In a recent issue a correspondent claims that God intended...

Baltimore (Md.) American

In a recent issue a correspondent claims that God intended His creatures to suffer pain. He contends that "pain is the most precious thing in the world," and that it is the "means God employs to bring us to Him." He quotes this passage from Hebrews to confirm his position: "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." Our critic attributes to the word "chasten" an unwarranted meaning. He of course knows that it is derived from the Latin castigare, "to purify;" or in the text from Proverbs, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord," it may be rendered as "instruction."

If your correspondent had merely continued his reading of the passage from which he quotes, he would have realized more clearly the nature of chastening. We find: "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

The writer admits sin to be the chief cause of suffering, and yet contends that God has ordained such a condition to exist. He says, "Of course sin is the chief cause of suffering, but God foreordained before the foundation of the world that it should be so." In other words, God decreed that sin should exist, and so is the author of it, a statement as false as it is absurd. God created all that was made and declared His creation good. Can any one logically contend that God, good, can be for one instant the creator of evil? To acknowledge any other power as true is to dishonor God. To acknowledge that evil is as real as good is to admit that it must be immortal. As darkness is only the absence of light, so are evil and sin the absence of good. Christ Jesus overthrew the supposition that sin and suffering possess any reality by demonstrating their utter powerlessness.

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How beautiful the feet of those...
June 20, 1914

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