A Minister’s True Calling…

XIR23264 Martin Luther’s Sermon, detail from a triptych, 1547 (oil on panel) by Cranach, Lucas, the Elder (1472-1553); Church of St.Marien, Wittenberg, Germany; Giraudon; German, out of copyright
Just after Luther’s death, Lucas Cranach created this beautiful painting. Katharina Von Bora, the wife of Luther, and Cranach himself are in the picture. This image captures beautifully the essence of Luther’s preaching – as it should characterize every minister’s ministry.
Luther is in the pulpit, the Bible is opened before him, and his finger pointing to the text. Where is his other finger pointing? To Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
The minister isn’t the celebrity in this photo. Notice how men, women, and children are looking, not at Luther, but at Christ – the message which he is preaching. Luther is pointing them to Christ and they are enthralled with Christ.
The message of Christ both saves and transforms the world (1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Romans 5:18-19, Colossians 1:13-20). Luther believed, and rightly so, that the Word of God is living. It is God speaking to humanity. The Word of God transforms individuals and communities.
Look to Jesus Christ, crucified, buried, risen, and ascended! He is the Savior of All Mankind! 

The Meaning of God and Lord

The Meaning of the Titles God and Lord 
God is Good

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The Bible begins by introducing us to God. What comes to mind when you hear the word, God? Are you happy? Scared? Indifferent?

What does God mean? According to Noah Webster in his 1828 dictionary, God and good are written the same in the Saxon language. This leads some to infer that God was named, in the English language, from his goodness. God is good.

Adam Clarke wrote, “Many attempts have been made to define the term God: as to the word itself, it is pure Anglo-Saxon, and among our ancestors signified, not only the Divine Being, now commonly designated by the word, but also good; as in their apprehensions it appeared that God and good were correlative terms; and when they thought or spoke of him, they were doubtless led from the word itself to consider him as The Good Being, a fountain of infinite benevolence and beneficence towards his creatures.”

Among cultures that worshiped different gods than the God of the Bible, Webster notes that the name of those Supreme Beings were taken from his, her, or their supremacy and power. Their names were equivalent with a concept that signifies the exertion of force. These gods considered mankind a mere plaything and desired no enjoyable union with them – they just wanted mankind to submit. The gods were presented as requiring from man acts of worship, some of them vile and violent, in order to win the gods’ favor.

The God of the Bible, however, is completely different. He is the creator of mankind and his environment. Both mankind and his environment are the objects of God’s affection. “God hates nothing He has made, and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable.”

God is powerful, to be sure. God is just, to be sure. But his power and justice are directed toward the ultimate good of mankind.

John’s gospel reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave…” I didn’t finish that verse for a reason. I want you to ponder this. “For God so loved the world that He gave.” God is love. God is a giver. Love is defined by giving, and God is the greatest giver of all.

I asked you in the beginning what comes to mind when you hear the word, God? I hope you can say with joy, God is Good.

The LORD is the Giver of Bread
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens…”

What comes to mind when you hear the word LORD?
Adam Clark writes, “The word יהוה Yehweh is for the first time mentioned here. Wherever this word occurs in the sacred writings we translate it Lord, which word is, through respect and reverence, always printed in capitals. Though our English term Lord does not give the particular meaning of the original word, yet it conveys a strong and noble sense. Lord is a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon, Hlaford, afterwards written Loverd, and lastly Lord, from bread ; hence our word loaf, and ford, to supply, to give out. The word, therefore, implies the giver of bread, i.e., he who deals out all the necessaries of life. Our ancient English noblemen were accustomed to keep a continual open house, where all their vassals, and all strangers, had full liberty to enter and eat as much as they would; and hence those noblemen had the honorable name of lords, i.e., the dispensers of bread. There are about three of the ancient nobility who still keep up this honorable custom, from which the very name of their nobility is derived. We have already seen, Genesis 1:1, with what judgment our Saxon ancestors expressed Deus, the Supreme Being, by the term God; and we see the same judgment consulted by their use of the term Lord to express the word Dominus, by which terms the Vulgate version, which they used, expresses Elohim and Jehovah, which we translate Lord God. God is the good Being, and Lord is the dispenser of bread, the giver of every good and perfect gift, who liberally affords the bread that perisheth to every man, and has amply provided the bread that endures unto eternal life for every human soul. With what propriety then does this word apply to the Lord Jesus, who is emphatically called the bread of life; the bread of God which cometh down from heaven, and which is given for the life of the world! John 6:33, John 6:48, John 6:51. What a pity that this most impressive and instructive meaning of a word in such general use were not more extensively known, and more particularly regarded!”

