The frequent references of the Old Testament Scriptures to peace as a supreme possession and ordained of God, are imperfectly understood so long as we think of it as meaning simply rest and ease, however good and desirable these may seem. The common salutation of the East, "Salaam!" (Peace) is a modification, we are told, of the Hebrew word Shalom, having the root meaning of completeness, and this lineage of the word at once makes clear many familiar Bible declarations, such as the statement that "there is no peace ... to the wicked." The contented indifference of the ill-deserving, those who because of continued sin seem to have lost all moral sense, is quite characteristic. They may be as entirely self-satisfied and comfortable in their ignorance and iniquity as were those to whom the Master said, "How can ye escape the damnation of hell?" and yet this very condition witnesses to the fact that they are subject to all the conflicting impulses of material sense and can have no true peace.

Jesus incidentally emphasized this discrimination when he said to his little company of followers, "My peace I give unto you." As he well knew, they were going out to experience the very opposite of what the world calls peace, for the struggle before them meant neither rest nor security; nevertheless, they did attain unto that realization of the richness and fulness of Life to which St. Paul refers in his words to the Colossians: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." This exceeding great possession was further defined in the apostle's prayer for the church at Philippi: "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

March 16, 1912

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