FROM OUR EXCHANGES

[The Rev. W. E. Glanville, Ph.D., in Living Church.]

A tone of passive fatalism has characterized too many books, sermons, and hymns which have treated of suffering. We are coming to realize that it is the business of Christianity to rout suffering from the world. Suffering is part of the bondage of evil from which it is the mission of Christianity to emancipate men. Hence the attitude of Christianity to the causes of suffering is positively and aggressively hostile. The question is sometimes asked, Is not suffering a blessing? No; suffering is not a blessing per se. Health is preferable to sickness, always. But has not suffering chastened the soul into saintliness? In some instances, yes; in many others, no: it has hardened and embittered the heart. To relieve suffering, to drive out disease and pour in new tides of life and health, to bind up the broken in heart and dissipate the gloom of death: this was a substantive part of the mission of our Lord and remains to this day a substantive part of the mission of Christianity. We pay homage not at the shrines of the pain-bringers of the race, but at the shrines of the painremovers of the race. Suffering is in the world not to be tamely accepted as inevitable and irremediable, but rather to be faced and vanquished as one of life's problems. It is to be regarded as transient, not permanent.

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