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The Old Question

The Old Question

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Published by glennpease
BY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D.


"and as JESUS PASSKD BY, HE SAW A MAN WHICH WAS BLIND FROM HIS BIRTH, AND HIS DIS-
CIPLES ASKED HIM, SAVING, MASTER, WHO DID SIN, THIS MAN OR HIS PARENTS, THAT HE
WAS BORN BLIND?" JOHN, IX. I, 2.
BY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D.


"and as JESUS PASSKD BY, HE SAW A MAN WHICH WAS BLIND FROM HIS BIRTH, AND HIS DIS-
CIPLES ASKED HIM, SAVING, MASTER, WHO DID SIN, THIS MAN OR HIS PARENTS, THAT HE
WAS BORN BLIND?" JOHN, IX. I, 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 14, 2014
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THE OLD QUESTIONBY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D. "and as JESUS PASSKD BY, HE SAW A MAN WHICH WAS BLIND FROM HIS BIRTH, AND HIS DIS-CIPLES ASKED HIM, SAVING, MASTER, WHO DID SIN, THIS MAN OR HIS PARENTS, THAT HE WAS BORN BLIND?" JOHN, IX. I, 2. This opening of the morning lesson, my breth-ren, brings us squarely up to the old problem, of the existence of pain in the universe of the good God. From the beginning of sorrow in the world this would naturally be a question with all minds that thoughtfully contemplated the phenomena of life. It connects itself with all the subtleties of thought, all the operations of God, and all the flow of *.he stream of human existence. He would be a brave man who, even now, after cen-
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turies of observation and investigation, should dare to announce himself equal to the solution of this problem of the ages. That man is not before you to-day. Nevertheless, it is my duty to gather from the case in the text and the com-ments of our blessed Saviour what lessons may be learned for our edification and comfort. To begin : First of all, given the terms " God " and '¦' good," men would naturally suppose that if there be a Supreme Personal Existence who created the Universe with its organic and inor-ganic creatures, and the forces which play upon those creatures, having the sagacity to contrive and the power to create these things and those forces, and put them on an adjustment, the in-tent must have been good, and the result must be beneficial. All rational conceptions of God assign to Him every conceivable excellency in all conceivable perfection. Any denial of either is not simply derogatory of His character, but absolutely destructive to any reasonable concept of the Supreme Creator and Governor of intelli-gent, moral, accountable creatures. So we may
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settle that as an immovable and incontrovertible proposition. Whatever fancy, thought, or course of reasoning collides with that proposition must go to pieces. God is good and doeth only good, forever and ever. A inen . Now we come down among men and things. Whatever beauties and glories there may be in the physical universe, whatever excellent facul-ties and powers of enj'oyment there may be in man, we see in all ages, in all conditions, in all places, multiplied instances of great privation and positive suffering. All society shows, all literature reports, all science investigates, all social and civil arrangements acknowledge, the existence of pain, want, distress among men. There is pain of the body, distress of the mind, anguish of the soul — a cry, a wail, a shriek, driv-ing their discords into all the rhythm of the music of the spheres, into all the melodies of the sounds of nature, into all the joyousness of
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