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The Wisdom of the "Heathen" PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.H. Oliphant   


PRIMITIVE MONITOR—NOVEMBER 1906

There is much ignorance and superstition and wickedness among the heathens, but I am sure it is a mistake to conclude that God is wholly unknown by them. If we would compare Spain and the Philippines, where Catholicism prevails, we would find that many heathen nations compare favorably with the Christian world. One half of the missionaries of the world are Catholic. Even in our own country it is estimated that not more than one fifth of the population attends church, and the saloons, slums, and dens of vice in our own land present a picture as horrible as can be found in heathendom. As heathen nations look to us, they judge us all to be Christians. They look at the persecutions in the dark ages as the operations of Christianity. They see Christianity drunk with the blood of the martyrs, and hence they regret to see it get a footing in their lands.

The Bible teaches that the works of God in creation proclaim his being to every speech and tongue under heaven. Heathen nations do have the evidence of the being, power, and wisdom of God in his works. The Bible is not designed to prove to us that there is a God. We read it as a revelation from God, and before we can look for a revelation from God we must first “believe that God is.” The volume of his creation is an open book in which all nations read of the being of God. A sense of it is molded in the being of man; it is stamped upon him in his creation. It is interesting to read the ideas that heathen philosophers have of God.

Xenophen said, “The Divinity is so great, and of such character, that he both sees and hears all things; is every where present, and attends to all things at once.” “The gods give nothing really good and beautiful without labor.” “God arranges and holds together the whole universe in which are all things good, and who preserves it undecayed and unimpaired, and obeying his will swifter than thought,” etc. “I know not how any man can escape his fury, nor in what darkness he can hide himself, nor in what strong refuge he could conceal himself.” Before Christ, 444—357.

Addenda, a Greek, B. C., said, “It is evident that God stands in need of nothing.” “The world is perfectly beautiful, for it is the work of God.” “God whom devils fear and the multitude regards with awe.” “The way to the world below is easy, for men to go to it with shut eyes.” “Impure souls are bound by the furies with chains that cannot be broken.”

I beg the reader to note these sentences, as they give the views that heathens have of God. “Deep doors open towards hell and rivers of fire are seen.” “It is not God that injures thee, but thou thyself.” On a heathen temple, 354 years B. C., the words were written: “I am that was, and is, and will be.” Compare this with Rev. i, 8; “The Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty,” written near 500 years afterwards. “God always directs all things and lives in himself since he is wisdom itself.” Four hundred years afterwards Paul said (Rom. xvi, 27): “To God the only wise he glory.” “God is a mind and spirit and the ruler of the whole universe.” “God can neither be seen nor perceived by any sense, * * * but his works and what he does ale evident and perceived by all men.”

“There is one self-existent being, everything * * is produced by him.” Centuries later Paul said, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” On a heathen temple there were inscribed: “He that enters within the precincts of the temple, full of incense, ought to be holy; holiness is to have holy thoughts.” “No mortal sees God. He sees all.” “There is a spirit seated within us, the observer and guardian of what is good and bad to us.” Note the following: “Though he be one being; God has many names.” “One mind that arranges the whole universe and one providence set over all,”—Over three centuries before Christ. Those who wrote these sentences certainly knew God and had exalted ideas of him. The notion that missionary operations are essential to a knowledge of God is certainly wrong. Aratus, 270 years B. C. —” All paths, all haunts of men are full of Jove.” “He warns mankind to good, urges them to toil with hope of food.” Aristotle said, “All things are full of God.” “All men have some knowledge of God.” Again Aristotle said, “We must regard him a Spirit, most powerful, immortal, and perfection itself, being invisible to mortal eye; he is seen by his works.” “God extends from eternity’ to eternity.” “God is happy and blessed from nothing external, but himself from himself.”—B. C. 384—322. Euripides, B. C. 481—400: “My heart is confident that the man who reveres the god’s will prosper.” “In the good there is all kinds of wisdom.” “I know indeed the ills I am about to commit, but my inclination gets the better of me.” About five centuries later Paul said, “The evil I would not, that I do.” Euripides said, “My hands are clean, but my heart has somewhat of impurity.” “What must be no one will ever make so that it be not.” “All must die—submit with patience to the common lot.” “The gods give what is unlooked for and those whom they love they save.” Hemerus B.C.408. “Having suspended a charm from heaven. All of ye gods lay hold of it, yet would ye fail to drag the Al/-wise Jove to earth, strive as ye may.” “No man can withstand the will of Jove.” “Let us obey the will of mighty Jove who rules over mortals and immortals.” ‘Compare these words with Acts v, 29. “It is by no means that any other god should dare to disobey Jove or render his will null.” “It is easy for the gods who inhabit the wide heaven to raise or cast down mortal man.” Philemon defines God: “The Being who sees all things, yet is seen by none.”

