March 2016

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The following sermon was delivered by the Rev. Daniel Dana on this day, March 31, in 1805. Checking the history books, it appears that the occasion of the sermon may have been an election in the State of Massachusetts. Any national election is ruled out as the concern of the sermon, since that had taken place the year before (1804). But regardless of the context, Rev. Dana’s sermon presents and applies Biblical truth to the political sphere, yet without party spirit or affiliation. The Rev. Daniel Dana [1771-1859] served several churches in Newburyport, Massachusetts over the course of his ministerial career, and also served briefly as president of Dartmouth College (1820-21). His sermon is presented here in a heavily edited form, so as to sketch out the substance of the sermon in short form.

The Importance of Virtue and Piety as Qualifications of Rulers.
danaDaniel02A Discourse delivered March 31, 1805.
By Daniel Dana, A.M.
Newburyport: Printed by Edmund M. Blunt, 1805.

2 Samuel 23:3
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me: He that ruleth over men, must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”

At a period of political agitation, like the present, the bare naming of a text like this, may possibly excite feelings which should be forever banished from the house of God. If, my brethren, I have any acquaintance with my own heart, every thing of this kind is far from my intentions. The gospel breathes peace and love; and so should every minister. For such an one to be a warm and angry disputant on politics, even in private, is to degrade himself, and dishonor his office. To render the pulpit an engine of exciting unhallowed and malignant passions, and blowing up the flame of party spirit, is a prostitution still more inexcusable. At the same time, it is obvious that the Bible exercises a commanding authority, and claims a controlling influence, over all our conduct, not only as men, and Christians, but as citizens; as subjects or administrators of civil government. It is a perfect and universal rule, not only of faith, but of practice; and this, in each condition and relation in which the providence of God has placed us. It is equally obvious, that it is the minister’s duty to declare the whole counsel of God, to keep back nothing which may be profitable to his hearers, but distribute to each a portion in due season.

The sentiment inculcated in the text, is then simply this: that Virtue and religion are most important qualifications of a civil Ruler.

dana_1805_Virtue_and_PietyFirst. All must acknowledge that good laws are most essential to the welfare of a community, and tend greatly to its promotion. Were it not for the restraints imposed by wholesome statutes and regulations, the world would be filled with violence, confusion and misery. Mankind would degenerate into a savage state, and continually prey on the property and peace of one another. But by the influence of salutary laws, the selfish and cruel passions of men are coerced, the unruly kept in order, and the weak guarded against the violence of the strong. Now it is evident that such institutions can be rationally expected of those legislators only, who are men of virtuous principle; who feel a horror at vice, and an impartial desire to promote the cause of truth and goodness. At least, such only can be expected to befriend the best interests of society with zeal, with uniformity and perseverance.

Secondly. The best laws will be useless, unless executed in their true spirit, with vigor and impartiality. If, like a sword in its scabbard, they lie neglected and forgotten, where will the virtuous find protection; or the wicked, their merited punishment?—One of the ancient philosophers compared laws to spiders’ webs, in which the small flies are entangled and perish, while the larger ones break through and escape. Such they are indeed, where the civil magistrate is destitute of the fear of God. Justice will too probably be bought and sold. The oppressor will either elude detection, or bid defiance to punishment. Perhaps the very enormity of his crimes will constitute his security. Vice will stalk through the land, unblushing, unappalled : while innocence, neglected and oppressed, will languish in penury. In a word, rulers will, in such a case, be the very reverse of what they ought—an encouragement to evil doers, and a terror to such as do well.

Thirdly. Civil rulers, those especially in high stations, have the power of filling various other offices of trust and importance. And it may generally be expected that they will thus elevate those whose characters are correspondent with their own. This is perfectly natural; though it may not take place in every particular instance.

Fourthly. The dignity and prosperity of a government depend much on the virtue and piety of those who administer it. There is something nobly commanding in the attitude assumed by those rulers who have maintained a pure conscience, and an unshaken integrity of conduct.

Fifthly. The example of rulers has an unspeakably important influence in forming the public morals and manners, and in disseminating virtue or vice through the community. Those must have little acquaintance with human nature, who are ignorant of the power of example. It is immense and incalculable.

Sixthly. The prayers of pious rulers are of incalculable importance and advantage to the people over whom they are placed. To deny the efficacy of prayer with the Almighty, would be to commence infidels and atheists at once.

