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The Gospel Day by Charles Ebert Orr


In Jesus' name we are here to unveil before the reader the picture of a beautiful virgin, whom we shall call Christianity. Never was there a character seen upon the earth half so beautiful as she. In her loveliness she has won the heart of many. The proud and noble have been brought down to worship at her feet. The lowly have been lifted up to admire her gracious charms. Peasants have invited her into their humble homes, where she reigned as a queen of light and peace. Gloom and darkness is driven away by her sweet angelic smile. She has lifted the despondent out of the vortex of despair, and by her animating presence encouraged them to bright hopes and a happy life. The bitter lot of the poor she has sweetened, and the burden and care of riches takes wings and flies away at her approach. She has been brought into the presence of kings and almost won their hearts. Men have sacrificed the world to gain her love. She is a ray of heavenly light in this dark world.

The words of finite man are inadequate to describe the true character of Christianity. In our description we shall exalt her only by the words contained in the book sent down from heaven. That alone is worthy to eulogize her name. When the reader has followed our delineation to the close, and inspected every feature of this virtuous queen, we trust the decision of his heart will be yet deeper than his who said, |Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.|

Christianity should be full of interest to all mankind. She not only cools the heated brow, cheers the drooping heart, and strews life's pathway with flowers of peace, but she deals with man's eternal destiny. She will smooth the rough places all along his journey of life, and when he has come down to the end, it is she that will bear him across the valley and welcome him to the home prepared for his eternal inhabitancy.

Since the day of her nativity she has had a bitter obstinate foe, Satan, and wicked men have combined to bespoil her white robes and mar her fair form. They have struggled long and hard to bring her low. They have endeavored to extinguish her radiant light and defame her true character. We have only to take a stroll through the halls of denominationalism to learn how far they have succeeded. To many pews and pulpits our virgin has no excellence or beauty. In the pulpit orator's exposition of her she is not exalted one whit above the coarse, vulgar world. Satan has succeeded in veiling her fair form and true virtues from the hearts of many. In the opinions of many she is reduced to a mere nothing. Angels weep to see her fair robes trailed in the dust. Those who pretend to love her have brought her to shame. The low, degrading opinions entertained regarding her throughout the realms of sectarianism grieves the souls of her true admirers. They have brought her down from her pure, high throne and mingled her with the lives of ordinary sinful men. They have stripped her of her clean, white garments and covered her with a cloak of many colors. They have robbed her of her virtues and have stained her fair name until to-day all that is seen of Christianity in the aristocratic circles of Christendom is a maiden weeping over her stained vesture, lost virginity and reproached name. Thank God, such is true only in appearance. True Christianity is seen by her few devoted followers to-day the same pure, spotless virgin, the same queen of peace and light, as when she crowned the brow of the lowly Nazarene and his immediate followers. She has lost none of her virtuous charms. She is true. She reigns a lovely queen, glorious in power, pure in principle, |Clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.|

Satan has robed a harlot and named her Christianity and succeeded in imposing her upon many in the world. They are fondling with her. She indulges them in sensuality, while encouraging them to hope in a peaceful immortality. The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. They are reveling, feasting and banqueting with her, crazed by her seductive charms. She has neither purity, peace, nor power. Her robes are denied by sin. She scoffs at pure Christianity and calls her old-fashioned. This strange young woman is using every device to allure souls into her wanton chamber. She is most subtle of heart. She |flattereth with her words. In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night, she walketh in the streets, and lieth wait at every corner, that she might catch and kiss him who is void of understanding.| With a beguiling, impudent face she says to him: |I have peace offerings with me; I have decked my bed with tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with love.|

Such is the gay, fast, frivolous Christianity of the popular present day religions of our honored land. The generality of denominational membership (we speak in love) desire a Christianity that will go with them to the halls of pleasure; that will dine with them at the banquets; that will smile on them as they walk in the ways of sin and worldliness, calming their fears with her flattering words and peace offerings. Primitive Christianity, they consider, was good enough for primitive days, but she would be a horrid enough old maid in these days of progress. In this fast driving age the Christianity that crowned the life of the holy apostles is altogether too antiquated. She drew men from the world, she crucified their lust, she taught them to practise self-denial and keep their body in subjection; she brought them in humility at her feet; she led them in the paths of virtue and honor; she upbraided them for sin, and told them of the vengeance and wrath of God against every evil.

The world to-day, in general, is saying, |Away with such an old-time Christianity; she has no charms for us. She is too common and plain, too grave and sober. We will not walk with her; give us the gay and dashing young harlot that we may walk with her amid the pleasures of the world, and with her gratify our lusts. She never chides us for sin, nor troubles us about the anger of God nor the torments of hell. She invites us into her bosom and gives us a sweet opiate draught of 'stolen waters and the bread of secrecies,' and bids us take our 'fill of love.' |

Dear reader, |go not after her.| |Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.|

The mission of this volume is to exalt true Christianity to her proper plane and reveal her true character by relating to the reader the teachings of Christ -- her beloved consort -- and the experience and teachings of his inspired followers, and thus tear off the sacrilegious robes of the harlot of false religions and expose her shame to the gaze of every honest soul.

Christianity is not a mere profession, but a principle. Every being is possessed with a principle. Satan has a principle, which might properly be termed devilanity; Christ has a principle which is termed Christianity. When this Christ principle is instilled into man's soul by the Spirit of God he becomes a Christian. He possesses the Christ-life, nature, or principle. Now Christ was the truth. Then the Christ nature or principle is according to the truth, whether it be in Christ or man. We have only then to lift up the whole truth, which by the wisdom and grace of God we shall do in this work, which will reveal true Christianity and expose every imposition. Christ is the vine; Christians are the branches. The vine and the branches are of the same nature. The branches retain life by abiding in the vine. They who abide in Christ walk (or live) even as Christ walked (or lived); that is, the vine and the branches bear the same kind of fruit. This is the philosophy of true Christianity. Anything bearing fruit in nature contrary to the truth or Christ principle is not Christianity, but is devilanity. |Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father will ye do;| or sinful fruit ye will bear.

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