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July 4th

Professed Christians have not only made war on each other, but have attempted to sanctify all the horrors and crimes of war by religious ceremonies. Not, indeed, the ceremonies of the bloody and revengeful religion of pagans, but the ceremonies of the benign and peaceful religion of Jesus
Christ. – *Noah Worcester.

True peacemakers – