Ultra-conservatism has never established reforms and never will do so. Finical adherence to traditionalism and conventionalism has never been characteristic of the reformer, and, in the nature of things, cannot be. Reform is radical. Its mission is to break down the traditions and conventionalities which have crystalized into such shapes that, although wrong and delusive, they have the semblance of right and reality. History clearly proves this. By way of illustration we instance the delusion of African slavery in this country. Its history is of such recent date as to take from it the taint of antiquity that would place it on the shelf of the forgotten, and thereby detract from its value as an instructive lesson.

This monster delusion even took on the character of a religion, and its existence was stoutly and conscientiously defended on Scriptural ground. The radicalism and violent disregard of private feeling and personal rights, of time-honored usage and long-established custom and belief, on the part of those bringing about its abolition, are well-known matters of history.

What is true of one kind of reform, is in some sense true of every reform, although there is a higher law of reformation than that expressed in war and bloodshed. The law of divine Love, even though appearing to human sense as coming out of Sinai amidst thundering and lightning, is the only true reformatory power. Its ultimate effect is the destruction of sin, and the destruction of sin is the reformation of the human race. However severe may have seemed the Sinaitic law, in its uprooting and destructive effects, as expressed in the Mosaic code, the final outcome invariably proved that it was well-tempered with the milder precepts announced from Olivet in the Sermon on the Mount. Indeed the two are one, for there is but one divine Law.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Faithfulness Rewarded
October 19, 1899

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.