I wish now to quote some precious words from Plato, and the fact that he was a heathen philosopher, yet knew the truth, should convince us that men may have some exalted ideas of God without the Bible. “The virtue that is in us comes not from nature nor is it taught, but is put in us by Divinity.” Of the Atheist he says, “Those are profane who think that nothing else exists except what they can grasp with their hands.” “God is good and no other must be assigned as the cause of our blessings; whereas of our sorrows we must seek some other cause and not God.”
Of Atheists he said: “Not one who has held such an opinion, has continued to old age to maintain it” Plato believed in the omniscience of God, and revered his perfections as much as we do. Paul says, “That which may be known of God is manifest to them, for God hath showed it unto them.”
While there is much ignorance among the heathen, yet there is evidently some truth and some love of truth. There are some sublime ideas of God and love of God and of what is right. It is certainly pleasant to think that God is able to save even in darkest heathendom. The Babylonians, over thirty centuries before Christ, had their bible, their system of worship of God; their priests, their hymns and psalms, etc. The Egyptians later had their bible, their rites and ceremonies; they believed in God, and in the future state. Their religion was Arminian, as was the Babylonian. We may glean something of this by the history of Israel in Egypt. The Phoenicians, who inhabited Canaan before it was given to Israel, or before Israel possessed it had their form of worship of Dagon and Baal. This was cruel, as it allowed the sacrifice of human beings to appease the wrath of their gods. Ashteroth was a god of the Phoenicians. The Greeks had their bible, their worship, and their songs of praise. There has been in all ages and among all people religious inquiry— a disposition to seek for the truth and God. There has been confusion, strife, and restlessness, and “rivers of blood” has been shed over religion. Men can better bear with you while you differ with them about any thing else than religion, and this has been as true of the so-called “Christian religion” as of any other, so far as I know. I do not mean that true Christian religion sheds the blood of opposers, but I mean that, in all its ages, there have been men professing it who have shown a vicious spirit. All this should deeply humble us and lead us to imitate the Savior, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; who was led as a lamb to the slaughter. We ought to observe the words: “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory.” Ours is a religion of love; of God’s love to us and ours to him and to man. Its victories and triumphs are of love.

Mr. Vivekananda, the Hindu monk, in speaking of God, presents ideas we would not have expected from heathenism: “The Vedas (Book of Brahmanism) proclaims—not a dreadful combination of unforgiving laws * * but at the head of all those laws, in and through every particle of matter and force, stands one through whose command the wind blows, the fire burns, the clouds rain, and death stalks upon the earth.” “He is everywhere, the pure and formless one, the Almighty, and the All-merciful. ‘Thou art our father and our mother. Thou art our beloved friend, the source of all strength. Thou art he that beareth the burdens of the universe. Help me to bear the little burdens of this life.’” “Thus sang the Rishis of the Veda.” “And how to worship him through love. He is to be worshiped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and the next life.”
Vivekananda said: “This is the doctrine of love preached in the Vedas, and let us see how it is developed and preached by Krishna, who the Hindus believe to have been God, incarnate on earth.” He taught that man ought to live on this earth like a lotus leaf, that grows in the water, but is never moistened by the water; so a man ought to live in this world—his heart for God, and his hands for work. It is good to love God for hope of reward * * but it is better to love him for love’s sake. Lord, if it be thy will, I will go to a hundred bells, but grant me this that I may love thee without the hope of reward, * * love for love’s sake.” Such views of God look good, though given by a heathen.

