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Spiritual Naturalization

Spiritual Naturalization

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Published by glennpease
BY Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D.


"Giying thanks unto the Father which hath made ns
meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of
light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."
— Col. i. 12, 13.
BY Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D.


"Giying thanks unto the Father which hath made ns
meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of
light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."
— Col. i. 12, 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 11, 2014
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SPIRITUAL ATURALIZATIO BY Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D."Giying thanks unto the Father which hath made ns meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."  — Col. i. 12, 13. THE Bible picture of human life is full of -*- dramatic power. It is that of an intelli- gent, hoping, aspiring, deathless soul, either struggling with spiritual enemies mighty in power and terrible in malignity, or held in the grasp of these evil forces a helpless slave. An immortal spirit winged with faith and hope, lured upward by white-winged seraphs, or tempted downward by dark demons from the pit. There is an old picture of a scene in ancient Babylon. It is the " Chariot Race." It is a strange scene. There are chariots of brass, chariots of silver, chariots of iron, chariots of gold, all in one mad rush for the mastery. Excited, half- crazed charioteers lean forward in their chariots and lash the already frenzied steeds to a still wilder pace. Here and there is a broken chariot, a fallen steed, an overthrown driver crushed. 110 THE people's CHRIST bleeding, and dying, in the dust and dSlris of the wild arena. But the charioteers pay no heed to these, but rush by with the speed of the wind and the awful frenzy of the demon. There is in this some suggestion of the Bible picture of human life. Immortal, never-dying souls, full of hope, full of ambition, in their chariots — some of brass, some of silver, some of iron, some of gold — are making the one breathless race of life from the cradle to the grave. And to add intensity to the picture, the
 
curtain is drawn aside, and we are permitted to see that the whole spiritual universe is inter- ested in, and taking part in, this whirling, rush- ing tide of human souls. That which we see outwardly of race and struggle is only a faint picture of the inward conflict that is going on in the great heart of humanity. The critical passages of a man's life are not the outward happenings, but the inward, invisible, unjournalized, unspoken experiences through which the heart passes. Victor Hugo, in drawing his greatest character in fiction, Jean Val jean, says : " There is a spectacle grander than the sky, it is the interior of the soul. Conscience," he declares, "is the chaos of chi- meras, envies, and attempts, the furnace of dreams, the lurking place of ideas we are ashamed of ; it is the pandemonium of sophistry, SPIEITUAL ATURALIZATIO 111 the battle-field of the passions. At certain hours look through the livid face of a reflecting man ; look into his soul, peer into the darkness. Be- neath the external silence, combats of giants are going on there, such as we read of in Homer ; mSlSes of dragons and hydras, and clouds of phantoms such as we find in Milton. A glori- ous thing is the infinitude which every man bears within him, and by which he desperately measures the volitions of his brain and the actions of his life." Paul paints the same pict- ure with a few simple but skilful touches when he says to the Ephesians: "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." The Bible picture we have before us is like this, and comprehends the epochs of that race from the deliverance of the soul by the grace of God out of the grip of the power of darkness, on to that final epoch
 
of the good man's history when he shall enter into the inheritance of the saints in light. It begins in darkness, and ends in fadeless light. We have first a memorable deliverance. " Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness." 112 THE PEOPLB'S CHBIST There can be no doubt but that the plain, simple teacliing of the Bible is that the world, the flesh, and the devil, with all their troop of passions, appetites, and habits, bind the natural man in chains of bondage. It is not taught that men and women are as wicked as they might be, or as they may become; but it is taught that the only way of salvation for any human soul lies in divine deliverance from the grasp of the power of darkness. There is no other door into the fold of Christ except that one of entire cleansing from sin. If the butcher have a tainted spot in his quarter of beef, the only possible chance to save that which is good, even with the strongest preserva- tives, is the sharp knife that cuts out that which is already spoiled. So we are taught that sin is not a salvable article in God's universe, — it must be utterly separated from it. It is not enough that we simply cease to sin, and begin in the future to do well ; we must be cleansed from the sins of the past, we must be delivered from the power of darkness. David tried that method of simply keeping silent about his past sins ; he tried, as many do to-day, to simply hush up and cover up his sins. I kept silence^ he says. But underneath that silence his very bones roared. He could not get rid of sin by simply keeping silent ; there it SPIBITUAL ATURALIZATIO 118

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