A little boy's prayer on the night before leaving for the country unconsciously expressed a situation that is tragically real even in homes of Christian belief: "Good-bye, God, we are going to the country tomorrow." There are still modern Jonahs who feel that when they get away from familiar scenes they get out of range of God.—Christian Herald.
In a dispatch in the press for September 30 (1939), referring to the "holy images" throughout Poland, he (the present pope) says: "So many miracles have been performed by these images that surely Christians can trust a merciful God and believe in the resurrection of Poland." Far from being a defense to a people, images are abhorred of God. In Psalm 78 the Psalmist says: "For they provoked him to anger . . . with their graven images" so that "he gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men.". . . How different the real Peter from the pseudo-Peters down through the centuries! After the healing of the lame man at the Temple gate, Peter ascribes to Christ and to Christ alone the miracle: "And his (Christ's) name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him (Christ) hath given him this perfect soundness."—Ernest Gordon, in The Sunday School Times.
A minister was passing a certain farm one day, when he noticed a fine rick of hay, just finished and ready for thatching. He said to the farmer who was standing by, "That's a very fine rick of hay. Who made it?" "I did," said the farmer. "I made it." A few weeks later the minister had occasion to pass the farm again. To his astonishment he saw that the rick, through a heavy gale, had capsized and fallen to the ground. He went to the farmer and condoled with him on his misfortune, and again asked, "Who made the rick?" "There were several of us," was the reply. That's it! When things go well, we are apt to say, "I did it"; but when they go wrong, we say, "There were several of us."—Christian Herald.
Social reform has failed to counteract crime, politics is unmentionably decayed, big business cannot handle our economic collapse, legislation is helpless to restore honesty and integrity, mediation is no cure for industrial strife, trade agreements between nations and international conferences have been destined to the scrap heap. To all of which may be added the unspeakable horror of Europe's predicament!
Yes, materialism has been tried and found wanting. No materialistic agency has been able to stem the tide of the present disruption. Only the Church of God fully united can save the world, a world that has reached a crucial turning point. There is no solution to our perplexity in the mechanics of man. We must look to God for salvation. Everywhere, among thinking people, the cry is, "Back to the Church!"
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12.—The New Jersey Kiwanian.
Less than one hundred years ago, Daniel Webster, one of America's greatest statesmen, uttered this solemn warning, "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
On being asked what was the chief cause of the depression, Congressman Clyde Kelly replied, "Spiritual bankruptcy. We have been worshiping the Golden Calf. The results are seen all around us." Senator Capper said, "Had there been the universal acceptation of the principals of Christian justice and charity there would be today neither economic nor spiritual depression. The world forgot Christ in the rush for money. The only god that many of us know seems to be the almighty dollar." In answer to the question, "How do you account for this state of affairs?" the Senator replied, "There are too many dust-covered Bibles, prayerless homes, deserted churches without even the semblance of a prayer meeting. There is a widespread spiritual ignorance and desecration of the Lord's Day. These form part of the religious background of the past decade."
"As a business man and as one whose privilege it is to have a part in shaping the policies of our government, I say to you that the greatest need in the world today is a wider acceptance of, and a greater devotion to, the fundamentals of Christianity."
The Bible says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man (or nation) soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Gal. 6:7, 8).—Gospel Herald.
A friend says to me, "I have not time or room in my life for Christianity. If it were not so full! You don't know how hard I work from morning till night. When have I time, where have I room for Christianity in such a life as mine?"
It is as if the engine had said it had no room for the steam. It is as if the tree said it had no room for the sap. It is as if the ocean said it had no room for the tide. It is as if the man had said he had no room for his soul. It is as if the life had said it had no time to live, when it is life. It is not something added to life; it is life. A man is not living without it. And for a man to say, "I am so full in life that I have no room for life," you see immediately to what absurdity it reduces itself. — Phillips Brooks, in Flowers of Thought.
America should take a solemn warning from the decline of other nations. France's fall is passing into history, but reports occasionally reach this side of the ocean giving further insight into the cause of it. In opening his ninth series of Lutheran Hour broadcasts over a coast-to-coast network on October 19, Dr. Walter A. Maier of Concordia Seminary quoted a Paris editorial which said in part: "We are going to pay for sixty years of de-Christianization, falling birth rates, decline into paganism and materialism. We have worn out the patience of Providence; we have disgusted the good God Himself." Dr. Maier added that the most tragic waste in America is the far-reaching neglect of the Bible. Those who have worked in countries dominated by Romanism know that the phrase, "the good God," comes glibly from Catholic tongues, as though it referred to an idol. But this confession from Paris has a ring of sincerity and contains much truth. It is a fresh challenge to Americans to humble themselves before God, in repentance for our manifold sins, and in utter dependence upon His wisdom and power. It would be well for us as a nation if we could step down and say, like King Nebuchadnezzar: "Now I . . . praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase" (Dan. 4:37).—Sunday School Times.
At the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service of Queen Victoria in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1897, a young man of thirty-two, taken aback at the overwhelming military display and aghast that the religious and moral forces of the Empire should be so in the Background, went home and wrote:
God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine;
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
Roger Babson, the business expert and statistician to whom the business men send in hundreds of dollars so that he will keep them in touch with the progress of business, says, "I do not pose as a preacher, but let me tell you, if there is a God, He will not let us advance much further materially until we catch up spiritually.—Gospel Herald.
The Editor of the Sunday Express, Mr. James Douglas, gave his readers recently a brief but remarkable touch of spiritual biography, in the course of which he affirmed, "I have come back to the simple faith of my father and mother." After referring to a childhood of poverty, the diet of "stirabout and potatoes," the marvelous faith of his father and mother and "the chapter of chapters which rang like a tocsin of hope in our humble home," — the 14th chapter of John—Mr. Douglas says:
Since those years I have sinned many sins and suffered many sorrows. I have lost my way in the thickets and deserts of doubt and argument. And in the end I have come back to the simple faith of my father and my mother. It, and it alone, suffices in the starkest agony of life.
I cannot explain the hidden mystery of faith. It is too deep for words. But it is all in John 14.
"In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.,,
"And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."
Thrilling words! Magical words! I hear Thomas in his perplexity asking the great question: "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?" I hear the mystical answer which for two thousand years has held the field against all the world and all the worldlings:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.... I go unto the Father: for My Father is greater than I."
I have stumbled through all the wilds and wastes of theology, philosophy, psychology, and science. I have traveled from Dan to Beersheba, and I have found all knowledge and all reason barren. The sure refuge from withering cynicism and parching pessimism I find in John 14, where the trumpet of faith blows finality and security and safety and certitude.
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."—Broadcaster.