“The Vedas teach that the soul is divine; only in bondage to matter: that perfection will be reached when the bond shall burst, and the word they use is “Mukto” (freedom), from the bonds of imperfection, from death and misery, * * that this bondage can only fall off through the mercy of God, and this mercy comes to the pure; so purity is the condition of this mercy. He reveals himself to the pure heart, and the pure heart and the stainless heart sees God, yea, even in this life, then all crookedness of the heart is made straight.” The Arminianism of Hinduism is clearly visible in these sentences—Arminianism even to Pharisaism. There is a difference of opinion as to when Buddha was born. The Herzogg encyclopedia puts it at before Christ 622: some other authors at over 1000 B. C. The Buddhists claim that his birth was miraculous in the extreme. Herzogg claims that five hundred millions of our race are embraced in this religion; others place the numbers less.

Tillotson, over two hundred and fifty years ago, urged that the Bible is not designed to teach us there is a God. We cannot regard the Bible as a revelation from God unless we first believe there is a God to reveal his will. The being of God is proved to us by the works of God. Certainly the Hindus had some clear ideas of the being and nature of God, so much so that we must confess that many in our land would be incompetent to teach them.
The Catholics began their missionary operations in heathen lands near two centuries before any other “Christian” communities did—about 1622. The Baptists began their missionary operations about 1792.

It is seriously doubted whether crime in heathen lands is less than in Christian nations. We know sin is exceedingly prevalent in our own country. I will not quote from any one on the subject, but men of learning and opportunities have insisted that among the Buddhists there is far less crime than here. The claim is frequently made that heathens are eternally lost for want of missionary efforts, and the cost of saving sinners is often figured up.

I take the following from The Gospel Messenger:

“ONE THOUSAND AFRICAN BABIES.”
“Under the above heading the Atlanta Constitution, of February 10th, gives a brief sketch of a certain Christian banker, as he was considered in Chicago, by the name of Kean, who had so secured the confidence of the “Woman’s Christian Temperance Union,” and other religious societies, that they had freely entrusted him with their benevolent funds, and among other deposits for benevolent purposes, were thirty thousand dollars, by Bishop Taylor, for the purchase of ‘One thousand African babies’ to be brought to this country to be educated and have their souls saved at much less cost than by any modern missionary plan ever before invented for that purpose. But alas for human depravity! before the funds had been drawn from the bank of this benevolent and Christian gentleman, he failed, as bankers often do, and with him goes a failure for the purchase and salvation of the souls of one thousand black babies! Now this certainly is a black business all the way through, and by all concerned in it, but no doubt the indignant wrath of Bishop Taylor and his benevolent friends will be poured out without mixture of mercy upon the head of the defaulting banker, Kean.

“Having given the substance of the article above alluded to, we have no comment to make, further than to remind the reader that it is a great mercy from the Lord that the eternal salvation of souls from sin and death does not rest upon such an uncertain, corrupt, and sandy foundation as that contemplated by Bishop Taylor, and in looking at the subject of salvation, or of soul-saving, from a Bible standpoint, we ask every candid and well-instructed Christian in the land, if such proceedings as recited above for the salvation of the souls of one thousand African babies, does not show conclusively to every thinking mind that heathens of the most deluded character may be found much nearer home than in the dreary wilds of Africa? If the salvation of the souls of one thousand African babies can be obtained at thirty dollars a head, how much will it require to save the soul of one defaulting banker like Mr. Kean? Better try a little more on him before importing any cases from Africa.”

The world is full of confusion, division, and strife on the subject of religion, and perhaps as much confusion can be found in the “Christian religion” as in any other. The whole human family seems to be agreed that there is a God, but as to his will, nature, and our duty, etc., confusion seems to reign the world over.

We have reasons to be humble and lowly. We have reasons to confess our weakness and ignorance. We trust that the Lord God has been our teacher and led us to know our poor lost estate, and brought us low at his feet as penitents. I know no reason why the Lord may not teach poor sinners in darkest heathenism. It does seem that we see some evidence that rays of light from the cross have penetrated the darkness of Asia.

