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    Gross Perversion of the Gospel.

    We have before us a report of a great representative meeting of Wesleyan Methodists, that was held in the historic City Road Chapel a few weeks ago. The writer says that,CDFW 3.4

    “it was a meeting that showed, above all things, in how large a degree the best conscience of the people is permeated with the idea that the ethical principles of the Sermon on the Mount are applicable in all their simplicity even to the complex problems of international relations,” and then follow these words:—CDFW 3.5

    “The immediate outcome was a resolution ‘assuring Her Majesty’s Government of united and vigorous support in any steps it may take to bring to a speedy end these disgraceful and unparalleled atrocities.’”CDFW 3.6

    That by this resolution was meant support even in the event of war, is clearly shown by what preceded. One speaker said that “if necessary, England must stand alone in order to bring to an end this chapter of Eastern misrule.” This, as another truly said, would doubtless “provoke a European war,” yet even this the reverend gentlemen assembled were ready to accept, for still another said, “With Russia or without her, with the Concert of Europe or without it, we can, we must, we will, deliver the Armenians.”CDFW 3.7

    Remember now that to “deliver the Armenians” means war. If one Power should undertake it alone, without the concurrence of the other Powers, it would result in a general war of all the Powers ranged against one another according to their several interests; if there were agreement, then the war would be against the Turks alone; but in any case there would be war. Remember also that this war is just what ministers of the Gospel were and are still pleading for; and remember also the statement that the meeting showed “in how large a degree the best conscience of the people is permeated with the idea that the ethical principles of the Sermon on the Mount are applicable in all their simplicity to the complex problems of international relations,” and it will be seen how greatly men have allowed their passions to cloud their perception of the simplicity of the Gospel as set forth in the Sermon on the Mount.CDFW 3.8

    Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount:—CDFW 4.1

    “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”CDFW 4.2

    And further,CDFW 4.3

    “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:38, 39, 44, 45.CDFW 4.4

    That is all that is in the Sermon on the Mount that is especially applicable to this question, yet so far have professed Christians lost sight of its principles, that they can complacently cite their clamors for bloodshed and revenge as being an illustration of those principles. Indeed, it is from religious teachers and the religious press that the demand for vengeance principally comes, because they regard the case as one of religious persecution and therefore as especially concerning them. Now let the candid reader pause and think seriously, and say if such a perversion of the Gospel is not the most fearfully deplorable thing that could possibly happen.CDFW 4.5

    The killing of a few thousands of people by men who do not profess to be Christians, is horrible enough; but more horribly wicked still is it when professors and ministers of the Gospel everywhere fill the minds of the people with the idea that war and vengeance are in harmony with and manifestations of the fundamental principles of Christianity. Such teaching only serves to nourish and glorify the natural fierceness which the Bible says will be characteristic of the last days; and with the people become fully imbued with it, there will be needed only a spark to set the whole world ablaze with the fire of hell. When the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, is used as a war cry, where shall we look for peace on earth?CDFW 4.6

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