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Pure Religion

Pure Religion

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. E. Denton.

There are a great many varities of relig-
ion; so many that I could not begin to name
them all; and some of them so mysterious
that I could not understand or explain them.
BY J. E. Denton.

There are a great many varities of relig-
ion; so many that I could not begin to name
them all; and some of them so mysterious
that I could not understand or explain them.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 29, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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PURE RELIGIOBY J. E. Denton. There are a great many varities of relig- ion; so many that I could not begin to name them all; and some of them so mysterious that I could not understand or explain them. When I was a very young preacher, a pious old man asked me if I believed in "ex- perimental religion." I was humiliated that I did not know what he meant by "experi- mental religion," but since I have found out that nobody else knows I do not feel so badly about it. That was in the days when people tried to "get religion" and when any kind of experiment was justified if the seeker suc- ceeded in "getting through." Then, a com- mon question was, ''Are you enjoying re- ligion?" ow, as some one has facetiously remarked, the question is "How do other peo- ple enjoy it?" How does your wife, or moth- er-in-law, or neighbor enjoy your religion? How do your clerks, employees or political opponents enjoy it? I like the expression "e^7ery-day religion". It sounds practical and business-like. It is a rebuke to Sunday religion, or any other religion that is like a beautiful cloak, worn only on great occasions and then laid aside for safe keeping. "Ev- 304 DOCTRIE AD LIFE ery-day religion" is not much different from our subject — ''Pure Religion." James says, "Pure religion and undefiled
 
before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world." There are three words in the orig- inal that are translated "pure" in the ew Testament: One means virtuous; another means sincere; and the other means clean. The third is the word James uses— clean re- ligion, that is not filthy; not diseased, but un- defiled, unspotted. There is a great deal of spotted religion in the world. People who are religious in one community, but who cease to be so when they move to another, have rea- son to be very suspicious of themselves. A certain lady brought a church letter from the East Vut failed to identify herself with the Lord's people in her western home. Years afterward her little boy came across her let- ter and read it, and then excitedly announced: "Oh, Mamma, I found your religion in your trunk upstairs." It is needless to say that her religion was old, spotted, faded, yellow and mouse-eaten. There are some people who are very re- ligious at church but no where else. They have experienced a change of heart, so they say, but they have not experienaed a change of home-life and business conduct. They are only converted in spots. A religion that con- BY IOWA WRITERS. 305 sists of Sunday-white-wash and is neglected for six days of the week, gets very spotted and unhealthy. A religion only in force one day in seven is not even one-seventh pure. A young man who went west as a professed
 
Christian was asked on his return a couple of years later, "How did you get along with your religion out there?" "Oh, first rate," he said, "obody ever suspected that I was a Christian." Christ said, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23.) Ac- cording to that definition, the young man was not a follower of Christ at all. The require- ment was not to take up the cross weekly, monthly, yearly, occasionally, or semi-occa- sionally, but "daily." That is every-day relig- ion. There is another scripture that brings out this same feature in a difierent way: "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord" — not what you do on Sunday, but whatever you do on any day of the week. The distinction between secular and sacred is a device of Satan. All duties are sacred. Plowing corn is just as sacred as preaching the gospel. An anvil may be consecrated or a puipit desecrated. In many minds religion has been chiefly associated with sick beds and grave yards, and the great question has been, "How did he die?" Gar- field set us a good example when he informed the priest who wanted to pray with him to 306 DOCTRIE AD LIFE prepare him for death, that he did not need his assistance. He had made his preparation in life like the good Scotchman who, when dy- ing, declined the offer of his daughter to read and pray with him: "o, daughter, I hare thatched the roof in fair weather. I do not need to work in a storm."

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