Religious Items

The Rev. F. M. Bennett, in an article in The Christian Register, says:—

"In the mind of John the Baptist the day of judgment was to be somewhat deferred. ... With Jesus the punishment was not to be deferred. His moral and spiritual teaching was for the present rather than for the future. ... True repentance brings the fruits of repentance at once. The kingdom of God was not to be here, or there, or then; the kingdom, such as it is, is now and within you. The 'wrath of God' has already fallen on you for your evil, and the rewards of righteousness are present in your character. The actual touch of the Holy Spirit is a cleansing fire for the soul. The divine judgment makes a clean sweep of the threshing-floor of human life. By its own motives and acts, character gathers the wheat into the garner, and burns the chaff in the fire of the spirit. The judgment, the sentence, and its execution are immediately performed. The judgment day is not deferred. It is now and here. The court of character is continuously in session, and has no adjournments. In human life the sheep and the goats separate themselves, and each soul inevitably goes to the place assigned by the quality of its life.

"People sometimes speak with a kind of reflective horror, a far-off, disdainful pity in their tones, of the pictures of physical and spiritual torture of the future hell which were drawn by such men as the great Jonathan Edwards and the noted revivalists of the past. People sometimes speak as if they were glad to be released from the old fear of these threats, never realizing that the present hells into which they plunge themselves by their sins and evils are, in fact, a thousand times more to be dreaded. That old-time future hell was not comparable to the punishment which is actually given to the evil life now and here. As we sow, so do we reap, evil fruit for evil seed; and the crop is not long in growing. This is the fact which modern science is continually proclaiming. The hell of science is more sure and fearful than the old hell of theology. The old theology said you will be damned for your sins. Modern science says, Yours sins not only have damned you, but they kill you, body and soul, so that you may drag through this world little better than a corpse, with not even enough life to realize that you are practically dead.

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August 22, 1903

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