Signs of the Times

[From States, New Orleans, Louisiana]

Faith cannot stop at being "the substance of things hoped for;" it must also be "the evidence of things not seen." If church people, in their daily lives, do not give this evidence of the superiority of spiritual over material forces, they produce no convincing proof of their claims. For there has never been any better test of Christian truth than the one set in the simple logic, "By their fruits ye shall know them." When people profess faith in God, yet make no effort to overcome evil in their thoughts and lives; when they hold that God is Love and omniscient, yet indulge selfishness and hate; that He is Life and omnipresent, yet look to lesser powers for healing; that He is Truth, yet strive for no understanding of Him, can the world be blamed for seeing the flaws in such faith and the weakness in such logic? When is it not better for churches to be forced to prove their faith by their works than to go on in the arid ease of mere profession, having a name that they live, but are dead? "Where there is no vision, the people perish." If the church cannot, or will not, give that vision, it can only be likened to Jerusalem, when Isaiah called it "the valley of vision." For, though it was built upon hills and though God's presence had so plainly been manifested there, yet it sank to material defenses, to mere sensual living and to stubborn impenitence.

But there is never a time nor a place in which the vision is not, for those who have eyes to see. ... All those in this valley of vision can realize their spiritual dreams, if they will arise and follow them. There is only one way to prove Truth, and that is to practice it. There is only one way to find God, and that is to do His will. Those who are willing to prove and find in this way will not look to death, but to life, to fulfill their dreams. ... They will gladly forego the tawdry earthly dreams to have "the substance of things hoped for," and emerge from the valley of vision into the realities of eternal Life.

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August 11, 1928

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