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"Hear what the spirit saith to the Churches."-REV. 2:7.


LL the world is interested in what is coming after the war. That the old world of convention, of established customs, of privileged classes, of recognized institutions is gone, few question.


The old order changeth and giveth place to new,
And God fulfills Himself in many ways,

Lest one good custom corrupt the world."

But what kind of a world shall take the place of this dying world is of vital consequence to you and to me and to our children. Some see their hope in a world-wide democracy of the future, others would hark back to the days of medievalism. Ralph Adams Cram, architect, prophet, and political critic, has written a book, "The Nemesis of Mediocrity," to demonstrate that modern democracy is so defective in method that it cannot bring out leadership that the contemporary world requires. He has not much use for the modern world. "The world for him was Europe before the Reformation, before the Renaissance, the Christian world that built the


Gothic cathedrals; the world of abbeys, of great captains, popes, statesmen, and ecclesiastics; of faith, of great ideas, and great leaders of people. He considers that our age began with the Renaissance and has been steadily going to the devil ever since. His trinity is Renaissance, Reformation, and Revolution. His salvation for the world is that it should go back to the great age of the thirteenth century, when men gave unquestioned allegiance to the faith of the Christian church, that is of the Roman Catholic Church. That era was a great age of activity and development, and an age of faith." Henry Adams, in his monumental "Mon St. Michael and Chartres," gives a magnificent interpretation of that era. Very possibly Mr. Cram had been lingering too long amidst the halo of that age as depicted by Mr. Adams, in the book published by the American Institute of Architecture. It should also be remembered that Cram is a devoted Roman Catholic.

If the powers of absolutism as represented by the Central Empires and Mohammedan Turks shall conquer in the conflict of today, there may be some danger of the world returning to mediævalism, but if the forces of democracy and freedom shall conquer, time's wheel shall not run back, the hand shall not move back on the dial. And please God and the devotion of democratic peoples everywhere, forces of liberty shall not be vanquished.

Democracy may not be the most efficient government, but we believe with all its faults it is the best.

What part is the church to play in the world of today, that it may make the world of tomorrow? Shall the church make no contribution to that world, has it no message, can it give no prophetic leadership, can it not sound the divine message, "This is the way, walk ye in it?" Great multitudes pass the church by today, as if it were an outgrown appendix. Many in the church, by a blind insistence on certain inherited attitudes, give much ground for the condemnation of the church as a useless force of society today.

There was another era, when the world was a seething cauldron. Christianity was in the potent era of its babyhood. Persecution was being visited upon the infant church everywhere. By this time the worship of the Roman emperor had been established at various places about the Eastern Mediterranean and certain zealous officials of the cult discovered that Christians would neither confess the lordship of Cæsar, nor offer incense before his image. The author of the book of Revelation who styles himself simply "John your brother and fellow partaker in tribulations" was among the suspected. He had either fled or been banished to the lonely island of Patmos. One Lord's day, while reflecting upon the troubled state of affairs, John had a remarkable experience. He seemed to hear a mighty voice speaking to him, and to see wonderful visions in heaven, disclosing the secrets of God's purposes in history. This type of experience was not an entirely novel thing. It had already been

depicted in numerous Jewish Apocalypses, with some of which John was, no doubt, familiar. The stress of his own times, the memory of similar periods of tribulation in the history of the Jews and his own ecstatic temperament, all combined to produce that exalted and confident state of mind which enabled him to portray, with absolute assurance, the speady advent of Christ to bring an end to the present world.

In the Revelation, John uses cryptic terms and terminologies to describe the political powers of his own day, who are the agents of Satan. Rome is Babylon the great. Cæsar is anti-Christ, a great

beast with four horns. The return of Christ to destroy the power of Satan, and to establish the Millennium Interregnum was to be looked for immediately. John is convinced that his own visions are God's means of showing unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass. The book is not to be sealed up for use in some distant day, it is designed for immediate application to the then present condition of Christians. "For the time is at hand," he says. This is the interpretation given by Doctor Shirley Jackson Case, in his valuable book just from the press, entitled the "Millennial Hope."

In the great crisis for the Christian churches about the Mediterranean at the close of the first one hundred years of Christian history, in his vision hour, John addressed a remarkable series of messages. These he introduced with the commanding injunction, "Hear what the spirit saith to the

churches." He urges greater earnestness and purity of life upon the church at Ephesus, which had left its first love and had followed after its own self-esteem. He gave hope to the little church at Smyrna and appropriate messages to the churches at Pergamum and Philadelphia and Thyatira. He was speaking the message of the living Christ. Would that we could hear the message of the living Christ today, proclaiming "what the spirit saith to the churches." In a spirit of devotion, we shall undertake this task.

We proclaim that the spirit saith to the churches today, to gird themselves for the mighty work that lies before. Christ has a great part, for His Church to play in the world of today.

In a foreword to the book above referred to, Dr. Case writes, "The primary purpose of this book is to answer the question, are the ills of society to be righted by an early and sudden destruction of the present world, or is permanent relief to be secured only by a gradual process of strenuous endeavour covering a long period of years."

He continues, "The stirring events of recent times have given new point to this question. Vigorous propagandists have been urging belief in a speedy end of the world, and the hopelessness of any remedial measures for effecting permanent improvement in present conditions. In the name of religion, it is maintained that human efforts to make the present world a safer and better place in which to live, are wholly misguided. On the contrary, God

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