In Mr. Bryan’s account of his visit among the Hindus he speaks of a prayer he heard delivered by a Hindu, which was interesting inasmuch as it conveys some idea of the view these heathens have of God. In reading the prayer I thought of a position taken by Tillotson two and a half centuries ago— that we don’t learn there is a God from the Bible. “If we take the Bible as the book of God we must first believe there is a God.” This Hindu certainly believed there is a God. The prayer was offered on the occasion of a number of young men going away to distant countries for an education. Mr. Bryan says, “this meeting interested me very much. It was opened by a prayer by Editor Sen of the Indian Mirror, a liberal Hindu, and it was such a prayer as might have been offered in any American church. It is so brief I quote it:

“‘We thank thee, O God, that by thy blessing those young men whom we sent abroad for study last year are doing their work well, and have, by thy grace, been kept in the right path. We are now met to bid farewell to a much larger number of our youths, who are shortly to leave these shores for study in distant foreign lands. We ask thy abundant blessing on them and humbly we beseech thee to protect them in their travels by sea and land, and to bring them all safely to their respective destinations. May they be diligent in their studies, obedient to their teachers, grateful to those by whose help they are being sent abroad, and blameless in their conduct. May the love and fear of God rule their hearts, and may they return to us and to those nearest and dearest to them in due course crowned with full success, and filled with an earnest desire to labor for the good of their country and their brethren. We commend them to thy gracious care as we now bid them a hearty farewell and beseech thee to help us all to live and work for the glory of thy name and the good of our fellow men, now and always.’”

This is certainly interesting as coming from a heathen. Mr. Bryan speaks of things that betray the greatest ignorance among those people, but this prayer indicates goodness and good understanding.

Clements and others of the fathers believed that God from time to time raised up among the heathen great moral heroes who were a great blessing to them, and who maintained exalted ideas of God and the duty of men to each other and to God. They held that God was so among the heathens as to justify the opinion that they are blest with salvation as other nations are. It is true that deep, dense ignorance prevails in many parts of heathendom, but the same is lamentably true in many parts of Christendom. How little do the masses in our own land know of the Bible. Consider the condition of things in Christianity from the rise of Popery to the end of the persecution. We find ignorance deep and dark in the history of Christianity, as well as in heathenism. It is certainly delightful to regard the reign of grace as operative in every nation. It is a liberal view and reasonable. Peter, at the house of Cornelius, said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Doubtless Peter believed that such people could be found in every land, and this was the opinion of Clements and many of the fathers. I have enjoyed this subject and the quotations made in these articles, and I hope that others have also enjoyed them.

I desire to mention the names of a few more heathen writers before concluding this subject. Socrates lived four hundred years before Christ. He was no doubt one of the wisest and best men of his time. He was Plato’s tutor who, later, was tutor of Aristotle. Socrates believed in the immortality of the soul and in a place of endless bliss. He was sentenced to death by the cruelty of the age, to be effected by poison. When the time of his execution came, he conversed delightfully with his friends about death, urging that the soul separated from the body is capable of greater knowledge, of greater understanding. That the body with its hunger, thirst, and other passions, can but be a hindrance to one in gaining knowledge. He said, “There is great hope that going whither I go I shall there be satisfied with that which has been the chief concern of you and me in the past of our lives.” “And now that the hour of departure is appointed, this is the hope with which I depart.” “Many a man has been willing to go to the world below in hope of seeing loved ones; and will he who is a true lover of wisdom, * * * will he not depart with joy?

* *  * When you see one repining at the approach of death, * * * is not this an evidence that he is a lover of the body * * * and of money or power or both?” Socrates reasoned about the immortality of the soul, that it lives after death in a happy world, where it expands in knowledge and understanding. I wish I had space to give his reasons for the immortality of the soul. He speaks of the soul “on her way to the good and wise God, whither, if God will, my soul is also soon to go.”

Again he said, “The soul, I say, herself invisible, departs to the invisible world—to the divine and immortal and rational, there she lives in bliss, and is released from error and folly of men, their fears and passions and all other human ills.”