Finally : may it not be rationally apprehended that the wrath of Heaven will fall with signal and overwhelming weight, on a people who, favored with the light of the gospel, the blessings of civil liberty, and the inestimable privilege of electing their own rulers, are yet regardless of their moral and religious character?  Indeed the natural connexion between such inexcusable negligence, and almost every misery which can afflict society, is but too visible. Hence the wise man notes it as one of the most melancholy objects, even in such a disordered world as this : that he saw the place of judgment, that wickedness was there ; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. Hence he likewise declares, that when the wicked rise, men hide themselves, (the best of men, not unfrequently;) but when they perish, the righteous increase.

A few additional reflections shall close the subject.

First. It directly results from what has been said, that Christianity has a most benign aspect on a republican government, and its institutions. In a government of this kind, as the people are the original fountain of all power, so their happiness, and not the aggrandizement of one, or of a few, is, or ought to be, the object of all the laws, and public institutions. To secure the accomplishment of this object, it is necessary that the people have wisdom enough to choose men of sound hearts and pure morals for their rulers.

A second remark. In proportion as vice and irreligion prevail among a people, they become of course incapable of self-government. If a sense of moral obligation be relaxed; if licentiousness in principle and practice pervade all classes in the community; if infidelity spread its poison in every circle; if religion, and its institutions be treated with open disregard and contempt; if the young grow up without instruction, and without virtue—what is the inevitable consequence? The best men, wearied with a fruitless struggle against corruption, will retire from the public service in despair, or be violently thrust from office. Unprincipled, selfish and ambitious spirits will seize the reins of power. The most precious institutions which the wisdom of man has devised, will gradually moulder away. And the liberties of such a people, after being awhile the sport of a few artful and daring leaders, fattening in succession on their spoils, will finally fall a sacrifice to some ambitious chief, more successful, and probably more abandoned, than the rest. Such is the progress—a sure and short one, and but too easily traced—from public corruption to public slavery and ruin. O my country! Would to Heaven thou wert aware of thy danger! Would to Heaven thou mightiest know the things of thy peace, before they be forever hidden from thine eyes!

Thirdly. Our subject intimates that the privilege secured to us by our constitutions of government, of electing our own rulers, is a highly important privilege, and should be wisely and conscientiously used. In this respect, we are favored above every other nation on which the sun looks down. It must, at the same time, be remembered that, as the best things, when perverted, become the worst; so this inestimable privilege, if abused, may turn to the bitterest of public evils. Let us then feel, my brethren, that we have an important part to act : and let none of us think so meanly of our birthright as Americans, as to let opportunities of exercising it pass neglected.—The elections of the ensuing day are confessedly of high importance. All pretensions to dictate to you the particular objects of your suffrages, I perfectly disclaim. Still, what properly belongs to my subject, and to a faithful discharge of ministerial duty in this connexion, I must not, I dare not suppress. Let me then remind you, that in the transaction contemplated, you will be as really and solemnly accountable to God, as in any other of your lives. His word has informed you who are the rulers approved by Him, and what are the qualifications which give rational hope that their possessor will prove a public blessing. It informs you too, on whom He will frown, and what is the administration which must be esteemed a public calamity. Open your hearts to the peculiar exigencies of the time. Attend to the imperious claims of this beloved country. Feel her interests as your own : and commit them to men of principle—of exemplary purity in private life—of open, unsuspected regard to religion—and whose patriotism appears less in plausible and flattering professions, than in costly sacrifices, and substantial services.

To conclude : I have addressed you, at this time, my brethren, on a subject at once delicate, and highly important. Observations have been offered, which to me appear most deeply, and most extensively interesting to our common country. but they have been all of a general aspect. I have made no applications. These I leave to your own minds and consciences : and I trust they will be faithful. Permit me likewise to appeal to all who now hear me, and ask, whether the things which have been imperfectly suggested, are not such as meet the assent of every impartial mind; and such as are amply warranted by explicit and repeated declarations of the sacred Scriptures? Nay further, are they not so obviously important to the honor of God, to the dearest interests of human society, and especially to those of our own country, that to pass them in entire silence, would, in a minister of the gospel, be criminal neglect?  If they are not, let them have no weight with you. Let them pass by you like the idle wind which you  respect not. And let me bow to the just and heavy censure which belongs to him who mistakes his place, and his duty. . . I close with commending this attempt to your candor, and to the blessing of Almighty God : praying that His own infallible Spirit may guide each of us into all truth, and all duty; supplicating too, that if it consist with His infinite wisdom, the happy period may soon arrive, when, in whatever pertains to the public good, we shall all be of one mind, and of one heart. To Him be glory forever.

