Signs of the Times

[Rev. W. H. Lawson, as quoted in the Swindon Advertiser, Wiltshire, England]

Every movement that has succeeded in ameliorating or eradicating the woes of humanity has found its inspiration in the lives of good men and women. Such words are equivalent to saying that the religion of the Nazarene can solve any world problem, if truthfully and fearlessly applied. The horrors of gladiatorial combats and the barbarities of slavery were deleted in the earliest days. In later days Christianity found social expression in the work of Elizabeth Fry, John Howard, and Lord Shaftesbury. The League of Nations is one of its most recent expressions. Industrial chaos and social estrangement cannot be exchanged for nobler ideals by physical force. Rabid violence finds no place in the Christian faith. Red revolutionary propaganda is not in line with the teaching of Christ [Jesus], yet he taught the greatest revolutionary system in the world, a system that achieved its ends by peaceful penetration. Christianity so fills the individual or national life with good that there is no room for bad. The preaching of truth means eventually the vanquishing of error, the overthrowing of tyranny, and the transformation of society. Social injustice cannot withstand the onward march of Christ. There is every reason for hopefulness. The conditions in Palestine in the Master's day were worse than prerevolution days in France or modern despotic conditions in Russia. There was seething unrest, social injustice, grinding taxation, poverty, misery, and unemployment. Wealth was distributed inequitably. Unjust as many matters may appear to-day, there is no comparison between this day and that. What has wrought the change? The belief in a gospel that has only two great commandments: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The religion of brotherhood as there expressed is Christ's [Jesus'] permanent solution for the ills of the world.

April 23, 1927

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