifest in profanity and Sabbath 
violation, and in public and private cor- 

It is no discredit to a man that he is not 
in harmony with the spirit of the age. The 
Church never has been in harmony with 
it. Moses was not in harmony with the 
spirit of his day; neither was Christ with 
that of his. The Apostle Paul and Martin 
Luther and John Calvin each opposed the 
spirit of his day. It is no discredit that 
one is "behind the times." The spirit of 
the age is only another expression for the 
"spirit of the world," which is evil, and 
to which the Church is opposed. Every 
Christian should set himself against it. 

Mere passive morality is not enough. 
We owe it to our country not only to be 
good, but to promote what is good. Every 
Christian should be an active power in 

200 Applied Theology. 

society and the State. We are inclined to 
divide up our duties and to label each di- 
vision, and so to distinguish between pub- 
lic and personal matters. We speak of 
political duties often in a narrow way, as 
if paying taxes, voting the best ticket, and 
helping make good tickets at primary 
meetings were the whole of citizenship. 
They are a small part of it. There is 
one duty which underlies and comprehends 
all others. This is at once personal and 
public, for it concerns men in all the rela- 
tions of life. It is our duty to God. It is 
the recognition of his authority and right 
and of our obligation to do his will. If 
this be neglected, our best patriotism 
amounts to nothing. If it be attended to, 
we can not go far astray in anything. "Ye 
that love the Lord, hate evil." The man 
who serves God will best serve his coun- 

The Christian man should carry his 
Christianity into politics. His code of 
morals should be the same always and 
everywhere. What is wrong in private 
or social life is wrong in political life. We 
are slow to recognize this. Maxims and 
customs allow things which our conscience 
should condemn. If the eighth command- 

National Safety. 201 

ment forbids the taking of a neighbor's 
property, it forbids no less the underes- 
timation of property for taxation, as well 
as all public corruption. If the ninth 
commandment forbids social! slander. It 
also forbids the slander of a political op- 
ponent Many good people, who in other 
respects keep the law of God, esteem it a 
light thing to bear false witness in a 
heated political campaign. The duty of 
Christian people is to keep God's law in 
every jot and tittle. By this they advance, 
so far as their Influence goes, their coun- 
try's highest interest. 

Infidelity and immorality are the ene- 
mies of good government. Tlie nation in 
which they gain the upper hand is a 
doomed nation. Money will not save it. 
An army and navy will not save it. 
Neither will education nor cultuTe nor 
commerce, nor enthusiasm manifested in 
fireworks and! patriotic speeches. The end 
may not come in one generation. Strong 
forms of government may last after the 
nation has become corrupt The throne 
may be maintained! for a time by violence 
and cruelty. God allowed Solomon to finish 
his reign, but wrested the kingdom from 
his son. 

202 Applied Theology. 

With a nation like oure, punisliment is 
apt t0 follow close upon sin. Our Ck)nstl- 
tution is a good instrument for the gov- 
ernment of good people. It is probably 
the best that has been devised in modem 
times for the government of a nation that 
fears God; but for a people given over to 
iniquity it is not only weak, but danger- 
ous. Our hope is not In the Constitution, 
but in God, whom as a nation we serve. 

This is a God-fearing and a God-serving 
land. It has dangerous classes, and these 
sometimes seem to gain ascendency. It 
has a proportion of infidels and blasphem- 
ers, but the mass of the people believe in 
God and are disposed to keep his laws. 
People in large cities are apt to be pessi- 
mistic. Such cities are centers of both 
good and evil. They underestimate the 
good and overestimate the bad. There are 
evidences that the good is steadily ad- 
vancing; that temperance and obedience 
to law and the worship of God are stronger 
to-day than they were ever before. Many 
long for "the good old times," but statis- 
tics show that the best times are now, and 
our faith is that there are better still to 

America has a high mission. In God's 

National Safety. 203 

providence she is to work the salvation 
of other lands. "God is in the midst of 
her, therefore she shall not he moved." 
Faith, however, must not neglect works. 
Our first duty is obedience to every law 
of God, and our second a strong and per- 
sistent effort to bring others to this same 
obedience. The highest patriotism is in 
the effort to lead souls to Christ 