One of the sweetest sentences he uttered was, “O, my friends, if the soul is really immortal, what care should be taken of her, not only in respect of this life, but with respect to eternity.” “The danger of neglecting her from this standpoint of view does appear to be awful.” “If death were to end all, the wicked would have a good bargain in dying, for they would be quit of their body and evil altogether, but as the soul is immortal, there is no release or salvation from evil, except the attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom.” He said, “I do not mean to affirm that the description which I have given is exactly true; a man of sense ought hardly to say that, but as the soul is plainly immortal, we may venture to think * * * that something of the kind is true.” “Let a man be of good cheer about his soul who has cast away the pleasures and ornaments of his body as alien to him, and hurtful in their effects * * * who has adorned his soul in her own proper jewels, which are temperance, justice, courage and truth.” “I have spoken many words to show that when I have drunk the poison I shall leave you and go to the joys of the blest.” “These words with which I comforted you and myself.” After this discourse he went into the bedchamber. One of his friends said, “He was like a father of whom we were being bereaved and we are about to pass the rest of our days as orphans.” He then spent a few minutes with his children and the women, comforting them and sent them away, that their outbursts of grief might not annoy him when he came to drink the poison. The jailer then came to him and he made a precious talk to him: “I know you to be the noblest, gentlest, and best of all who ever came here.” At the close of his address the jailer burst into tears and went out. Socrates said, “Let the cup be brought if the poison is prepared, if not, let the attendant prepare some. When the jailer came with the cup Socrates said, “Give directions how I am to proceed.” Socrates took the cup and in the gentlest manner drank it with no sign of fear or uneasiness. He said, “I must pray to the gods to prosper my journey from this to that other world.” The jailer told him to walk about the floor till his legs were heavy, then lie down and the poison would act. His friends wept around him and made great lamentation. Socrates said, “What is this outcry? I sent away the women that they should not offend in this way. I have heard that a man should die in peace; be quiet, then and have patience.” As death advanced he looked up at a friend and said, “I owe a debt to Asclepius: Will you remember to pay it?” His friend answered, “The debt shall be paid,” and so ended the life of Socrates.

There has been something among the heathen in all ages that enabled many of them to meet death with the sweetest courage and that inspired them to live beautiful lives. When we urge that no one can be saved unless he believes some particular dogma or unless he performs some particular duty, we certainly adopt a narrow view. I am convinced that God is able to save in all the earth, and his people shall be brought from every nation under heaven. The death of Socrates compares favorably with the death of men who have been steadfast believers in Christianity. I feel sure our Savior was his Savior, and the same precious Spirit that strengthened him “in the swellings of Jordan” also sustains us in the same. This view ascribes greatness to the Lord and not to man.
Let us feel sure that the Lord is able to carry on his work of salvation, and does it, in all nations and all ages.

 I think I have shown in this article that there is something among the heathen people that we may justly and scripturally call “religion.” Many of the fathers believed that the Spirit of God was among the heathen people, and that the work of salvation was among them. We find sublime ideas of God and reverence for him among the heathen. Our Bible supports the opinion that God is not without a witness of his own being in any country, and the history of the heathen world shows that in all ages there have been men in the heathen world that knew the true God and stood in awe before him, and that had love for their fellow men. “Nevertheless he left not himself without a witness, in that he did good and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Other scriptures might be cited that prove that nature is an open volume in which the being of God is seen and known. It is true that we must be blest with a spiritual understanding in order to see God in his works or in his word, but if the Holy Spirit is among the heathen, then it is not at all unreasonable to suppose that God is known even in the heathen world. Some expressions of Edwards’ writings, and also Gill’s, indicate that they held that God is not known only where the Bible is read, but this view is unscriptural, because there are many scriptures that prove the contrary.

The people of God were without a Bible the first two thousand years of the world’s history, and yet there were many godly persons, among whom were Enoch and Noah. All nations, even the lowest in Africa, know of the being of God; the Indians who first lived in our country, and the people of Polynesia and of Madagascar—all recognize the being of God. It seems that man was made a moral being; this moral nature is cast in his very mold. The moral nature of man is the chief distinction between man and the lower animals. God, in creation, gave to man a moral nature, and’ thus distinguished him from the brute. If man were born blind and deaf and dumb he would still possess a moral nature—-it is a part of his being. We also gain a knowledge of God from his works, and, no doubt, tradition has had something to do with this matter. In the writings of such men as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates before the coming of Christ, and Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius since the coming of Christ, we find the purest maxims of moral life, the highest ideas of God, and the most correct principles of justice among men—so much so that we must own that the Spirit that was in the divine writers was also in these men. To say this is not to undervalue the Scriptures, but it, is to “ascribe greatness to God” to a degree impossible while we limit all knowledge of God to those only who have read the Bible. Seneca was born a few years before Christ, and was put to death about the time of the death of the great apostle Paul. He was Nero’s tutor, and later incurred the displeasure of the tyrant and was sentenced to death. He was permitted by Nero to take his own life rather than have it taken by another. He opened the arteries in his wrists, but on account of his age his blood ran slowly and he took hemlock to hasten his death.

