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now you who were afar off are made nigh (to Him) by the blood of Christ. ... For by Him we have access to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no more strangers and foreigners, but you are fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.”1 Jesus Himself is the link, for He is the Mediator between God and man. When "I am lifted up from the earth," He says, "I will draw all things to Myself," that is, all that shall truly believe in Me.
that we might receive Thus by one stroke of
"When the fulness of time came, God sent His Son made of a woman the adoption of sons." divine clemency, a triple blessing is conferred upon us, the chains of spiritual bondage are stricken from our feet, the sweet yoke of divine fellowship is restored, and we are adopted into the family of God, to enjoy the glorious liberty of children of God.
"Behold," says St. John, "what manner of love the Father hath given us, that we should be called and be the children of God. . . . Beloved, we are now children of God. . . . We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him, because we shall see Him as He is."4 How different is our intercourse with our God from the relation of even the Jews with Him! They lived under the law of fear. They addressed their Creator by the title
1 Eph. II. 2 John XII.
8 Gal. IV.
4 I. John III.
of God, King, Ruler, or Jehovah, and rarely ever by the endearing name of Father. Not so you, Christian readers! For, as St. Paul says: "You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, wherein we cry: Abba, Father. For the Spirit Himself beareth witness to our spirit that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ."1 By no name is God invoked more commonly than by the tender name of Father, and no prayer is more frequently on our lips than the "Our Father."
Here man is placed before us in his true light, not as the brood of some lower animal, not as a waif tossed about on the ocean of life, the sport of the gods; not as the creature of chance, or the victim of iron fate, but rather as the child of Providence, who takes him by the hand and guides his steps through life even to his eternal destiny in heaven, if he only follow the inspirations of grace.
I am asked to surrender my divine birthright, to renounce my royal origin and my heavenly inheritance, the title of which has been signed and sealed by the hand of God Himself, recorded in the Sacred Book, witnessed by the Apostles with their blood, attested by the greatest intellects of the civilized world, and which has successfully stood the test of nineteen centuries. Instead of it, I am asked to accept an unproven and disproven theory that will
1 Rom. VIII.
soon be forgotten to give place to some other phantom of a fertile brain.
The Lord forbid that I should renounce my royal title, and say to the dumb beast what unfaithful Israel said to the stock: "Thou art my father; thou hast begotten me.'
Achab, King of Israel, not content with his princely estates, coveted also the vineyard of Naboth. But Naboth said to the king: "The Lord forbid that I should give thee the inheritance of my fathers.'
Such is also the ambition of many scientists. Like Achab they are not satisfied with ruling over the territory of science; they are tempted to trespass on the forbidden ground of Revelation. But we must say to them: God forbid that we should surrender to you our inheritance. You have dominion over the empire of science. Be content with its broad domains, explore its fields as you will, develop its rich resources, bring to light its hidden treasures; but do not encroach on the domain of faith. That belongs not to you. Touch it not with profane hands. We are its custodians. God forbid that we should give to you the inheritance of our fathers. Like Naboth, we will die rather than surrender it.
We should hold fast to the inheritance of our Christian faith, which tells us who we are, and what we are to be, and not suffer it to be snatched
2III. Kings XXI.
from us. It has often been lost by men, and even by whole nations. I have passed through regions now spiritually desolate and strewn with the wrecks of a once vigorous faith.
The history of nations clearly demonstrates that it is much easier to convert a Pagan people to Christianity than to re-convert a nation that has once apostatized. The words of the Apostle contain a profound truth and a fearful warning. It is morally impossible, he says, for those who were once illuminated by faith, who have tasted also the heavenly gift, who were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and who are fallen away by apostasy, to return once more to the faith of their fathers.1
CHRISTIANITY AND MODERN SCIENCE. THERE IS NO CONFLICT BETWEEN SCIENCE AND
It cannot be denied that there dwells in many sincere minds a lurking suspicion, amounting in some persons almost to a painful conviction, that antagonism exists between certain dogmas of revelation and the results of scientific investigation. Mr. Huxley, Dr. Draper, and other acknowledged leaders of modern thought, have done their utmost to confirm these sinister impressions and to widen the breach between the teachers of religion and those of physical science. They will tell you that the study of nature leads us away from God and ultimately results in the denial of His existence. They maintain that there is and must be an irrepressible conflict between these two great branches of knowledge; that they cannot coexist; and that, in the long run, theology must surrender to her younger and more progressive rival.
They affect to believe that the champions of Christianity, conscious of the unequal conflict, view