The Church is the greatest of all phil- 
anthropic societies. Whoever labors to 
help and elevate men, does, though he may 
not so intend, the work of the Church. A 
writer, contrasting philanthropy and relig- 
ion, says: "It is better to help the dis- 
tressed than to pray." But there is no ar- 
gument in such contrast, for praying peo- 
ple are helpful people. Christianity is 
philanthropy. From the time of its Foun- 
der, who "came not to be ministered to, but 
to minister," who healed the sick and com • 
forted the distressed, it has been human- 
ity's helper. Its work is seen in hospitals, 
and orphan asylums, and kindergartens, 
and large contributions to relieve sufferers 
from flood and famine. 

It is true that people outside the 
churches give to these causes, but this 
does not make them less the work of Chris- 
tianity. They are found only in lands 
where the atmosphere is Christian. The 
principles of the gospel are a part of our 
civilization. Men may deny its power, and 

Philanthropy. 205 

yet share at least in a part of its blessings. 
There are those who repudiate God's Word 
and yet delight in the helpful results of its 
teaching. "Away," they cry, "with this 
rubbish of ages! we will clear our fields, 
cut down these vines; we want only the 
grapes of humanity and helpfulness; their 
clusters are beautiful, but the vines, these 
dogmas and sermons and prayers, are un- 
sightly." We heed rather the word of our 
Savior: "I am the vine; ye are the 
branches." "These things I command 
you, that ye love one another." There 
would be no grapes without the vine, and 
no real philanthropy without the Bible. 
Heathenism does not build hospitals, nor 
interest itself in any way in the relief of 
distress or in the elevation of men. 

Some Christian people, seeing the dis- 
tress and ignorance of multitudes, think 
the Chupch should, above all, give tem- 
poral relief. They count that more impor- 
tant than the preaching of salvation in the 
life to come. It is certainly the Church's 
duty to feed the hungry, and clothe the 
naked, and visit the sick. These ought it 
to do, but not to leave its chief work un- 
done. Whenever it ceases to care for the 

206 Applied Theology. 

fcouls of men, it will soon cease to care for 
their bodies. 

Christianity does not stop with mere 
physical help, nor with education, though 
these are a part of its mission. It deals 
with character, as well as health; with the 
soul, as well as the body. Its aim is to 
build up the whole man. It finds him sick 
and destitute, and gives physical aid; it 
finds him ignorant, and educates him; it 
sees his debased spiritual state, and offers 
salvation. This is the highest philan- 
thropy. What can be higher than to take 
men, deformed by a sinful nature, warped 
by passion and dwarfed by prejudice, and 
to make them new men and women in 
Christ? The physician who treats a de- 
formed child, rind gives it a perfect form, 
does a noble work. So does the teacher 
who from a dull child develops an edu- 
cated man or woman. But how much 
above even these is the work of the Church, 
which aims to restore men to the like- 
ness of God, and so to "present every man 
perfect in Christ Jesus." 


As soon as a child is born it wants air; 
so as soon as a soul is born it prays- 
"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, the 
Christian's native air." 

It is the mark of good men in all agea 
that they pray. Ehoch led a life of prayer. 
He "walked with God." Abraham, Moses, 
Samuel, David and Daniel were pre- 
eminently men of prayer. The token of 
Paul's conversion was, "Behold, he pray- 
eth." And the testimony of his writing 
is that he both prayed and exhorted others 
to pray. Christ spent whole nights in 
prayer, and taught his disciples to pray, 
and to be importunate in prayer. 

What is prayer? It is, first of all, the 
expression of desire. Mere words or set 
forms are not prayer, however they may 
be emphasized or repeated. Christ spoke 
of some who "think that they shall be 
heard for their much speaking." One may 
recite over and over the very prayer which 
Christ gave his disciples, counting the 
times by his beads, without really pray- 


208 Applied Theology. 

ing. Such repetition may be prayer, or it 
may be as idle and useless as the grinding 
out of petitions by a heathen prayer mill. 
Desire, deep and earnest, is the very es- 
sence of prayer. God "will fulfill the de- 
sire of them that fear him." He will "hear 
the desire of the humble." 