This Day in Presbyterian History is not strictly limited to presenting historical events and biographies pinned to a given date on the calendar. We like to think that we can also, from time to time, expose you to some good writing that you might otherwise never come across. The Rev. Franklin Pierce Ramsay was born on this day, March 30, in 1856. He died on September 30, 1926, at the age of 70. During his long ministerial career of forty-four years, he served as pastor for more than a dozen churches, as president of three colleges and as professor at another four colleges. For our purposes, his most notable accomplishment was his Exposition of the Form of Government and the Rules of Discipline of the Presbyterian Church in the United States—in short, a commentary on the Book of Church Order (BCO), with much of his commentary still applicable to the BCO used by the PCA. We know of three other books that he authored, plus another seven articles, and we are still trying to find a photograph of Rev. Ramsay. The following was written during the time that he was serving as a professor at the Southwestern Presbyterian University, Clarksville, Tennessee. What follows is still quite remarkably applicable to our times and culture today.

The Value of Truth
by Prof. F.P. Ramsay, Ph.D., Clarksville, Tenn.

There are those who tell us that truth is impossible of attainment, and therefore conclude that wisdom lies in agnosticism. The Bible, on the other hand, builds on the principle that truth is ascertainable, even the truth concerning God. Nor is this a question for argument, for argument can not proceed at all except on the assumption of the possibility of truth; it is a question of underived faith. The healthy human mind has faith in the possibility of getting at truth in some directions; and the human mind when healthy religiously has faith in the possibility of getting at truth in religion. This is the fundamental postulate, the essential starting-point, without which advance in any region is impossible.

There are some present-day philosophers who offer us a substitute for truth. They turn from the question, What is true? To the question, What is worth while? They dissuade men from making judgments of fact, and would persuade them to confine attention to judgments of value. They are careless whether Jesus Christ actually lived and died and rose again; it is enough for them, if belief in such a Jesus does good. Some such view has come to be associated in many minds, whether justly or unjustly, with the name of [the German theologian Albrecht] Ritschl [1822-1899]. Instead of calling this lack of desire to determine whether certain statements of fact are true, and this appreciating rather of the question whether certain conceptions are uplifting, Ritschlianism, we prefer to call it agnostic pragmatism.

But this phrase implies a gnostic pragmatism, a name we may give to the philosophy which, while differing from agnosticism by asserting that we can determine what is true, yet agrees with it in denying that we can arrive at this determination by a straight line. It agrees with agnostic pragmatism in assuming that we can determine what beliefs will turn out to be useful; and it differs from it by asserting the general principle that beliefs are true or false, according as they shall turn out to be useful or to be practically unfit to uplift.

This form of pragmatism—assuming to infer the truth or the error from the utility or the inutility—is primarily concerned, not with the truth of beliefs, but with their availability as guides and motives to action. As in all other forms of pragmatism, so the pragmatic philosopher who holds this form can not tell beforehand that two contradictory beliefs may not both turn out to be useful to different persons in different conditions. Pragmatism, then, is at its root, like agnosticism, an indifference to truth.

Such indifferentism, of every form, is of course in direct contradiction to the truly scientific spirit, which believes in the possibility of ascertaining the truth; is devoted to such pursuit, however long and arduous, as is necessary to this ascertainment; and would not care for values apart from truths.

The common impatience with dogma is largely a manifestation of this prevalent indifference to truth. The age is asking for what will work, not for what has been said or taught. The demand is for methods and teachings that will promote the betterment of society, not for methods and teachings authorized by truth. There is a contempt of truth which we may call Pilatism.

This indifferentism, agnosticism, pragmatism, or Pilatism affects Biblical Criticism. Minds dominated by this spirit invent hypotheses and question beliefs, for the benefit of the intellectual gymnastic, or as a sort of sport or pastime. Being themselves indifferent to truth, they are able to conceive prophets and Jesus as being likewise indifferent, and so inventing or reporting useful beliefs without meaning thereby to affirm their truth.

