Mark Steyn contributed an interesting piece to the January 2004 New Criterion, Expensive illiterates: victimhood & education; in which (while frying larger fish) he laments the failure of our occupying forces to exercise as high a degree of control over Iraq's educational establishment as we have over other aspects of Iraqi national life.
Ever since the coalition victory last spring, the Americans have been in charge of the Iraqi school system. On the face of it, this should be no different from any other sphere of administration under the liberators: British and American soldiers train the new Iraqi army, British and American police train the new Iraqi constabulary, British and American civil servants train the new Iraqi public service. But ...no one from the entire American educational establishment seems to have been allowed anywhere near Iraq's schools....
This is very different from the way the British Empire dealt with the matter in the days when thousands of schoolmarms from the Welsh valleys and the industrial Midlands were dispatched to remote colonial outposts. John Southard of Emory University has characterized imperial education thus: 'Colonizing governments realize that they gain strength not necessarily through physical control, but through mental control. This mental control is implemented through a central intellectual location, the school system.'
A couple weeks ago I had a chance to talk with the father of a young woman who has been coming to Sunday school at our church at the invitation of one of our church families. Recent immigrants from India, and Hindu, I asked the father what the common attitude was in India towards the British.
He responded by speaking with pride of his nation's historical association with the British, making it clear he nursed no bitterness.
I asked why, in his judgement, there was such a different post-colonial experience in Africa?
by David and Tim Bayly on March 11, 2004 - 12:11pm
With seventy-seven million baby boomers approaching second childhood (assuming most of us finally dispensed with our first), the projected cost of providing health care and other forms of assistance is staggering. Responding to a recent piece titled "Japan Seeks Robotic Help in Caring for the Aged" that ran in the The New York Times, Dennis L. Kodner wrote the editor:
Assistive devices... can be helpful tools, but will ultimately prove unable to close the huge gap between the disabled elderly's growing need for long-term care and the diminishing supply of paraprofessionals who provide hands-on assistance.
In our country, experts project the need for an additional 750,000 long-term care workers by 2008. Yet existing evidence suggests that many of these jobs will go unfulfilled. (NYT, March 9)
No wonder the growth industry in medical ethics is no longer abortion, infanticide, or even eugenics, but euthanasia. Chick Koop, father of pediatric surgery and long-time member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, while serving as Surgeon General under President Reagan almost twenty years ago, warned of this coming danger:
My great concern is that there will be 10,000 Grandma Does for every Baby Doe.
-C. Everett Koop, Action Line: Christian Action Council Newsletter, Volume IX, No. 5, July 12, 1985, p. 3. (Christian Action Council is now Care Net.)
Poetic (or Divine) justice may demand that these parents themselves suffer euthanasia at the hands of their children. We're dealing with cosmic levels of blood guilt here, and God only knows how it will be connected in His divine economy. Suzanne Rini may well have it right:
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a towering prophet of the twentieth century and, whether recognized or not, the world today owes him a great debt of gratitude for his (at times) almost-singlehanded work documenting and exposing the murderous tyranny of communism in the Soviet Union. Without his voice and pen, it's hard to imagine President Reagan giving the June 8, 1982 "Evil Empire" speech to the House of Commons.
From the time Solzhenitsyn set foot on American soil, the reception our nation granted him was somewhere between diffidence and hostility.
On June 8, 1978 Solzhenitsyn gave the commencement address at Harvard University. Titled, A World Split Apart, Solzhenitsyn had the chutzpah to bite the hand that fed him.
Question: I am going to my first gay wedding, the "I do"'s of my nephew and his companion. But the whole idea of a grand, gay wedding ceremony and reception seems to me to be an open call for a topsy-turvy mad hatter's tea party. Which one is the bride? Am I a member of the bride's family or the groom's? Who dances with the father first? Who throws the bouquet? Who is eligible to catch it? And, frankly, I have never actually seen two men kiss in person. Don't you suppose there will be some kind of kiss at the altar to seal the deal? The entire prospect makes me nervous, and when I am nervous, I tend to get the giggles and say very silly things. Should I just stay home?