Prayer is the offering of such desire 
"unto God." Prayer to idols, or to saints 
or angels, is misdirected and vain. There 
is no promise in the Scriptures that Mary, 
the mother of Jesus, will answer prayer, 
or do anything to help us. Christ did not 
pray to her. He began his form of prayer 
with "Our Father which art in heaven," 
and himself prayed to the Father. Prayer 
made for the ears of men, that he who 
prays may be seen of them and be 
esteemed eloquent and gifted. Is not true 
prayer. Christ condemned the Pharisees 
for the hypocrisy of such public prayer. 
We do not know the hearts of men. The 
most eloquent may be as earnest as the 
humblest, but we can all guard ourselves 
against insincerity and cultivate the true 
spirit of prayer, both in our public and 
private devotions. 

The spirit of prayer Is the spirit of sub- 
mission to God's will. Christ prayed. "Not 

Prayer. 209 

as I will, but as thou wilt. God is 
infinitely wise. He knows what is for our 
good. He is ready to give good gifts, but 
he is the judge. To ask evil things, or to 
ask in impatience, or to demand our own 
way rather than his, is not true prayer. 
"This is the confidence that we have in 
him, that if we ask anything according to 
his will he heareth us." 

True prayer is always the prayer of 
faith. If ye shall ask anything, believing, 
it shall be done. Faith is not merely the 
belief that the particular petition will be 
granted. It is confidence in God that he 
is, and is a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him, and that he will hear 
and answer, giving or withholding accord- 
ing to his wisdom and our need. 

Prayer is to be in the name of Christ. 
He has opened a way of approach to God. 
By him we have access to the Father; 
without him the heavens are shut up, and 
God is afar ofC, His promise is, "Whatso- 
ever ye shall ask the Father in my name, 
he will give it you." 

The spirit of prayer is humble and 
thankful. He who approaches God is con- 
scious of and must confess his sin. Job 

210 Applied Theology. 

said, "Now mine eye seetli thee, wherefore 
I abhor myself and repent in dust and 
aehes." No matter how good one is, God's 
holiness reminds him of his sin. Hence 
it is that prayer, both public and private, 
so generally begins with confession. Hence, 
too, confession is followed by thanksgiv- 
ing. With those who worship God in spirit 
and in trnth, the sense of sin and of par- 
don are inseparable. "Against thee and 
thee only have I sinned." "There is for- 
giveness with thee, and thou mayest be 
feared." No one can pray aright who does 
not realize that God so loved the world as 
to give his Son to die for sinners; and no 
one can realize this without thanksgiving. 

True prayer recognizes God as the 
source of all good. He is the creator, pre- 
server and benefactor of men — the giver of 
every good gift. With Christ, he fre<ily 
gives his people all things, but bids them 
seek these things in prayer, with thanks- 
giving and confidence. "Be careful for 
nothing, but in everything by prayer and 
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your 
requests be made known unto God." 

He bids them be Importunate. There is 
a difference between importunity and 

Prayer. 211 

"much speaking." Importunate prayer is 
the expression of real desire. It may be 
repeated over and over again. What 
Christ said about much speaking con- 
demns no one who speaks from the heart. 
He who truly prays, whether in a few 
words or many, will be accepted and 


If "prayer is the Christian's vital breath," 
it is certainly important to pray, and to 
pray freely and naturally. Of course, if 
one does not breathe, he can not live. If 
he does not pray, he has no spiritual life. 
If his breathing is hindered, either by de- 
fects in his organs or by lack of air, his 
vitality is reduced. There is sound phil- 
osophy in the exhortation of Peter to so 
live "that your prayers be not hindered." 

A little thing may obstruct one's breath, 
and so a little sin may hinder prayer. 
One who, for five years, had only a name 
to live, confessed that his spiritual declen- 
sion began when he took an unfair advan- 
tage in trade, and that the first effect was 
an indisposition to pray. Every attempt 
brought up his sin, and he gave up trying. 
His revival began when he visited his old 
home, and in the old room where he had 
twenty years before given himself to 
Christ, he fell on his knees and confessed 
his sin, and promised God to make repara- 

Hindrances to Prayer. 213 

tion. Then his spiritual breath came nat- 
urally, and he became strong again. 

