Religious Items

"Wilderness Christians. Who are They?" is the title of an article by M. L. Rugg in the (Baptist) Standard which contains the following: "Who are they? They are those who have crossed the Red Sea of redemption out of the Egypt of their sins, but have not gone up and possessed the Canaan of Christian blessings. A wilderness Christian is a disobedient Christian. He is satisfied to just get out of Egypt when God has commanded him to go up and take the promised land. He tarries when God commands him to go forward. He turns back before dangers when God has promised to give him the victory. A wilderness Christian is an unhappy Christian. God did not intend the wilderness to dwell in, only to pass through. It is hot, and parched, and barren. There are serpents that bite and beasts that devour. There are foes ever ready to assail the unguarded camp and disease ever present to destroy. No wonder the wilderness Christian is a murmurer and a fault-finder. The wilderness Christian is a useless Christian.... He is worse than useless, for his disobedient, unhappy life hinders others in the way."

Concluding an article dealing with the alleged growing feebleness of Christian character among college men, the (Unitarian) Christian Register says: "Do we need a revival of Puritanism on a higher plane? Discarding formalisms about dress and language, there was in the different evolutions of old Puritanism—of Quakerism and of Methodism—a stronger, truer life, a determination to 'stand up for God,' we can see nothing better to hope for than a new Puritanism inspiring our social and business life, and filling us with a will to do the right, let come what will come. We can get a glimpse of what the old reformers meant, when they spoke of 'mere morality,' and demanded 'godliness.' The fault was not altogether their own that godliness often became an outside show, even a cloak for inner scampishness. The great fact remains that in those days there was a sincerity of purpose, and there were mighty men and women raised up who 'walked with God.' Our institutionalism must not blind us to the fact that the key of a great humanity is not intellectual mechanism, but purposeful godliness."

Rev. E. A. Dunning, in an article on "The Risen Life" in The Congregationalist, says: "The Bible is the most optimistic of all literature. It begins with a picture of God looking on everything that He had made, 'and behold, it was very good.' It ends with a vision of God on His throne, saying, 'Behold, I make all things new.' The Old Testament prophets never blinked the wickedness of their times, never glossed the deceitfulness of the individual human heart, the rottenness of society, or the corruption of government. Sometimes they were for the moment overwhelmed by the baseness and moral blindness of their fellow-men. But over and beyond all these they saw, as we sometimes see on a fresh spring morning after a night of storm, new skies and a new earth, the creation of God. Jesus Christ came to proclaim the same vision, with clearer and more confident tones, and his apostles took up the tidings with unfaltering assurance. Whenever the book of Revelation may have been written, it takes its place properly at the end of the catalogue because it is the crown of faith in the world renewed."

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June 27, 1901

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