The clergymen and ministers must have thought there was...

The Inquirer

The clergymen and ministers must have thought there was something radically wrong with the churches of Philadelphia, else they would not have united in inviting an evangelist here. What is it that is radically wrong, and can this evangelist effect a cure? I fear not, since he offers nothing more than the ministers themselves have been offering. The Christianity that he and they preach is only half-way Christianity. They but partially accept the teachings of Christ Jesus.

I am not throwing a brick of infidelism at this man and the ministers; far from it. I would not cast an obstruction, even so trifling as a peanut shell, in the evangelist's path. If he can bring one person, to say nothing of a considerable number of persons, to a better way of living, I shall be more than glad. He is earnest and, so far as he goes, thoroughly believes in what he says. His God is a God in physical shape, casting human beings into a physical hell, to be tortured by a physical devil. It was Jesus who taught that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth;" however, let that pass. This evangelist appeals to his hearers through fear. Fear is not in itself repentance. Whether through fear many of his hearers may not be led into Christianity is not my issue; but if they are, and join the churches, will they find lasting peace and contentment there, under existing ministrations?

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