There was a man of quick temper who, 
if irritated in the morning, omitted fam- 
ily prayers. He could not pray while 
angry, and confessed with shame that he 
"got angry oftener and oftener." He had 
grace enough to know his danger, and to 
determine that he "would keep in a good 
humor until after worship." Of course the 
worship helped him to keep in a good 
humor all day. 

Peter exhorts husbands and wives to love 
and cherish each other, and as a reason 
adds, "that your prayers be not hindered.'' 
Household strife is a hindrance to prayer. 
The husband and wife are not only sep- 
arated in heart from each other, but both 
are separated from God. Love, peace and 
the consciousness of duty performed pre- 
pare husband and wife to worship with a 
pure heart, while anger and neglect are of 
a different spirit and unfit the soul for 
any religious service. The same is true in 
other relations of life, though no strife 
is so evil as that between husband and 
wife, because no relation is so tender. 
Strife between a brother and sister, or 

214 Applied Theology. 

between a parent and child, hinders their 
prayers; so, where friends forget friend- 
ship, cherish anger and speak evil of each 
other, their prayers are hindered. Our 
Savior said: "If thou bring thy gift to 
the altar, and there rememberest that thy 
brother hath aught against thee, leave 
there thy gift before the altar, and go 
thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, 
and then come and offer thy gift." If you 
remember that any one has been wronged 
by you, or that you have a quarrel with 
any or have injured any, be reconciled, 
that your prayers be not hindered. For 
"if ye forgive men iheir trespasses, your 
heavenly Father will also forgive your 
trespasses." He who forgives not, but 
cherishes ill-will, is in no condition to 
pray for pardon or for anything else. 

Selfishness hinders prayer, and may be 
manifest in the prayer itself. 

Personal blessings occupy the mind to 
the exclusion of other interests. Prayer 
should lead us away from self and per- 
sonal interest to pray for others. A de- 
spondent Christian once called on Dr. 
Alexander. He could find no comfort in 
religion. He was a man of prayer, but. 

Hindrances to Prayer. 215 

as his answer showed, he prayed selfishly. 
"Go," said Dr. Alexander, "and pray God 
to glorify himself." The spirit of religion 
is unselfish. "The Lord turned again the 
captivity of Job when Job prayed for his 
friends;" so he blesses those who pray for 

Selfish prayers may be answered. There 
are those to whom the Lord gives their 
request, but sends "leanness of soul." The 
highest type of prayer is that of Clirist: 
"Father, glorify thyself." The prayers of 
David ended with the petition, "Blessed 
be the Lord," and "Let the whole earth 
be filled with his glory." The chief end of 
man is not temporal blessings, or even 
spiritual joy, but the glory of God. The 
Lord's Prayer begins and ends with peti- 
tions for God's kingdom. Personal bless- 
ings occupy a small place. 

Pride hinders prayer. "I dwell in the 
high and holy place with him also that 
is of an humble and contrite heart." Pride 
in the form of prayer, or the amount, may 
destroy its power. 

All sin hinders prayer. No one can 
really pray when conscious of unrepented 
sin. A necessary preparation for th© 
prayer-meeting is repentance for past sin 

216 Applied Theology. 

and determination by God's grace to obey 
his law in the future. No sin is more 
heinous or more effectually hinders prayer 
than unbelief. At one place Christ "could 
do no mighty works because of their un- 

A wise physician once said of a young 
lady that all his remedies did her no good, 
because her style of dress made proper 
action of the lungs impossible. She died 
by degrees, because she only half breathed. 
Let Christians put away everything that 
hinders their spiritual breath, and their 
spiritual strength will be so renewed that 
they will mount upon wings as eagles, and 
run without weariness, and walk without 


Christianity is a triumphing cause. Its 
influence widens and grows stronger with 
the years, and the time is coming when it 
will cover the whole earth. We know this, 
hecause God has promised it. The knowl- 
edge of God is to "cover the earth as the 
waters cover the sea." "At the name of 
Jesus every knee shall bow and every 
tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory 
of God the Father." 