-Anonymous, "Dear Editor...William Norwich Contemplates Some Recently Posited Style-and-Entertaining-Related Questions." New York Times Magazine, 28 March 2004, p. 78.
Call a man "racist," "sexist," or "homophobic" and you've won the argument. Such charges are never meant to further the debate, but to end it.
And if you're the one being smeared, don't try to slip the noose. You'll only make things worse. Pity the schlimazel who protests, "Some of my best friends are gay." The hoots will drown out his words.
Now it seems the Holocaust Industry has succeeded in trivializing the charge of "anti-Semitism," also. Thus the New York Times reports the 2002 reprint of Merriam-Webster's unabridged Third New International Dictionary defines "anti-Semitism" as follows:
First definition: "hostility toward Jews as a racial or religious minority group"
Second definition: "opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel."
This second definition only provides formal documentation for what has been evident for some time--that those who criticize Israel's foreign and domestic policies or call into question the smallest detail of U.S. support for Israel are in danger of joining Joe Sobran and Pat Buchanan on the black list of those publicly smeared as "anti-Semitic." (For more on this, check out this link to Joe Sobran's newsletter, specifically the essay halfway down titled "The Obsession.")
That the Gray Lady herself carried this item is ironic given that no institution has done more to stiffle debate over American foreign policy toward Israel than the New York Times. She's the center of what Pat Buchanan refers to as "Israel's Amen Corner."
[Nunberg, Geoffrey. "What the Good Book Says: Anti-Semitism, Loosely Defined" New York Times, Sunday, 11 April 2004, "Week in Review," p. 7.]
Here's a funny headline I came across on the Christian Medical and Dental Associations' web site. Thinking they must have erred in their reproduction of it, I clicked the link and found they had exactly reproduced the headline as it originally appeared on the Washington Times web site. It's a UPI feed dated May 3, 2004:
In this late day, I'm shocked The New York Times Book Review would allow such comments. Have they no respect for women, and does it mean nothing to them that they broadcast these sentiments exactly one week prior to Mother's Day?
In a television interview with Barbara Walters in 1977, two years before he was overthrown in a popular revolution, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi talked bluntly--about women and his wife.
The interview went like this:
Walters: I'm quoting Your Majesty. "In a man's life, women count only if they are beautiful, graceful and know how to stay feminine. You may be equal in the eyes of the law, but not in ability. You have never produced a Michelangelo or a Bach or even a great cook. You are schemers. You are evil. All of you." Your Majesty, you said all these things?
Shah: Not with the same words, no.
Walters: Well, the thought, "You've never produced a Michelangelo, a Bach, or even a great...."
Shah: This I have said.
Walters: So you don't feel that women are in that sense equal, if they have the same intelligence or ability.
Shah: Not so far. Maybe you will become in the future. We can always have some exceptions.
Walters: Here and there? Do you feel your wife is one of these rare exceptions?
Shah: It depends upon in what sense.
Walters: Well, do you feel your wife can govern as well as a man?
Shah: I prefer not to answer.
(Elaine Sciolino, "The Last Empress: Farah Diba of Iran recalls her life on the throne and defends her husband's rule," The New York Times Book Review, May 2, 2004; page 12.)
Paris, April 22 -- As 10 new countries prepare to enter the European Union on May 1, it is not so much economic weight or political tradition that has earned them the right to join the regional bloc. Rather, it is a certain cultural identity forged [gasp!] by Christianity and a common artistic heritage. In one crucial sense, then, the lingua franca of this expanded Europe remains that of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Mozart and other giants of the past....
(Alan Riding, "A Common Culture (From the U.S.A.) Binds Europeans Ever Closer," The New York Times, April 26, 2004; page B1.)
Our words for different aspects of worship indicate our theology of worship. Consider 'stage' or 'platform,' 'audience' or 'congregation;' what's the usage in your church? How you answer might also predict whether your musicians perform or lead.
I'm reminded of this from a volume in my library ragged from use, kept on the same shelf as Idols for Destruction, Charles Simeon of Cambridge, Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, Augustine's Confessions, Knowing God, Life Together, Blamires'The Christian Mind, and Praise of Folly:
The theater / The church.
