Signs of the Times

[Rev. Edward Archibald Thompson, as quoted in the Grand Rapids Press, Michigan]

Love is the great thing. Love God—love your fellow man. If you truly do this all your differences will disappear and you will be united in a common bond of fellowship and service. The old theology held that heaven rewarded a man for having suffered in this life. In Jonathan Edwards' day justice and punishment were dominant elements in religion. Later, penance marked one's way to glory. Today we are taking Jesus in earnest and beginning to emphasize the gospel of love. Today we want to know how to order our lives that they may be useful and bring abiding happiness.

Love is a way of life. It is not mere sentimentality. It is positive, not negative. It is buoyant, not depressing. It is creative, not destructive. Many things have failed: militarism has failed miserably; materialism has failed to give the fruits it promised; science has failed; ecclesiasticism has failed; but over against these failures we hear like an everlasting whisper the words, Love never faileth. We know the truth of this when we realize that the greatest successes in human life come from the areas where love has been most completely tried. We know that all homes are not uniformly successful, but in proportion as love illuminates it, that home is happy. Here is the circle where strife and competition give way to loving service in which each contributes to the welfare and happiness of the other.

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June 8, 1935

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