This agnostic pragmatism likewise affects Biblical Interpretation. He becomes the best interpreter who gets the most preachable interpretation of a passage. To make the words of the Bible to teach that which is to-day most practically useful is far better, on this view, than a purely scientific effort to understand the exact meaning originally intended.

This condition of things shows that in our time we need martyrs to truth. Such martyrs are the illuminators of all the ages. This, which is the only scientific spirit, will bring us back to grammatical and logical and archeological fact, that we may thereby get at literary and spiritual fact.

Jesus was a witness to truth, a martyr, i.e., a witness to the death; the Roman who crucified Him was contemptuous of truth. Pilate was pragmatic; Christ was scientific.

[excerpted from The Bible Student and Teacher, Vol. IX, no. 3 (September 1908): 152-153.]

Found Guilty of Defying Church Authority

Our post today is drawn from the scrapbooks of the Rev. Henry G. Welbon, and the following news clippings gathered by him concern the ecclesiastical trial of the Rev. J. Gresham Machen.  With their General Assembly’s Mandate of 1934, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) had ordered all the members of Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM) to leave that body or be disciplined by the courts of the church. The IBPFM was a ministry started under the leadership of the Rev. J. Gresham Machen, and for his refusal to cease his involvement with that organization, he was suspended from the ministry of the PCUSA on March 29, 1935. His appeal was to be considered at the General Assembly of 1935, which was to begin soon thereafter. The trials of eight other ministers had already been initiated. As one commentator has noted, 

The same church that had suspended Dr. Charles A. Briggs for heresy in 1893, had, in 1935, suspended Dr. J. Gresham Machen from its ministry for his faithful adherence to the Word of God. [—David C. Sinding, in “Roy Talmage Brumbaugh: Bible Presbyterian Pioneer in the Northwest”]

What amazing changes occurred in the space of a short thirty-eight years! Now think back over your own life, and what remarkable changes have taken place. Would you ever have thought we could be in such a place as we now find ourselves? But more remarkable still, remember that in all of this, God remains sovereign over human history. He can bring judgment or He can bring blessing. In the blink of an eye, He can bring reformation and revival to a blighted land. Are you praying?

The following news clippings are not presented in a large format, so as a courtesy we have provided accompanying transcripts:


Dr. Machen Found Guilty of Defying Church Authority.

Presbyterian Commission Sentences Fundamentalist to Suspension—Delay Final Action.
Trial Was a Farce, Phila. Pastor Declares.

machen_3-29-1935_Found_GuiltyTrenton, N.J., March 29.—The Rev. J. Gresham Machen, of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Fundamentalist leader, was today placed under suspension from the Presbyterian ministry.

Dr. Machen was charged on several counts with defying the mandates of the General Assembly of the Church which had ordered him to resign from the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. The Independent Board had been organized by the Fundamentalists in the church in protest to what they charged were Modernistic tendencies in the regular board. The latter board has denied that it is unorthodox and the General Assembly has upheld it.

The special judicial commission of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, sitting in the old First Presbyterian Church here, found Dr. Machen guilty on six counts but recommended that execution of the sentence be deferred until he has exhausted the last church court of appeal.

After hearing the sentence read by the Rev. Dr. Cordie J. Culp, chairman of the commission, Dr. Machen in a statement given to the press called the conduct of the trial a “farce.”

Dr. Machen announced that he would appeal to the Synod of New Jersey within the 10 days allotted to him. He maintained that he had not been given an opportunity to present his side of the case because the commission refused to listen to arguments concerning the constitutionality of the assembly’s order.

He also charged that the commission’s refusal to listen to arguments concerning doctrine vitally harmed his defense.

Commission Criticises Him

The commission went on record as disapproving emphatically “the unethical conduct of the defendant in issuing to the press during the progress of the trial statements which not only reflected upon the integrity of the court, but the truth of which have been by no means established. Such conduct in a civil court could only have resulted in punishment by contempt.”

The specific charges on which Dr. Machen was tried were: “Disapproval, defiance and acts contrary to the government and discipline of the church; failure to maintain the peace of the church; refusal to subject himself to his brethren in the Lord; violation of his ordination vows; breach of his lawful promises, and contempt and rebellion against his superiors in the church.”

Members of the commission, in addition to Dr. Culp, are the Rev. Edward Allen Morris, secretary and pastor of the church in which the trial was held; the Rev. John E. Kuisenga,, of Princeton Theological Seminary, and Elders William A. Cooley, John H. Hankinson and Henry B. Kummel. They were unanimous in their decision.