The difference between the theater and the church is essentially this, that the theater honestly and honorably acknowledges itself to be what it is; on the other hand the church is a theater which dishonestly tries in every way to hide what it is.
-Kierkegaard, Soren Attack Upon Christendom (Boston: Beacon Press, 1944) p. 197.
From a profile of Governor Schwarzenegger in the current issue of The New Yorker:
As (Schwarzenegger) explained in an article in Rolling Stone, in 1976, "At that point, I didn't think about money. I thought about the fame, about just being the greatest. I was dreaming about being some dictator of a country or some savior like Jesus. Just to be recognized."
He cast around for a pursuit in which he could be the best; he tried soccer, but, as he later recalled, "I didn't like that too well, because there I didn't get the credit alone if I did something special. I just avoided team sports from then on." He fixed on bodybuilding, and, by the age of fifteen, he knew he'd found his calling.
* * *
(Despite running for office as a Republican, Schwarzenegger is pro-abortion. Here Franco Columbo, his best friend for decades, explains Schwarzenegger's abortion philosophy.)
On abortion, Schwarzenegger is pro-choice. According to Columbo, "Arnold would say, 'If you have sex with a woman for fifteen minutes and then you leave, why should she have to go through pregnancy for nine months and have a child? It's ridiculous!'"
(Connie Bruck, "Letter from California: Supermoderate; The new governor dazzles the celebrity-struck legislators of Sacramento," in The New Yorker, 28 June 2004, pp. 69-87.
Our kind readers will not be surprised to read that I was so disgusted by Schwarzenegger I could not bring myself to read past the first couple pages of the profile. And when you stop to consider that The New Yorker has put us all on notice that both Schwarzenegger and Hillary Clinton have their eyes set on the White House, I find myself wondering who would be worse--and I'm genuinely unable to answer the question.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 12, 2004 - 6:19pm
So what ought we to expect from the new president of Princeton Theological Seminary? Check out this excerpt from The Presbyterian Outlook, a newsweekly focused on the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA):
On the Sunday evening in his closing address to the Assembly, the retiring Moderator Professor Iain Torrance, who has recently been appointed President of Princeton Theological Seminary, chose to reflect on the need for a new approach to Christian ethics.
Just about all of us were brought up to believe that Christian ethics is a matter of drawing boundaries, of shoulds and shouldn'ts. I simply no longer believe that. Christian ethics is about transformation first and last. We persist in imprisoning ourselves within the frame of reference of 16th century issues. The disputes between Luther and Zwingli on whether the body of Christ is present or absent at communion ...is all very interesting, but it is not today's issue. What matters today is not whether we can define the mechanism of the real presence, but whether our worship encourages a mind-set of expectation and gratefulness to God, and loving openness to others...
There was plenty of food for thought in his words, not least in his quotation from Seneca about gladiators.
When the gladiator enters the arena, he has no fixed strategies. He improvises on the basis of long ingrained skills. The task of the church is to foster those skills, not to offer preset solutions in a Windows world with drop down menus for each situation.
-Simpson, Dr. James A. "Letter from Scotland: First woman Moderator Chosen" The Presbyterian Outlook (September 27, 2004):11.
To postmodern ears it sounds good. Who in his right mind would oppose exchanging the "drawing of boundaries" for "transformation"?
by David and Tim Bayly on January 15, 2005 - 5:33pm
Seeing my favorite smells-and-bells Episcopalian, Father Bill Mouser, posting an interesting comment under the piece on weddings immediately below reminds me of a quote I've kept for years that's always seemed to me to be the quintessential episcopalian quote. Wishing to offend no one, I finally bring it out of the moth balls of my hard drive for the edification of our good readers:
When William T. Manning, a former Bishop of New York, was asked whether salvation could be found outside the Episcopal Church, he replied,
"Perhaps so, but no gentleman would care to avail himself of it."
