"Perilous Times"

We have published the foregoing paper, "The Widening Breach," in the hope that it may arouse many of our fellow-Christians, who, because they are ignorant of the determined and deliberate abandonment of the truth on the part of many of the most prominent religious leaders, rest secure in the thought that all is well. We believe that these are the "perilous times" of which the Scriptures speak, in the which men — yes, religious men — are "lovers of their own selves," and not of God, and, in consequence, have no regard for His majestic truths. They see nothing more in these great and eternal verities than time-worn and obsolete doctrines, and they discard them as one would discard a moth-eaten garment of a past generation; they refuse the glorious light of revelation, and walk in the sparks that they have kindled out of their own perishing imaginations, sparks that shalt perish like the imagination that gave them birth, in that day of solemn reckoning, when the unprofitable servant shall be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 25:30).

The devout Christian will not need to be told that that which is held up as orthodoxy, and discarded in some of the quotations given, is not the truth. He will not need to be told, for instance, that it is a travesty of the truth to represent that "salvation can only be obtained by the shedding of innocent blood." He knows that salvation has been secured for men by the blessed God at His own cost, not by the shedding of innocent blood, but by the offering of the infinitely blessed and holy Lamb of God, who — the Son in the Godhead — became Man, that He might make the great sacrifice, and by His own blood redeem us from the power of sin and from everlasting hell; and that in making this sacrifice He might by it declare, in all its strength and fullness, the love of God to men, and that in such a way that eternal justice might suffer no attain, but that the throne of God might stand in everlasting majesty — inviolate and pure. How blind must those be, who see no glory in Christ crucified! And how Satanic is the effort to rob lost men of this, their only hope!

But the man who tells us that "it is not essential to faith to believe that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary," sweeps all this away; for if Christ were not this, He is not the Word that became flesh — God incarnate; and if He is not that, then the gospel is a fable and the believer a fool.

The servants of God, in former days gloried in the Cross. It was to them "the wisdom and the power of God." They had had a soul-history; had felt the burden of their guilt; had cried to God in their distress, and had found deliverance and peace through the sacrifice of Christ. By that sacrifice they were emancipated from Satan's thraldom; by it God was revealed to their wondering souls; by it they had a certain hope of heaven; by it they did great works amongst the multitudes dead in trespasses and sins; for they preached it, and the Holy Ghost honoured their work, and saved their hearers. But now, there is a generation standing in their places, their successors in office, but utter aliens to the life and blessing and power which was theirs; and so shameless are they, that they seize eagerly upon weapons of the Bible-hating sceptic in order to destroy the truths that their predecessors loved dearer than life. They are the leaders of those who will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts are heaping to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2 Tim. 10:3). It is sufficient for these that their chosen leaders be men of culture, educated and brilliant. But it is not by such that God's work is done; He has not chosen these; as it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent" (1 Cor. 1).

It is not a pleasure to call attention to this serious apostasy from the truth; but it is necessary that the alarm should be sounded, that those who love God and His truth might know how to act in regard to it; quit them like men; hold fast that which they have, and earnestly contend for the truth. There must be no compromise with the evil; there must not be, if we are to be loyal to Christ, any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; clearly and insistently comes the call, the command, "From such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:5). "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19). "If there come any to you; and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid God speed: FOR HE THAT BIDDETH HIM GOD SPEED IS PARTAKER OF HIS EVIL DEEDS" (2 John 10-11). These commands cannot be ignored; they are as much the Word of God, as the truths we desire to defend; and disobedience to the one must weaken our hold upon and joy in the other. May God enable His servants to understand and obey.