I will now give a few sentences from Seneca’s pen: “It is no advantage that conscience is shut within us; we lie open to God.” “Nothing is closed to God; he is present to our minds, and enters into our central thoughts.” “We must live as if in the sight of all men; we must think as though some one could gaze into our inmost breasts.” “God is near you; is within you.” “A sacred Spirit dwells within us, the observer of all our evil and our good; there is no good man without God.” “He who calls himself innocent does so with reference to a witness and not to his conscience.” “Riches the greatest source of trouble.”

It would be interesting to the reader to give many pages of Seneca’s words, but these are sufficient to show that he knew something of God and our relation to him—more than many who profess the Christian religion.

Epictetus was a slave bought by a Roman, and, finding that his slave was intelligent, he educated him, and he became a wise and great man. I will copy a few sentences from his pen. He was a youth when Nero was emperor of Rome, or rather at his death: “Preserve your just relation to other men; their misconduct does not affect your duties.” “Believe that the gods do all things well and then you need never murmur or complain.”

I forbear further quotations, but he certainly had sublime ideas of God and of justice among men.
Marcus Aurelius was emperor, beginning his reign about 162. I will give the reader a few of his sentences: “Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them or bear with them.” “The best revenge is not to become like the evil doer.” We would do well to remember this. “If any man has done wrong the harm is his own.” “But perhaps he has not done wrong.” He gave the following rules for life:

1. “Men were made for each other.”
2. “Invincible influences act upon men and mold their opinions and acts.”
3. “Sin is mainly error and ignorance.”
4. “We are not immaculate—often our abstinence from faults is due more to cowardice and a care of our reputation than to a freedom from a disposition to do wrong.”
5. “Our judgments are apt to be rash and premature.”
6. “When thou art much vexed consider that man’s life is only a moment, and after a short time we are all laid out dead.”
7. “No bad act of another can bring shame on us.”
8. “Our anger hurts us more than the evil acts of others themselves.”
9. “Benevolence is invincible, for what will the most violent man do to thee if thou continuest benevolent to him.”

Here are nine rules that deserve much study, and remember they came from a heathen. “Willingly give thyself up to fate, allowing her to spin thy thread into whatever thing she pleases.” “Why am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? See the plants, the birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees, all working together to put in order their parts of the universe, and should I make haste to do that which is according to nature?” One more: “Take me and cast me where thou wilt, for then I shall keep my divine part tranquil—content.”

It is interesting and comforting to read the meditations of Aurelius, and it impresses the mind that he knew something of the great Teacher: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.”

Many men among the heathens compare favorably with our greatest divines for noble ideas of our relation to each other and of God. It is well for us to reflect on the deep corruption that prevails all over Christendom. We find ten or fifteen saloons for every church in many of our cities. We find four-fifths of our people do not attend places of worship. We find ignorance of the Bible everywhere. We find our churches divided and often at war with each other. We are confronted on all sides with evidence of the awful power that sin wields in our Christian Land. We find our churches troubled with unworthy wretches who are a disgrace to the churches, and men who are seekers of ease, money, and pleasure often occupy our pulpits. In view of the facts that confront us we cannot say that our own country has been captured for Christ, and we can have but little hope of turning the heathen world for Christ while we have not succeeded in this at home.
A recent historian says of missionary operations in China: “The evidence of the fathers in their reports show that despite their unceasing efforts for the conversion of the Chinese, and although the numbers professing are large, it is a matter impossible to assert that one out of the thousands converted is a true Christian. The Chinese mind is so imbued with superstitious fancies, their reverence for the names of ancestors, their gross ignorance of subjects which are familiar to the foreign child from its infancy, all operate against the celestial being ever thoroughly converted.” These facts, and the fact that the masses of our own people are not touched by Christian influence, indicate the strength of the dominion of sin: “That as sin hath reigned unto death,” sin “reigns.” This is a tremendous sentence, but a true one. Sin reigns in all lands and among all people till the Lord God omnipotent breaks up its reign. We may well conclude that God’s work of salvation in any land is not dependent on human help or instrumentality.

I have given much time in preparing this article, and I hope it will interest our people. I love the idea that the work of grace is not dependent on men, and I feel confirmed in the opinion that God’s power to save is felt in all lands and among all people.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2006 )
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