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W* PRINCETON, N. J. *^
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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,
Rev. F. C. Monfort, D.D.
Author of Sermons for Silent Sabbaths
Ecclesiastical Discipline ; The Law
of Appeals ; Socialism and
Monfort & Company
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1904,
By F. C. MONFORT,
In the Office of the lyibrarian of Congress,
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-
The Purpose of Life 9
The Scripttjee 14
What Is God? 21
The Divine Attributes 26
Divine Sovereignty 33
The Trinity 38
The Fall 50
Human Freedom 56
Special Providence 69
Spiritual Vision 86
The Logos 93
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
The Peace of GtOD 126
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
The Sabbath 180
Parents and Children 185
Suffer Little Children 188
Thy Neighbor as Thyself 190
National Safety 198
Hindrances to Prayer 212
Final Triumph 217
" What Shall We Do?" 230
THE PURPOSE OF IJFE.
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;"
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,
r.ms 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-
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.
WHAT IS 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.
THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.
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
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,
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-
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
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
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
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-
fi.es 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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<^t.er, 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-
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,
Turn from this to Matthew ii. and read:
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
"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
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
himself that God is infinite in wisdom and
power, and the matter of miracles involves
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-
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
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
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
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
THE RISEN SAVIOR.
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.
GRACE AND FAITH.
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
A PERSONAL SAVIOR.
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
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.
FEAR AND LOVE.
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
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.
SIN AGAINST SELF.
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
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.
"BORN OF GOD."
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
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-
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.
"THE PEACE OF GOD."
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
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:
"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.
WALKING WITH GOD.
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.
THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD.
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-
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-
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.
"SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED."
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
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
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-
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
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-
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
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.
"SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN."
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.
"THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF."
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
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
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
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
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
The spirit of prayer Is the spirit of sub-
mission to God's will. Christ prayed. "Not
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
"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
HINDRANCES TO PRAYER.
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
THE FINAL TRIUMPH.
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
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
assured forgiveness of sin, and of perfect,
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
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
^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,
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
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-
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
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
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
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.
"WHAT SHALL WE DO?"
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
"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-
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."