The world may not believe this. It does 
not understand the purpose of Christianity 
and the mission of the Church, nor appre- 
ciate spiritual instrumentalities. It sees 
the power of muscle and numbers and ma- 
chinery, but not of spiritual forces. These 
must be spiritually discerned. Many Chris- 
tians may not believe, or at least not 
realize it. They see the power of evil, and 
are dismayed. Tbey are like the servant of 
Elisha, when he saw the prophet sur- 
rounded by tbe armies of Syria, and cried 
out: "Alas, my master, what shall we do?" 
"Fear not. for they that be with us are 
( 15 ) ( 217 ) 

218 Applied Theology. 

more than they that be with them." Often 
we need some one to pray for us as Elisha 
prayed: "Lord, open his eyes that he may 
see." When the Lord opened the young 
man's eyes, he saw that "the mountain 
was full of horses and chariots of fire 
round about Elisha." We should pray for 
ourselves and look for ourselves. "I 
will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from 
whence cometh my help." We have a great 
antagonist, but we have also a great God 
to help us and fight our battles for us. 
"Our help cometh from the Lord which 
made heaven and earth." 

The whole Bible is an assurance of the 
triumph of Christ's kingdom. He is not 
to "fail nor be discouraged." He is to 
"see of the travail of his soul and be 
satisfied." His kingdom Is to be estab- 
lished, and of it there Is to be no end. 
The kingdoms of this world are to become 
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. 

Back of these promises Is the power of 
God. We depend not on the wisdom or 
eloquence of those who preach, though 
their work is Important, nor on the piety 
and faithfulness of those who sustain 
the Church, though their work also is Im- 
portant; but on God, who made the world 

Final Triumph. 219 

and gave his Son to die for it, who loves 
the Church and has pledged it his abiding 
presence, and is in the midst of it and 
will give it the victory. He has promised 
Christ the heathen for his inheritance 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for 
his possession. 

The Church believes this; but the trouble 
with too many is that they fail to realize 
what they believe. The difficulties are al- 
ways before them, and apparent defeats 
discourage them. They see Zion's desola- 
tions and forget the coming exaltation. 
Like the disciples at Calvary, they think 
of the tomb rather than of the promised 
resurrection. Their thoughts dwell on the 
work to be done, and not on the power by 
which they can do it. 

Suppose one has a bar of iron and is 
to cut it in two; he has no tool suited 
to the work and says it can not be done. 
But men who do such work have machines 
which cut Iron as easily as a knife cuts 
paper or a needle goes through cloth. We 
need to consider our strength as well as 
our work, to realize what we believe, that 
God is the Lord, that he is infinite, that 
he loves the Church, and that his word 
is pledged for its triumph. Elisha was jus- 

220 Applied Theology. 

tified when he said: "They that be with us 
are more than they that be with them." 
Hezekiah was justified when he said: 
"There be more with us than with them, 
for with them is an arm of flesh, but with 
us is the Lord our God to help us." Every 
Christian is justified in saying with the 
Apostle Paul: "If God be for us, who can 
be against us?" If God has promised the 
triumph of his Church, who can prevent 
it? Why should we be dismayed by diffi- 
culties? God is our strength, our present 
help. "Therefore will not we fear though 
the earth be removed." 

As a matter of fact, difficulties usually 
vanish when we come to them. We are 
like the women on the way to the sepul- 
cber. They said: "Who shall roll us away 
the stone from the door of the sepulcher?" 
It was too much for their strength and a 
burden on their souls; but when they came, 
lo, the stone was rolled away. He who 
trusts in God sees difficulties disappear 
even before he reaches them. When the 
Church believes itself invincible, it is in- 

Why then is the victory delayed? We 
do not know. Why did the Lord keep his 
people forty years in the wilderness? No 

Final Triumph. 221 

doubt it was to train them for the mission 
to which he had called them. Why he 
deals as he does with the Church we can 
not tell, but we know that he is wise, 
and that in time his purpose will be made 
plain, and that Christ shall be acknowl- 
edged as the King of kings and Lord of 
lords. It is not ours to question nor to 
doubt, but to trust and rejoice, and by 
faithfulness and zeal to emphasize the 
prayer: "Even so. Lord Jesus, come 


Heaven is not a dream nor a vague 
longing, but a spiritual inheritance as sure 
as the promises of God. It includes eternal 
life and a home, and the divine presence 
and the companionship of holy beings, 
with congenial occupation and a share in 
the eternal glory. 