("Profile of Bishop Paul Moore, Jr." in The New Yorker, April 28, 1986, p. 46.)
by David and Tim Bayly on November 26, 2005 - 7:18am
And (Jesus) also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'
But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'
I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14)
This searching comment from Helmut Thielicke's excellent short commentary on the parables, The Waiting Father:
Many of us are less like the Pharisee, with his uplifted head and his solid moral character, than we are like the publican--but a somewhat different publican from the one described in the parable. Perhaps like a publican who says, "I thank Thee, God, that I am not so proud as this Pharisee; I am an extortioner, unjust, and an adulterer. That's the way human beings are, and that's what I am, but at least I admit it, and therefore I am a little bit better than the rest of the breed. I commit fornication twice a week, and at most ten percent of what I own comes from honest work. I am an honest man, O God, because I don't kid myself, I don't have any illusions about myself. Let your angels sing a hallelujah over this one sinner who is as honest as I am, honest enough to admit that he is a dirty dog and not hide it beneath his robes like these lying Philistines the Pharisees.'
by David and Tim Bayly on February 14, 2006 - 9:44pm
Two Puritan quotes came across my desk last week, one from Chris Taylor and the other from Iain Murray's biography of Jonathan Edwards. Both demonstrate the biblical wisdom our church fathers brought from the Word of God into every other area of human knowledge. These particular quotes demonstrate the timelessness of their perceptions concerning God's Creation as we look backwards from this time in which Darwinists are so loathe, in the main, to admit that "It is He Who hath made us, and not we ourselves."
(In this sermon, Owen is speaking of the variety of ways God's providence guides His gracious act of election and regeneration.)
"Now, is all this variety, think you, to be ascribed unto chance, as the philosopher thought the world was made by a casual concurrence of atoms? Or hath the idol free-will, with the new goddess contingency, ruled in these dispensations? Truly neither the one nor the other, no more than the fly raised the dust by sitting on the chariot wheel;--but all these thing have come to pass according to a certain unerring rule, given them by God's determinate purpose and counsel." (Owen, John. Works, Vol. VIII, 12. This sermon was preached in 1646)
Chris Taylor's comment: I find Owen's logic interesting. As evolutionists refuse to attribute glory to God's wisdom and power in the creation of man, so Arminians refuse to give God the glory in the re-creation of men in regeneration.
"An infinite length of time has no tendency to alter the case. If we should suppose people traveling in the snow, one after another, thousands in a day for thousands of years together, and all should tread exactly without the least variation in one another's steps so as, in all this time, to make no beaten path but only steps with the snow not broken between, this is a demonstration of intention, design, and care. Or if we suppose that, in the showers of rain that fall out of the clouds on all the face of the earth for a whole year, the drops should universally fall in order on the ground so as to describe such figures that would be Roman letters in such exact order as to be Virgil's Aeneid written on every acre of ground all over the world, or so as exactly to write the history of the world and all nations and families in it through all ages without departing from truth in one fact or minutest circumstance - that would distinctly demonstrate a designing cause. Length of time has no tendency at all to produce such an effect of itself. If we multiply years never so much to give large opportunity, it helps not the case without a designing cause." (Murray, Iain. Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust. pp. 139-140.)
by David and Tim Bayly on September 27, 2006 - 6:09am
The aim and effect of the liturgical system is to make the mass of worshippers as independent as possible of the individual minister; the aim, if not the effect of our system, is to make individual ministers as valuable as possible to the worshippers, for their instruction and edification. The one system may secure a uniform solemnity and decency, but the other system tends to secure the more important qualities of fervor, energy, and life; and we believe, whatever fastidious critics may allege, it does to a considerable extent secure them. At lowest, the non-liturgical method secures that the worship of the church shall be a true reflection of her life, and therefore, however beggarly, at least sincere. -from A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve p. 58.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 20, 2008 - 7:54pm
(Tim) Back on June 15, I wrote Phil Ryken, pastor of Philadelphia's historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, to point out two significant errors in a sermon he gave at Tenth later published as a commentary on 1Timothy by P&R as a volume in their Reformed Expository Commentary series. Then I followed up our private correspondence with a public post warning the church at large of these errors.
After the post, Phil and I exchanged several private e-mails in which I asked Phil to correct his errors by amending the PDF offered on his church's web site and inserting an errata sheet in any future copies of his commentary shipped by P&R.
