Signs of the Times

[Rev. J. Kirk Maconachie, as quoted in the South China Morning Post, Hongkong, China]

It is only Christians who pray every day that God's kingdom may come and His will be done on earth, and it is only they who have any real hope that such a thing will ever come to pass. Appeals on questions of civic duty and social betterment are generally addressed in the first instance and especially to the Christian portion of the community, because it is known to be in the line of their duty to listen to them, and because experience shows they are the readiest to help them. ... Good Christians are bound to be good citizens. They look "for a city" which will be a city indeed, a noble social life which is a very different thing from a compulsory "socialism," but grows freely out of the reign of God in every heart. That is where the foundations of God's kingdom are laid and must be laid if any solid good is to be built up. It may be slow work, like all deep foundation work, but it is sure. Changed hearts alone will bring forth the higher type of life which this world of men must have if it is not to sink in sin and misery. "You cannot get golden conduct out of leaden instincts," said Herbert Spencer most truly. Leaden materialism must be changed to golden love of God, and that is what we work for and believe in, however difficult the process and however distant the result. We can only do the best for this world if we live by a vision which looks above this world. We look "for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

August 27, 1927

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