We know first that there is eternal life. 
Christ said: "He that believeth on the Son 
hath everlasting life." And again: "I give 
unto them eternal life." This does not 
mean simply continued existence, for such 
existence is the portion both of believers 
and of those who do not believe. The 
Scriptures contrast life and punishment, 
and both are eternal. "These shall go 
away into everlasting punishment, but the 
righteous into life eternal." All who are 
In their graves are to come forth. "They 
that have done good unto the resurrection 
of life, and they that have done evil unto 
the resurrection of damnation." Eternal 
life is an existence of conscious peace, of 
(222 ) 


assured forgiveness of sin, and of perfect, 
unending blessedness. 

Heaven is a place. There is a heavenly- 
home. "We know that if our earthly- 
house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we 
have a building of God, a house not made 
with hands, eternal, in the heavens." We 
do not know where it is, or how it is 
built, but we know it will meet all our 
needs. Christ said: "In my Father's house 
are many mansions." Paul wrote. We seek 
"a city which hath foundations, whose 
builder and maker is God." And John de- 
scribed the new Jerusalem as inexpressibly 
beautiful and glorious. 

Heaven is the divine presence. "In thy 
presence is fullness of joy: at thy right 
band there are pleasures for evermore." 
The purest joy of the Christian in this 
life is in communion with Christ; so the 
greatest joy of heaven will be the perfect 
fellowship of the soul with him, and this 
fellowship he has promised his people. To 
the thief on the cross he said: "To-day 
Shalt thou be with me in paradise." To 
all the disciples he said: "I go to prepare 
a place for you, that where I am ye shall 
be also." 

224 Applied Theology. 

Heaven is fitness for the divine pres- 
ence. Christ said: "Blessed are the pure 
in heart, for they shall see God." John 
wrote: "It doth not yet appear what we 
shall be, but we know that when he shall 
appear we shall be like him." Paul writes 
that Christians are predestinated "to be 
conformed to the image of his Son," and 
that our bodies "are to be fashioned like 
unto his glorious body." We need not 
solve the mystery of the resurrection. 
These things belong to the domaiu of faith. 
He who trusts in Christ and cultivates his 
spirit shall one day dwell with him and be 
like him. 

^Heaven is fellowship with the redeemed 
and with all holy beings. The writer of 
Hebrews says: "Ye are come unto Mount 
Zion, and unto the city of the living God, 
the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innu- 
merable company of angels, and to the 
Jioneral assembly and church of the first- 
born, which are written in heaven, and 
to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits 
of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the 
Mediator of the new covenant." We re- 
joice greatly in the companionship of 
earth; but who can conceive the bliss of 
eternal fellowship with God the Father, 

Heaven. 225 

Son and Spirit, and with the apostles and 
prophets and martyrs, and the great and 
good of all ages. The best earthly society 
has its drawbacks; but there are no draw- 
backs, no misfits or uncongeniality in the 
society of heaven. 

Heaven is a place of rest and satisfac- 
tion and worship. There are no tears nor 
sorrow nor death nor pain. God himself 
dwells with his people, and is their Gcd. 
There is no need of the sun or moon to 
lighten it, for the glory of God and the 
Lamb is its light. There is no temple, 
for "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb 
are the temple of it." John in his vision 
tells how the redeemed sing the song of 
Moses and the Lamb, and how the angels 
and elders and beasts and every living 
creature worship God, saying: "Blessing 
and honor and glory and power be unto 
him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto 
the Lamb, for ever and ever." 