The Online Etymology Dictionary confirms this meaning: mid-13c., laverd, loverd, from Old English hlaford “master of a household, ruler, feudal lord, superior; husband,” also “God,” translating Latin dominus, Greek kyrios in the New Testament, Hebrew yahweh in the Old (though Old English dryhten was more frequent). Old English hlaford is a contraction of earlier hlafweard, literally “one who guards the loaves,” from hlaf “bread, loaf”.

I asked you in the beginning what comes to mind when you hear the word, LORD? I hope you can say with joy, the LORD is the great giver who gives me everything I need both now and forever.

Let us adore our Good and Giving Creator and Redeemer!

Romans Five’s Account Of Our Successful Savior

Romans Five’s Account Of Our #SuccessfulSavior
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:12,18
One commentator says this regarding verse twelve. “The consequences of Christ’s obedience extend as far as the consequences of Adam’s disobedience. The consequences of Adam’s disobedience extend to all mankind; and therefore, so do the consequences of Christ’s obedience. Now, if the Jews will not allow the Gentiles any interest in Abraham, as not being naturally descended from him, yet they must own that the Gentiles are the descendants of Adam, as well as themselves; and being all equally involved in the consequences of his sin, from which…they shall all equally be released at the resurrection, through the free gift of God, therefore they could not deny the Gentiles a share in all the other blessings included in the same gift.”
Adam Clarke says this regarding verse eighteen. “This is evidently an elliptical sentence, and its full meaning can be gathered only from the context. He who had no particular purpose to serve would, most probably, understand it, from the context, thus: – Therefore, as by one sin all men came into condemnation; so also by one righteous act all men came unto justification of life: which is more fully expressed in the following verse. Now, leaving all particular creeds out of the question, and taking in the scope of the apostle’s reasoning in this and the preceding chapter, is not the sense evidently this? – Through the disobedience of Adam, a sentence of condemnation to death, without any promise or hope of a resurrection, passed upon all men; so, by the obedience of Christ unto death, this one grand righteous act, the sentence was so far reversed, that death shall not finally triumph, for all shall again be restored to life. Justice must have its due; and therefore all must die. The mercy of God, in Christ Jesus, shall have its due also; and therefore all shall be put into a salvable state here, and the whole human race shall be raised to life at the great day. Thus both justice and mercy are magnified; and neither is exalted at the expense of the other.”

The Special Salvation of Believers

The Apostle Paul wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Notice that Paul does not say that God is the Savior exclusively of believers, but especially of believers. All mankind will be saved, but believers have something special. What does that mean? Here is an explanation written by Phil Scranton.

The Special Salvation of Believers – By Phil Scranton

“This a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.  For, therefore, we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Tim. 4:9, 10). 

One of the most common objections to the teaching that all will ultimately be saved is that it makes believing in Christ in the present pointless.  If everyone is going to be saved, then why believe, why preach the gospel, why try to live a good life for God?  These questions show that the salvation enjoyed by believers today is not understood.  Many people today think their salvation is the key to an escape from hell to an eternal state of bliss.  That is not what it is.  Believers will be raised from death, or changed while still alive, into a condition of immortality.  They will no longer be subject to death.  In this immortal condition they will live during the coming ages of the kingdom, and participate in kingdom rule.  That is their special salvation.  And in the final times of God’s plan of the ages, the believers will be the ones who lead the unbelieving into peace with God.

Eonian life (not eternal life) is the life of the coming kingdom ages.  It is a life enjoyed by believers in which they will live to see the ills of this world corrected and the world come under subjection to Jesus Christ.  Paul was speaking of this time when he wrote to the Romans: “For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God…Because the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom 8:19, 21, 22).

Creation has a premonition of deliverance through those who, by believing now, become the sons of God.  And it is in the revelation of glorified believers that the unbelieving will come to salvation.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he prayed for them to come to a realization of God, the Father of glory, by realizing three things (Eph. 1:18, 19): (1) the hope, or expectation of God’s calling; (2) the gloriously rich enjoyment of God’s allotment among the saints; and, (3) the exceeding greatness of God’s power for believers.  The first of these, God’s calling of believers, is that they would be His sons (Eph. 1:3-6).  The second request is to realize how glorious it will be to have God in us and among us in the coming ages as we bring all the heavens and earth under the headship of Christ and in submission to Him (Eph. 1:6-12).  The third request was to grasp the greatness of God’s power for believers.  This Paul refers to in verses 19 of chapter 1.  Then he gives the example of God’s power operating in Christ as it will be when all the universe comes under His feet (1:20-23).  Then Paul delineates how the display of God’s power in Christ will be fulfilled in believers also in 2:5-10.

