FROM OUR EXCHANGES

[Rev. J. A. Ross in Christian Register.]

The signs are hopeful. Ecclesiasticism is dying. The dream of the present will be the reality of the future. The sects are pushing back and out of sight their respective attachments. The Calvinist is not so dogmatically certain about the divine decrees, nor is the Puritan sure that he has packed all the truth about the atonement into his creed statement. The Methodist does not insist, as he once did, on so emotional an experience; and the Baptist is a little shaky on his exclusive mode of baptism. The advocates of an inerrant, verbally inspired Bible are not denouncing as heretics all who cannot agree with them; and the higher critics are more conservative in their conclusions. Congregationalists are not shouting so loud, "Great is autonomy, our inheritance and our chief glory!" Eternal conscious torture is no longer made the corner-stone of our religion, and Christians no longer claim to know more about the future than the Bible teaches. The barriers are being thrown down, the denominational lines are fading in the brightening light, the one all-comprehensive city of God is coming down out of heaven where denominationalism is unknown; and soon all the tribes and people and tongues shall unitedly worship before the great white throne. The church of Christ will free itself of ecclesiasticism,—is freeing itself from ecclesiasticism. It will contend earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints, but each separate body will not contend that in its enclosure alone are "the saints." It will not be a divided church, keeping aloof from the world because in its weakness it is afraid of the world; but one body, "terrible as an army with banners," it will subdue the world. Casting behind it its ecclesiastical arrogance and forgetting its sectarian jealousies, it "will follow the things which make for peace, and the things whereby we may build up one another." There will not be separate folds carefully guarding small and diminishing flocks, but there will be one flock, as there is one shepherd. There will be no exclusive temple, for all will prostrate themselves before the central throne. All the gates will be open, and multitudes will flock through them; but nothing unholy will pass through any one of them. And then, and not till then, "they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it."

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October 8, 1910
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