Heaven is a place of recognition. We 
shall not be like strangers at a great 
reception, standing apart, unknown and 
unacquainted. John, in Patmos, knew 
Christ, though it was sixty years since his 
ascension. At the transfiguration, which 
was a vision of heaven, Peter knew Moses 

Applied Theology. 

and Elias, whom he had never seen, for 
he called them by name. So we may know 
not our Savior and our friends only, hut 
some we never saw on earth. He who 
loves the law of God may recognize Moses. 
He who has taken delight in the Psalma 
laay recognize the Psalmist. Here we 
know in part, but there we shall know 
even as also we are known. Here we are 
subject to the limitations of earth, but no 
man can tell what capabilities and knowl- 
edge and means of communication we will 
have in heaven. We shall know those we 
have known and loved on earth. The Bible 
does not say this in words, but it gives us 
reason to believe it. When David saw that 
his child was dead, he said: "He shall not 
return to me, but I shall go to him." So 
concerning our dead in Christ, we sorrow 
not as those who have no hope. We shall 
follow them not to a vast realm of dreamy 
bliss, or to walk alone the streets of the 
indescribable city, but to a place of joyful 
reunion and fellowship. 

Foretastes of such meeting and recog- 
nition are sometimes granted to God's peo- 
ple. Stephen, when dying, saw and knew 
the "Son of man." There are many records 
of death scenes illumined from the heav- 

Heaven. 227 

enly world. Cliristians have claimed to 
see faces of those gone before, and to hear 
familiar but long silent voices. Some ex- 
plain these by saying that the brain is dis- 
turbed by disease; but no explanation 
meets all cases. It is easier to believe 
that God sometimes lifts the veil between 
the seen and the unseen, giving glimpses 
of future happiness. 

There is more in the operation of the 
mind than can be told in human philos- 
ophy. Why should dreams which compass 
years and multitudes of actors pass 
through the mind in a few moments? Why 
should minds clouded by age and disease 
suddenly brighten in the article of death? 
Is it not because the soul, anticipating 
freedom from the material, asserts itself 
and the powers it will exercise in the life 
to come? 

We may not at once recognize the friends 
of earth. We do not always recognize 
them now. The son, after long absence, 
returns to his home so changed that 
parents scarcely know him, and he is slow 
to realize that age has whitened their 
heads and bowed their backs. So it ma:? 
be when we meet above. Our friends will 
be changed, and we will be changed, not 

228 Applied Theology. 

through age and weakness, but for the bet- 
ter. There will be the dew of youth, the 
beauty of holiness, and the image of Christ. 
The blind will see, the lame walk, the 
crooked be straight, and the withered 
fresh, and all will be clothed with the 
robe of Christ's righteousness. The cor- 
ruptible will have put on incorruption, and 
the mortal, immortality. 

The beginning of our heavenly life may 
be a series of surprises. Can these bright 
spirits be the suffering, the tempted, the 
sinful, the careworn and weary of earth? 
Can this be the child whose waywardness 
made us doubt his faith, or the selfish or 
passionate or wavering Christian who 
grieved his brethren and his Lord? We, 
too, being changed, their surprise will 
equal ours. 

Friends will know each other better than 
on earth. There will be no deception nor 
misunderstanding; no deformities, either 
of body or soul. The suspicious and con- 
troversies of life will be forgotten in the 
light of perfect knowledge, and the selfish 
desires of life in satisfied love. 

This is our hope. "Wherefore comfort 
cne another with these words. Let us be 
admonished also, having such a hope, to 

Heaven. 229 

purify ourselves, to be holy as Christ is 
holy, that we may he prepared for his 
presence and for the society of heaven. 

There is another and a sad side to the 
subject. As there is a place of eternal hap- 
piness, so there is a place of eternal woe. 
As the redeemed see and know God, so the 
condemned know that they are shut out 
from his presence. As the redeemed rec- 
ognize each other in glory, so the con- 
demned know each other in condemnation. 
As the companionship of heaven adds to 
its joy, so the companionship of hell adds 
to its woe. As heaven is to be sought, so 
hell is to be shunned. 

The law of heaven is love. No one is 
fit for heaven who does not long to have 
others share his bliss. The fact that any 
are on the way to everlasting woe must 
move us to earnest effort for their salva- 
tion. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we 
would persuade men to accept salvation as 
offered in the Gospel. 


As every doctrine of God's Word has its 
practical application, so has the whole body 
of doctrine. "Truth is in order to good- 
ness." The apostles, after extended doctri- 
nal statements, exhorted to faith and good 
works. "These things have I written unto 
you that ye might believe." "Therefore, 
my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast." 