The special salvation of believers today is: (1) to become sons of God; (2) to be the administrators through whom God will work in the coming ages to bring all under the headship of Christ; and, (3) to become the powerful actors through whom God will accomplish His purpose.  Believers are not saved to sit and blissfully twiddle their thumbs.  Believers are saved to save the universe by God working through them.

—Additional Testimony

Thank you Mr. Scranton. If I may add additional testimony to his words from Rev. I. D. Williamson: 

“It is often remarked by those who oppose the doctrine of universal salvation, that if God is the Savior of all men, then there is no difference between the saint and the sinner, the believer and unbeliever. Those who make this remark, seem to forget, that while God is declared to be the Savior of all men, he is also said to be ESPECIALLY the Savior of the believer. Though it is true, that God is the Savior of all, yet a little more attention would teach you, that all along, in Scripture, there is a salvation held forth as the SPECIAL PROPERTY of the believer, in which the unbeliever can have no part or lot. Though all shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, yet the believer ALONE can enjoy this special salvation.”

The Nature of Salvation, 1840

The Credibility of the Four Gospels

The Credibility of the Four Gospels – By Phillip Schaff (Edited by Daniel Sheridan – Twitter: @DanielWSheridan) 

Christianity brings joy and peace from heaven to earth. The New Testament opens with the gospel, that is with the authentic record of the history of all histories, the glad tidings of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The four canonical Gospels are only variations of the same theme, a fourfold representation of one and the same gospel, animated by the same spirit. They are not full biographies, but only memoirs or a selection of characteristic features of Christ’s life and work as they struck each Evangelist and best suited his purpose and his class of readers. They are not photographs which give only the momentary image in a single attitude, but living pictures from repeated sittings, and reproduce the varied expressions and aspects of Christ’s person.
The style is natural, unadorned, straightforward, and objective. Their artless and naïve simplicity resembles the earliest historic records in the Old Testament, and has its peculiar and abiding charm for all classes of people and all degrees of culture. The authors, in noble modesty and self-forgetfulness, suppress their personal views and feelings, retire in worshipful silence before their great subject, and strive to set it forth in all its own unaided power.
The Gospels have their common source in the personal intercourse of two of the writers with Christ, and in the oral tradition of the apostles and other eye-witnesses. Plain fishermen of Galilee could not have drawn such a portrait of Jesus if he had not sat for it. It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus. They did not create the divine original, but they faithfully preserved and reproduced it.
The symbolical poesy of the church compares them with the four rivers of Paradise, and with the four cherubic representatives of the creation, assigning the man to Matthew, the lion to Mark, the ox to Luke, and the eagle to John.
The Gospels make upon every unsophisticated reader the impression of absolute honesty. They tell the story without rhetorical embellishment, without any exclamation of surprise or admiration, without note and comment. They frankly record the weaknesses and failings of the disciples, including themselves, the rebukes which their Master administered to them for their carnal misunderstandings and want of faith, their cowardice and desertion in the most trying hour, their utter despondency after the crucifixion, the ambitious request of John and James, the denial of Peter, the treason of Judas. They dwell even with circumstantial minuteness upon the great sin of the leader of the Twelve, especially the Gospel of Mark, who derived his details no doubt from Peter’s own lips. They conceal nothing, they apologize for nothing, they exaggerate nothing.
Their authors are utterly unconcerned about their own fame, and withhold their own name; their sole object is to tell the story of Jesus, which carries its own irresistible force and charm to the heart of every truth-loving reader. The very “discrepancies” in minor details increase confidence and exclude the suspicion of collusion; for it is a generally acknowledged principle in legal evidence that circumstantial variation in the testimony of witnesses confirms their substantial agreement. There is no historical work of ancient times which carries on its very face such a seal of truthfulness as these Gospels.
The credibility of the canonical Gospels receives also negative confirmation from the numerous apocryphal Gospels which by their immeasurable inferiority and childishness prove the utter inability of the human imagination, whether orthodox or heterodox, to produce such a character as the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
No post-apostolic writers could have composed the canonical Gospels, and the apostles themselves could not have composed them without the inspiration of the spirit of Christ.
***The first picture is from the Book of Kells. These are the symbols of the Four Evangelists (Clockwise from top left): a man (Matthew), a lion (Mark), an eagle (John) and an ox (Luke).
***The second picture is a list of parallel passages in the four gospels from the famous Lindisfarne Gospels. This manuscript was written and decorated at the end of the 7th century by the monk Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698 and died in 721.