It's now four months later.
A week ago at our Ohio Valley Presbytery meeting we received a document justifying woman officers in the PCA. Phil's commentary was cited with errors intact and prominently featured in the document's arguments. One of Tim Keller's Redeemer churches distributed the document as justification for the statement to us by their session that "It remains the conviction of Redeemer's session (Indianapolis) that there is no scriptural basis to differentiate between men and women serving as Deacons under the authority of the Session." (Emphasis in the original. Here's an article giving some of the past history of Ohio Valley Presbytery's work with Redeemer in Indianapolis.)
Seeing these errors continue to be cited by churches not in conformity with our Book of Church Order, I wondered whether the PDF on Tenth's web site had been corrected? On the way home, I pulled up the PDF from Tenth's web site and found...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 7, 2009 - 7:10am
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
(Tim) If our Lord tarries, this coming Thursday, February
12th, will be the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. As her
holy day approaches, Annie Laurie Gaylor of Madison's Freedom from
Religion Foundation is plastering buses and billboards with
intellectual cheesecake for fellow misanthropes. Real creative stuff like, "Imagine No Religion" and "Praise Darwin - Evolve Beyond Belief."
The president of the Skeptics Society (which publishes Skeptic magazine), Michael Shermer, isn't waiting for the holy day to celebrate. He assures fellow homo sapiens
that his cult's high priests have a "pretty good outline" of the origin of
life. But then he goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid
(Tim) Since entering the ministry in 1983, countless times I've read statements like this in recently published evangelical commentaries by scholars highly esteemed within their own guild:
Doug Moo concludes that "there is reason to doubt whether any important part of the narrative in Matthew 27:3-8 has been created under the influence of Old Testament passages." -R. T. France, Tyndale Commentary on Matthew, p. 385.
Let me remind us that here in Matthew 27:3-8 we have in our hands the very Word of God as it has come down to us from Heaven through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So it is, and yet it really isn't a "narrative." And to say "there is reason to doubt" that Matthew "created" any "important part" of God's Word is...
"Imagine a fortress, absolutely impregnable, provisioned for an eternity. There comes a new commandant. He conceives that it might be a good idea to build bridges over the moats--so as to be able to attack the besiegers. Charming! He transforms the fortress into a countryseat, and naturally the enemy takes it. So it is with Christianity. They changed the method--and naturally the world conquered."
(Tim) First, if you haven't read the sermon David preached yesterday posted just below (A Sermon for the President--and for the People of God), I commend it to you. We need sermons like this to be preached across our country until those called by God as civil magistrates lead us to return to the fear of God and mercy to the poor, helpless, sojourners in our midst, and unborn. Note particularly David's comment about our self-made bonds.
Second, we're still getting the occasional Christmas/Easter letter and I thought we'd all benefit from this statement from my dear Roman Catholic friends from Denver, John and Molly Archibold:
We have been extraordinarily blessed through joys and sorrows. (Molly)
(Tim) One commenter (who, from charity, shall remain nameless) commented under an earlier post that he considered the discipline of lifting hands and kneeling in prayer to be unworthy of reformed worship. Maybe a sort of pietistic emotional manipulation?
"So lifting hands is wrong? Why? Who said so?"
"Well, any idiot can see it's those nasty Pentecostals and charismatics who do that sort of thing! Ugh! Who wants to be mistaken for a charismatic? Or a Vineyard type? Ugggghhhh!"
"So we don't do it because we don't want to have anyone think we're Pentecostals--is that it?"
"Well, no; of course that's not the only reason. There are lots and lots of reasons, but I can't spend all day telling you something you should know without thinking. Lifting hands is wrong. End of story. No self-respecting, proud, cerebral, Old School Presbyterian slothful in worship would ever be caught dead lifting his hands in prayer! Now, stop bothering me. I have more important things to do with my time than argue with you!"
Last night a tornado came through our back yard and moved on east wreaking havoc across the west side of Bloomington. Three lots down it rolled our son-in-law and daughter, Doug and Heather Ummel's, backyard playhouse which is the size of a middling storage shed and, being made all of wood, very, very heavy. A little way down Highway 45, it devastated Don and Heather Van Timmeren's yard, but left their house intact. Most of their trees are down.