Those who hear or read theological dis- 
cussions need and expect such exhortation. 
"What shall we do?" was the answer at 
Pentecost to a sermon in which the Gos- 
pel was fully set forth. Peter announced 
the resurrection of Christ as the fulfill- 
ment of prophecy and the hope of men, 
the proof that God had made Jesus "both 
Lord and Christ." When the people "heard 
this," they "said unto Peter and to the 
rest of the apostles. Men and brethren, 
what shall we do?" 

The doctrine of the resun-ection is the 

keystone of theology. All ether doctrines 

lead up to and support and are supported by 

it. The apostles and Christ himself made 

( 230) 

"What Shall We Dor 231 

it the climax of argument and the oppor- 
tunity for exhortation. 

To the Christian this doctrine is one 
of exceeding comfort. As Christ rose, so 
they that sleep in Jesus shall rise. In this 
nope we bury our dead, and in this hope 
we ourselves approach the grave. The 
whole Gospel is a message of comfort. It 
is good news. It means hope and satis- 
faction. It is an assurance of heaven and 
of eternal communion with God. Because 
it is so comforting and delightful we may 
lose sight of other matters equally impor- 

The first effect of Peter's sermon was not 
to comfort, hut to convict. They cried 
out: "What shall we do?" The Gospel, so 
full of joy and peace, is a message of warn- 
ing and of convicting power. The resur- 
rection was the proof not only of Christ's 
Messiahship and power to save, but of 
every claim that he made for himself and 
of every doctrine he declared. He asserted 
his own deity and atonement, and the con- 
demnation of those who reject him. He 
would come again as a Judge, and separate 
the righteous from the wicked, as a shep- 
herd divideth the sheep from the goats. 

The people knew that his resurrection 

232 Applied Theology. 

established the truth of every word. They 
were naturally alarmed. In view of these 
things, what was to become of them? 
What must they do to be saved? The an- 
swer was an exhortation to accept the sal- 
vation offered in the Gospel— to repent and 
believe in and follow Christ. 

This is the answer for all time, and the 
first practical application of all theology. 
The Gospel is as true and as important as 
it was at Pentecost. The sin and need of 
men are as great, and the deity and atone- 
ment of Christ as true and important. Sin 
is just as dreadful and punishment just 
as sure as it ever was. The only way of 
salvation then is the only way of salva- 
tion now. 

The study of theology, however inter- 
esting as an intellectual exercise, fails of 
its end unless it convicts and stimulates 
to duty. The hope set forth in the Gospel 
is no hope at all to those who do not 
meet its conditions. To those who reject 
it, or through familiarity with it are in- 
different, there remains only "a fearful 
looking for of judgment and fiery indig- 

The acceptance of Christ is not the end 
of man's responsibility. Having begun 

''What Shall We Dor 233 

the life of faith, he must keep the faith. 
Having chosen the Christian way, he must 
walk in it. Having accepted Christ, he 
must cultivate his spirit. He must be pure 
and true and just and loving and diligent. 
The love of Christ constrains him to die 
unto sin, and live not unto self, but unto 
Christ. The Apostle Paul, at the close of 
an argument on the resurrection, says: 
■'Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye 
steadfast, unmovable, always abounding 
in the work of the Lord." 

Christian duty is not mere passive moral- 
ity. We are to do as well as be good. The 
apostle enjoins not only steadfastness and 
immovability, but diligence. Christ says: 
"I have chosen you and ordained you that 
you should go and bring forth fruit." The 
Christian is to be a co-worker with Christ. 
His mission is to seek and save the lost. 
He has escaped, but others are in danger. 
He knows the way of salvation, but others 
may not know it Loving his neighbors 
as himself, he must seek his salvation. 

Theology, to be orthodox, must be not 
only evangelical, but evangelistic. The 
doctrine of missions is a part of the Gos- 
pel. Every Christian is a herald of salva- 
tion. His field is wherever he can work. 

234 Applied Theology. 

It may be in the home or place of business, 
or in the Sabbath-school or pulpit, or it 
may be among the heathen in a far-off 
land. The field is the world. Christ's as- 
cension command stands as the supreme 
duty of the Church: "Go ye into all the 
world and preach the Gospel to every 
creature." And with it stands his final 
promise: "Lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world."