A Universalist Minster Writes To George Washington

From Elhanan Winchester to George Washington

London August 15. 1791.

Dear and most renowned of men,

I send you with this a sett of my Lectures upon the prophecies that remain to be fulfilled; which I present to you as a small token of that sincere respect which I, among many millions of the human race, feel towards the deliverer of my Country, and the friend of mankind. I have mentioned your name and Character with the highest respect in this work (see vol. IV. page 390) in a connexion that will be no disgrace to your very exalted merit.

It has pleased the Great Supreme, the Sovereign of the Universe, to raise you to the greatest dignity that any Man on earth enjoys at present; the happiness of presiding over a free and united people, the object of their free unbiased Choice. You do not only preside over them, but like him whom you so much resemble, you rule in their hearts, and feel in yourself the sublime pleasure of making a considerable portion of mankind happy.

I believe firmly that the blessed period will at last arrive when the glorious Redeemer shall subdue, humble and restore all his Creatures; when every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue shall swear allegiance to his name and Government and confess him to be Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. When the morning Stars shall sing together, and all the sons of God shall shout for joy! When the Whole Creation shall be delivered from the bondage of Corruption, into the glorious liberty of the Children of God. These are the sentiments which you will find dispersed in the volumes before you; they have been well received in this Country, and I hope will not be altogether unacceptable in my native Land.

May the blessings of God attend you all your days, and when you shall be called to depart from this mortal stage, whereon you have acted such a glorious and conspicuous part, may you have the Approbation of the Great Judge of all, and in the bright and blooming morning of the resurrection be raised in the likeness of your Saviour, and receive from his hand a Crown of righteousness, life, and Glory, which shall never fade away.

This is, Most Respected Sir, the sincere wish, of your most Humble servant – Elhanan Winchester

An Acrostic about George Washington by Elhanan Winchester, Universalist Minister  
George Washington President Of The United States Of North America

REAT man of merit, influence and might,
Endu’d by Heav’n with truth and wisdom’s light,
On this return of thy auspicious day,
Receive the tribute of my humble lay ;
Gen’ral, Dictator, Ruler, Patriot, Friend,

Enjoy thy country’s honours to the end.

When God Almighty gave creation birth,
And laid the firm foundations of the earth,
Settled the laws which all his works obey,
He saw, and he appointed thee thy sway ;
In that choice land where freedom first arose,
Nor fear’d, nor fell before her numerous foes ;
Gave an example which shall always shine ;
There wast thou born, fair freedom’s land is thine.
On thee hath Heav’n caus’d glory to descend,
Nor will it fail to crown thy happy end.

Preserve, O Lord, a life to man so dear,
Regard that chief, who doth thy laws revere,
Enthron’d within our hearts, he rules by love,
Supremely favour’d by the God above ;
In him, with joy and wonder we behold,
Disinterested love, contempt of gold ;
Engag’d his country’s welfare to pursue,
Now are its highest honours all his due
There let them rest, nor envy dare to view.

Of all his toils, America to raise
Friends of true greatness, all will give him praise.

The wond’rous man who wielded sword and pen,
How great a benefactor he hath been !
Endear’d his name to all his countrymen. 

United in himself at once we view,
Nice judgment, prudence, patience, valour too ;
In his fam’d character, at one we find,
Those virtues which are sing’lar in mankind,
Engaging mildness, join’d with martial skill,
Determin’d resolution to fulfill ; 

Serious devotion, and benevolence,
Truth, probity, sincerity, good sense ;
Alike prepar’d for closet, cabinet, field,
The same in war or peace, his country’s shield.
Enjoy, O favour’d land ! this blessing lent ;
Such is GEORGE WASHINGTON, your President. 

O land of freedom, plenty, happiness,
Forever may the Lord thy dwelling bless : 

Newly discover’d land, where freedom reigns,
Over thy hills and vales, and fertile plains,
Revere and love the God who made you free,
That rais’d a Champion for your Liberty,
Happy, O land, in such a Chief as he. 