Then it hit the trailer court on our son-in-law and daughter, Ben and Michal Crum's, street just a block from their house and just up the road from us. No one was seriously injured, but Michal took this movie and you can see all the trailers were moved across the court or obliterated, as were the trees. See the car flipped upside down?
Taylor's best friend, John Alberson, is a jarhead grunt just back from deployment on the Pakistani border of Afghanistan. (We praise God for his safe return!) Taylor and Jon were here when the tornado hit and went out with the chain saw and helped clear trees until 5 AM. (The storm hit about 11 PM.)
We thank God no one was seriously injured here in Bloomington, but looking at the many, many deaths in Missouri and knowing we could just as easily have been killed last night...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 25, 2011 - 11:05am
My Mary Lee is cleaning out old boxes and found this pic that ran in the Friday, October 13, 1972 issue of the Trib under the headline, "McGovern Tries for DuPage Converts." Presidential candidate George McGovern had just finished speaking in Edman Chapel to the Wheaton College student body, faculty, and aministration. Following his address, an admirer named Tim Bayly was in the small throng angling to shake his hand. Thought you all would get a kick out of it.
By the way, I think the horn-rimmed glasses wearing a man's face opposite me belong to my brother, David. (Joke.) And yes, I voted for McGovern and Carter. All the Baylys voted the Democratic ticket then. And yes, it's utterly disgusting. And yes, I shook his hand. I also wired Mother Teresa for sound. We had to find a place for the wireless mic in her sari and she was quite good-natured about it. These are my claims to fame.
Let me remind you of the two quotes that sum up my deepest political convictions in these United States, today:
Why sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things. (Samuel Johnson)
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times--I'm a Republican! (Joe Sobran)
by David and Tim Bayly on December 12, 2011 - 6:17am
This is an excerpt from Horatius Bonar's God's Way of Holiness. Much here that is helpful to men and women of God. Read carefully, to the very end. It's packed with meat. Paragraphing is mine. (TB, w/thanks to Tim C. by way of Matt B.)
* * *
"The man who knows that he is risen with Christ, and has set his affection on things above, will be a just, trusty, ingenuous, unselfish, truthful man. He will “add to [his] faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7). He will seek not to be “barren nor unfruitful.” “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report” (Phil 4:8), these he will think upon and do.
"For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology...
This past October 1st, we were blessed with a fly-by visit from Father Bill Mouser and his wife, Barbara. On sexuality, if would be hard to do better than taking our churches through the Mousers' Five Aspects curriculum--Five Aspects of Man/Woman. My closest friend, Pastor Robert Woodyard, is using Five Aspects with men in his church and has found it excellent. Here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington we have a Saturday morning program...
Many object to the practice of confessing sins to one another, believing they need only confess their sins to God. Those who hold such a belief reason other brothers and sisters are not to be trusted with such confessions and, in the end, lack the power to do any good in the situation. Certainly all sins should be confessed to God. No one denies that. But categorical refusal to confess our sins before one another is a rejection of the gracious goads God uses to bring us to repentance and our brothers' effectual prayers. Only an unbeliever wouldn’t want those helps...
A sermon...comes with far greater power to the consciences of the hearers when it is plainly the very word of God—not a lecture about the Scripture, but Scripture itself opened up and enforced...
It is infamous to ascend your pulpit and pour over your people rivers of language, cataracts of words, in which mere platitudes are held in solution like infinitesimal grains of homeopathic medicine in an Atlantic of utterance.
For consider that the Gospel which proclaims Jesus as the Saviour is the only thing which deals with the deepest fact in our natures, the fact of sin; gives a personal Deliverer from its power; communicates a new life of which the very essence is righteousness, and which brings with it new motives, new impulses, and new powers.
Contrast with this the inadequate diagnosis of the disease and the consequent imperfection of the remedy which other physicians of the world's sickness present. Most of them only aim at repressing outward acts. None of them touch more than a part of the whole dreadful circumference of the dark orb of evil. Law restrains actions. Ethics proclaims principles which...