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Christian Faith, Its Nature and Efficiency.

Christian Faith, Its Nature and Efficiency.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY WILLIAM H. H. MURRAY.



" In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood
and cried, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that beldxveth on me, as the Scripture hath saw, out of

HIS HEART SHALL, FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER." — John Vil. 87, 88.
BY WILLIAM H. H. MURRAY.



" In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood
and cried, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that beldxveth on me, as the Scripture hath saw, out of

HIS HEART SHALL, FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER." — John Vil. 87, 88.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 21, 2013
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CHRISTIA FAITH, ITS ATURE AD EFFICIECY.BY WILLIAM H. H. MURRAY." In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stoodand cried, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.He that beldxveth on me, as the Scripture hath saw, out of HIS HEART SHALL, FLOW RIVERS OF LIVIG WATER." — JohnVil. 87, 88.YOLTAIRE said that "man was a religiousanimal." The infidel spoke truth for once, atleast so far as he affirmed the presence of religioustendencies in man; for it is undeniable that thehuman mind has its adaptations for spiritual exercise.It has spiritual longings and needs. o immortalbeing can keep his aspirations within the strictlimits of a mortal life. His thoughts and feelingsbreak over, and range widely on all sides. Likeanother Columbus, he believes in the existence of aworld he cannot see. In reason he has demonstratedit. Day and night, his hope stands upon the look-out until that undiscovered country shall heave insight. Ever and anon, a scented shrub upon thetide, a faint suggestion of fragrance in the air, or theflash of cyigaspn wings &?9Ugh the mist, tells him89Digitized by VjOOQlC40 CHRISTIA FAITH :
 
that he has almost come to the mysterious continenttoward which he has so long sailed. When, there-fore, I speak in explanation of the principles of reli-gion, I speak of a subject in which you are allinterested. We may not think alike ; but every onemust have some faith concerning the future. Thatperson, with fair mental capacity, that is not curiousas to it, who does not often assault it with sharp in-terrogations, is a marvel of intellectual lethargy ; fordeath must either be the grandest triumph, or theworst catastrophe, of a man's life.So, as I said, we are all alike interested in thismatter. We all have a mutual interest in knowing just where we stand, and what we need. If there isthirst within us, where can it be quenched? If there is danger ahead, how can it be avoided ?ow, friends, there is this peculiarity about thereligion of Christ as held by the evangelical church-es, which must recommend it to every honest andearnest seeker after truth : it is a positive religion, — positive in its principles, definitions, and explanations.If a man comes to me, saying, " What must I do tobe saved ? " I can tell him. If he inquires, " Why doI need to be saved ? " I can tell him that. I do notspeculate. I do not theorize. I do not amuse himby telling him what is not true. I tell him simplywhat is true. This is a great gain to start with.And all those preachers who are striving to build upa church on negation will find their labors vain. Theage in which we live admires construction more thandemolition. He who builds up, and not he thatDigitized by VjOOQlC
 
ITS ATURE AD EFFICIECY. 41pulls down, will invariably win the suffrage of thepeople. But the Christian religion is not only posi-tive ; it not only builds a person up in knowledge andgoodness, but it does it by a process and in a waypeculiar to itself. The mode of its operation isunlike that of any other force known in the realm of morals.There has never been a time, perhaps, in whichefforts were not made to better men ; in which, atleast, men did not speculate how to better themselves.The problems in morals have been as numerous andas closely contested as the problems of science. But,while countless methods have been suggested where-by man might be developed and ennobled, no unin-spired writer ever hit upon the plan adopted in theBible. The idea that the forces to purify and elevateman were to be found in man ; that the beauty of manhood, like that of a flower, should be but theunfolding of a germ divinely planted in the heart ;that the richest maxims of morality should be provedsterile beside the germinant and germinating qualitiessowed broadcast in the nature by the Spirit, — this, Isay, was never dreamed of prior to the coming of Christ. Here we behold the broad line of demarca-tion which divides all philosophies from the religionof the ew Testament; and, that all of you mayhave it well impressed on your minds, we will pauseat this point a moment to examine it.You have often seen a tree crooked and stubby inits trunk, gnarled and contorted in its branches, andevery bough scarred with unsightly warts. It is aston*Digitized by VjOOQlC

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