Awake my noblest strains, and hail the day,
My heart is warm, and all my words obey ;
Enchanted, I could dwell upon the song,
Rich with enliv’ning scenes ; a glorious throng !
In that delightful country, we may find
Comely religion with fair freedom join’d,
And every blessing that can bless mankind.

How To “Defend” The Doctrine Of A Successful Savior

The Salvation Of All – By Daniel Sheridan  #SuccessfulSavior #Bible #Love #Joy #Peace
The best defense of the doctrine of the salvation of all is the doctrine itself. There are those who feel their job in life is to “defend” doctrine through dispute. They tear down others, arrogantly pretend they are ordained by God to be His “champion,” and seem to take a great delight ripping into their “enemies.” I must confess, I used to feel that way myself. This manner of “defense,” however, is completely out of character with the principles of the message itself.
—Kittens Defending Lions
People who think their job is to “defend the faith” are like little kittens guarding a caged lion. In my case it dawned on my one day how dumb that was. A kitten defending a lion? So I let the lion out of the cage to defend himself. “Church Father” Origen was asked to refute the pagan Greek philosopher Celsus who used philosophy to try to discredit Christianity. He responded as follows:
“When false witnesses testified against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He remained silent, and when unfounded charges were brought against him, he returned no answer. Believing that his whole life and conduct among the Jews were a better refutation than any answer to the false testimony, or than any formal defence against the accusations. And I know not, my pious Ambrosius, why you wished me to write a reply to the false charges brought by Celsus against the Christians, and to his accusations directed against the faith of the Churches in his treatise. As if the facts themselves did not furnish a manifest refutation, and the doctrine a better answer than any writing, seeing it both disposes of the false statements, and does not leave to the accusations any credibility or validity.” Origen contra Celsum, 248 A.D.
The facts we proclaim are the caged lion. Don’t worry about defending it, just let it out and it will defend itself. But always remember, let us, like our Lord, adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. The combination of the glad message held by a good person are irrefutable proofs of the truths of the message. Let’s take a look at our caged lion:
—The Message
“A partial salvation is not possible, for Christ redeems, not individual men, but mankind; not human beings severally, but humanity. Christ has nothing to do with a part of our race. As the second ADAM, He sums up in Himself and saves the human race, ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ Christ, I repeat, in His Incarnation deals not with the units of our race, but with the race itself as the unit.”
“With all earnestness, I repeat that our choice lies between accepting the victory of Christ or of evil, and between these alternatives only. Escape from this dilemma there is none. It avails nothing to diminish, as many now teach, the number of the lost; or to assert that they will be finally annihilated. All such modifications leave quite untouched the central difficulty of the popular creed – the triumph of evil. Sin for ever present with its taint, even in a single instance, is sin triumphant. Sin, which God has been unable to remove (and has had no resource but to annihilate the sinner) is sin triumphant and death victorious.”
“To teach unending sin in hell, even in a solitary instance, and under any conceivable modification, is to teach the victory of evil. To us this seems at once a libel on God and an untruth — a libel because it imputes to God a final acquiescence in sin; an untruth, because it teaches that His Omnipotence breaks down at the very moment it is most needed, and that His Love and Purity can rest with absolute complacency, while pain and evil riot and rot forever.”
—Indisputable Facts
Now who can argue with that? What kitten needs to guard that lion? Christ is Triumphant! This doctrine is a “better answer than any writing, seeing it both disposes of the false statements” of those who oppose, “and does not leave to the accusations any credibility or validity.”
Jesus Christ is a Successful Savior!

Christ Triumphant!

