The Church of the Twentieth Century

St. Louis Republic

Doctor John R. H. Latchaw, president of Defiance College, Defiance, O., spoke at St. Louis on "The Church of the Twentieth Century," from the text, "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion."

We stand upon the verge of the Twentieth Century of Christian civilization. Great have been the triumphs of the past, fruitful and mighty are the issues of the present, and to the eye of faith and reason, hopeful, glorious, and sublime must be the output of the future. In world progress and experience, as in those of nations and individuals, there is no such thing as a dead level or as a continuous and gradual ascent from the lower to the higher, from the grosser to the more refined, from the sway and tyranny of passion to the liberty and law of the spirit. Like men and nations, the world in its progress has its ups and downs; but none the less as the centuries pass it moves forward and upward.

Therefore, the Twentieth Century should suggest a degree of progress and development in the unfolding of God's purpose and plan in creation, preservation, and redemption which the world has not yet seen. What, then, of the Twentieth Century church? In the first place, there will be one. The text is a call, an exhortation to activity; it is the persuasion of Jesus Christ, the head of his body, the church, to believe in his free redemption, to arise from lethargy and bondage, and to rejoice in the liberty wherewith Christ makes free all who believe on him.

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A Woman among Women
November 2, 1899

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