STATEMENT ON CASE OF DR. MACHEN
[in The Presbyterian, 11 April 1935]

machen_4-11-1935_Statement_on_Case_lgOn the afternoon of the decision by the Judicial Commission of New Brunswick Presbytery in the case of Dr. Machen, The Literary Digest asked The Presbyterian for a statement. The full text of that statement is given herewith:

“Presbyterians are sharply divided over the Machen case. The real issue is doctrinal. Multitudes who have no partiality for the special Board of Missions which Dr. Machen heads are, nevertheless, convinced that zeal for the faith cannot be a crime in our denomination without scrapping our fundamental Standards. Steps are being taken to have rescinded the direction of the last Assembly under which Dr. Machen now suffers this suspension from his ministerial office. All over the country pastors and people of congregations, large and small, are becoming impatient with the official leadership in the Church which has allowed this chaotic confusion whereby belief finds itself on the defensive, and enthusiasm for the historic witness of the Church finds itself thrust out from the Church which is organized to bear that witness.”

With today’s post, first we have a short anniversary notice for three PCA churches, all of which were organized in 1993. Following that, a letter from Dr. Francis Schaeffer to Dr. Robert G. Rayburn, when both men had cancer and were undergoing treatment. Writing to comfort and counsel his friend, Dr. Schaeffer gives insight here to his view of death and dying, but more importantly, we have here a glimpse of Schaeffer’s understanding of God’s sovereign care and providence in the lives of His children.  Dr. Schaeffer was called home to glory just three years later, in May of 1984, while Dr. Rayburn entered into his eternal reward early in 1990.

 

Three for 1993!

Happy Birthday! The following three PCA churches were organized [particularized] on this day, March 28th, in 1993. Nearly one-third of all PCA churches pre-date the 1973 formation of the PCA, and for most of those churches, we do not presently know their exact date of organization. Typically it is for the newer churches, such as these, where we have more complete information.


Christ Community Church, Carmel, IN [Central Indiana Presbytery], organized March 28, 1993.
Greenwood Presbyterian Church, Greenwood, SC [Calvary Presbytery], organized March 28, 1993.
Spring Valley PC, Roselle, IL [Northern Illinois Presbytery], organized March 28, 1993.

 


One Pastor Consoling Another

Chalet le Chardonnet
1885 Chesières
Switzerland

March 28, 1981

Dr. Robert G. Rayburn
Covenant Theological Seminary
12330 Conway Road
St. Louis, MO  63141

Dear Bob:

Thank you for your letter of March 5.  It was so good to have the news directly from you.  Of course, both you and I know that unless the Lord heals us completely that once we have faced the question of cancer we always must also face the possibility of reoccurrence.  With modern medicine, and I am sure prayer very much goes hand in hand with it, there is a possibility of the thing being controlled even if the Lord does not heal us completely.  And yet, for example, I realize that though I am doing much better than most people do with the chemo­therapy, that though it works now in a most satisfactory way, that the balances could shift and then we would have to see.  I would not write to anybody else like this but both you and I have faced the thing plus having our faith fixed in the Lord in some sort of stable fashion!  I had hoped that your thing was cleared up completely, and when Helen wrote to me I was really so very sorry and I do hope now that this is the end of it—just as I hope that my chemotherapy will continue to keep everything in balance, or even gain ground.  I hope for both of us that we will really “beat the whole thing” by meeting the Lord in the air.  However, if that is not the case maybe we will both die from 63 other things, or an automobile accident.  Living this way has one advantage and that is we have had brought into sharp focus the reality of what is true for everybody from con­ception onward and that is that we are all mortal in this abnor­mal world.

In my own case, of course, if I could wave a wand and be rid of the lymphoma I would do it.  Yet in my own case, in looking back over the whole two and a half years since I have known I have lymphoma, there has been more that has been positive than negative.  That is true on many levels and I am not just thinking of some vague concept of understanding people better, though I guess that is true as well.  Rather, in the total complex of everything that has happened I am convinced that there is more positive than negative.  I am so glad that though I increasingly am against any form of theological determinism which turns people into a zero and choices into delusions, yet I am also increasingly conscious of the fact that Edith and I have been, as it were, carried along on an escalator for the entirety of our lives.  I am left in awe and wonder with all this, and I very much feel the escalator is still in operation, not just in this matter of health, but in the battles that beset us on every side.