The following are excerpts from the works of Thomas Allin:
A partial salvation is not possible, for Christ redeems, not individual men, but mankind; not human beings severally, but humanity. Christ has nothing to do with a part of our race. As the second ADAM, He sums up in Himself and saves the human race, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Christ, I repeat, in His Incarnation deals now with the unites of our race, but with the race itself as a unit.
With all earnestness, I repeat that our choice lies between accepting the victory of Christ or of evil, and between these alternatives only. Escape from this dilemma there is none. It avails nothing to diminish, as many now teach, the number of the lost; or to assert that they will be finally annihilated. All such modifications leave quite untouched the central difficulty of the popular creed – the triumph of evil. Sin for ever present with its taint, even in a single instance, is sin triumphant. Sin, which God has been unable to remove (and has had no resource but to annihilate the sinner) is sin triumphant and death victorious.
Few things have so hindered the spread of the larger hope as the wholly and absolutely groundless notion that it implies an inadequate sense of sin, and pictures God as a weakly indulgent Being, careless of holiness, provided the happiness of His creatures is assured. In fact, it is those who teach the popular creed (belief), and not we, who make light of sin. To teach unending sin in hell, even in a solitary instance, and under any conceivable modification, is to teach the victory of evil. To us this seems at once a libel on God and an untruth — a libel because it imputes to God a final acquiescence in sin; an untruth, because it teaches that His Omnipotence breaks down at the very moment it is most needed, and that His Love and Purity can rest with absolute complacency, while pain and evil riot and rot forever.
Christ is Triumphant! Jesus Christ is a Successful Savior!

What Restores The World?

The world was ruined by human selfishness. The world is being restored by selflessness – by GIVING. God is a GIVER, Christ is a GIVER, Believers are exhorted to be GIVERS. Religions present the gods as TAKERS, but the Bible reveals the True and Living God as the Great GIVER. Love is defined by Giving.

“For God so loved the world, that he GAVE… If thou knewest the GIFT of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have GIVEN thee living water… the Son of man shall GIVE unto you… my Father GIVETH you the true bread from heaven…For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and GIVETH life unto the world… the bread that I will GIVE is my flesh, which I will GIVE for the life of the world… I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd GIVETH his life for the sheep… For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Thomas Cahill, in his work How the Irish Saved Civilization, made this wonderful observation. 

“The Romans are the rich and powerful who run things their way and must always accrue more because they instinctively believe that there will never be enough to go around; the catholics, as their name implies, are universalists who instinctively believe that all humanity makes one family, that every human being is an equal child of God, and that God will provide. The twenty-first century…will be spiritual or it will not be. If our civilization is to be saved – forget about civilization, which, as Patrick would say, may pass ‘in a moment like a cloud or smoke that is scattered by the wind’ – if WE are to be saved, it will not be by Romans but by Saints.” 

In that spirit, enjoy this incredible poem which will encourage us to walk in Love as Christ loves us and GIVES Himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God. Love is defined by GIVING.

History and Christianity: The Unbroken Fresh Stream Of Divine Light

Christian history “shows at once how Christianity spreads over the world, and how it penetrates, transforms, and sanctifies the individual and all the departments and institutions of social life…

From Jesus Christ, since his manifestation in the flesh, an unbroken stream of divine light and life has been and is still flowing, and will continue to flow, in ever-growing volume through the waste of our fallen race; and all that is truly great and good and holy in the annals of church history is due, ultimately, to the impulse of his spirit. He is the fly-wheel in the world’s progress. But he works upon the world through sinful and fallible men, who, while as self-conscious and free agents they are accountable for all their actions, must still, willing or unwilling, serve the great purpose of God…

With the crucifixion of Christ his resurrection also is repeated ever anew in the history of his church on earth; and there has never yet been a day without a witness of his presence and power ordering all things according to his holy will…

The kingdom of Christ, in its principle and aim, is as comprehensive as humanity. It is truly catholic or universal, designed and adapted for all nations and ages, for all the powers of the soul, and all classes of society. It breathes into the mind, the heart, and the will a higher, supernatural life, and consecrates the family, the state, science, literature, art, and commerce to holy ends, till finally God becomes all in all…

Christianity has thus passed through many stages of its earthly life, and yet has hardly reached the period of full manhood in Christ Jesus. During this long succession of centuries it has outlived the destruction of Jerusalem, the dissolution of the Roman empire, fierce persecutions from without, and heretical corruptions from within, the barbarian invasion, the confusion of the dark ages, the papal tyranny, the shock of infidelity, the ravages of revolution, the attacks of enemies and the errors of friends, the rise and fall of proud kingdoms, empires, and republics, philosophical systems, and social organizations without number. And, behold, it still lives, and lives in greater strength and wider extent than ever; controlling the progress of civilization, and the destinies of the world; marching over the ruins of human wisdom and folly, ever forward and onward; spreading silently its heavenly blessings from generation to generation, and from country to country, to the ends of the earth. It can never die; it will never see the decrepitude of old age; but, like its divine founder, it will live in the unfading freshness of self-renewing youth and the unbroken vigor of manhood to the end of time, and will outlive time itself.

This article contains excerpts from Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church Volume One.