THE POWER OF GODLINESS

The article on "the report of the Lambeth Conference with respect to the 'Ministries of Healing,'" published in part in the Sentinel of Oct. 10, 1908, suggests this remarkable saying of St. Paul: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." When this second epistle to Timothy was written, Paul was at the close of his earthly career: in prison, under torture, sentenced to death, he probably felt that these would be his last words.

For thirty years Paul had been a missionary of the gospel of the kingdom; he had suffered contempt, persecution, stoning, lashing, imprisonment, banishment, shipwreck, cold and hunger; had made three long missionary journeys, preaching, teaching, healing, and had established churches in more than sixty villages and towns in Europe and Asia. Although blinded at first by bigotry and ignorance of the truth, the scales had fallen from his eyes; he saw the light of Truth and experienced the power of the risen Christ. If ever a man was qualified, through personal experience and demonstrated knowledge of the truth, to speak with authority, it was St. Paul at this time. Timothy was his beloved pupil and assistant; the son of a believing Jewish mother and a Greek father, and acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures from childhood. To him Paul addressed his last, most particular, and special instructions and admonitions, warning him especially against those errors which seemed to him most insidious and dangerous in these words, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

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