I wonder if you have read my article “The Dust of Life” in the current (March) issue of Eternity.  I think you would enjoy some of the ideas there.  The article was not born out of abstract thinking but asking, as I saw the struggles of the younger Chris­tians, what the real balance of life was so as not to have a plastic smile on bur face and yet have an affirmation of life rather than a negation of it.

Helen [Leonard] did write me about her cancer and also Bill’s problem, and I have answered her.

Thank you for plunking out the letter on the electric portable when it was costly to you.  Edith sends her love to LaVerne and to you along with my own,

In the Lamb,

/s/

Francis A. Schaeffer

[emphasis added]

 

STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Scripture References:
Matthew 5:28; Ephesians 5:3-4

Questions:
1. What does God forbid in this commandment under the name of “adultery”?

God forbids all sorts of unchastity and uncleanness. (Eph. 5:3)

2. Where can such unchastity and uncleanness take place?

Unchastity and uncleanness can take place in the thoughts and desires of the heart as taught by our Lord in Matt. 5:28. It can take place in the words we use, whether we are talking seriously or in a jesting way. (Eph. 5:4). It can take place in our actions; the actual committing of adultery.

3. Are there actions that would tend to lead us into these forbidden areas?

Yes, in this day and age especially there are many things about which we must be very watchful. To name a few of them:

(1)
Modern psychology with its stress upon “self-expression”, with the idea that it is alright to commit adultery if you really love
a person. We must be careful we are not brainwashed in this area which would tend to lower our resistance to sin.
     (2) Impure books and magazines.
     (3) The theater and television. It would be good for us to make a “covenant with our eyes” (Job 31:1)
     (4) Modern dancing or, as stated in the Larger Catechism, “lascivious dancing”.

4. Why is it so important for us to preserve our chastity and of others?

We must preserve it because we were made in the image of God and are not beasts who are under no law. As Christians, we should walk in fear of the Lord at all times. Since our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, we are not our own.

5. What is divorce without grounds according to the Word and would one obtaining one be guilty of adultery if he remarried?

The Confession of Faith states the answer very well in Chapter 24.6 and the person obtaining a divorce without Scriptural grounds would be guilty of’ adultery if he remarried.

6. In this area is the innocent party under orders from the Word to sue for divorce?

No, this is a privilege of the innocent party, not something that must be done.

A PURE SOUL

“Abstain (hold oneself from) from all appearances of evil.” Such is the teachings found in I Thess. 5:22. If, as born again believers, we want to be certain that we do not break the seventh commandment, such must be our position. We must have such a sensibility to sin in this realm that we will flee from anything that looks like sin. We shall take such a stand for the Lord in all of our ways, our conversation even our thoughts, that holiness unto the Lord will shine forth from us and we will be lights unto the world.

In this day and age in which we live, we are bombarded on every side by the lowered standards of the world in this regard. The Hollywood and Broadway approach to marriage, to relations between male and female have taken over the country. In actions, in speech, in dress, the standards of the day are no longer the Bible, but the way prominent people live. Fornication, adultery, unscriptural divorce is the order of the day among many, and these things have been accepted as a matter of personal preference and have nothing at all to do with the law of God.

Not long ago a Christian said to me, “Pastor, it is so hard to live as one should today. Every book and magazine you pick up to read, every picture you go to see, every T.V. program is like another bit of darkness around you. What can a Christian do? How can he live in the midst of it?” It is true that things in this area seem to be getting worse. People have succumbed to the new way of thinking and the Christian finds himself in the midst of the world. But this is no more, or no less, than what God promised us. And He also promised us that He will not submit us to any temptation we cannot bear. There must be a greater effort on our part.

There must be a praying unto Him for a pureness of soul. “Create in me a clean heart, O, God” (Psalm 51:10) must be on our lips constantly. We must pray that the blood of Christ will cover us every day of our lives, wherever we go, whatever we do. The soul of the Christian is the “holy of holies” and it must be consecrated unto Him. The seventh commandment is from the Lord, and it must not be broken. If we simply depend on our own strength, we will break it time and time again. But by His help, praying for His grace, I Peter 1: 16 can be true of each of us.

Published By: The Shield and Sword, Inc.
Vol. 5 No.4 (April 1966)
Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor

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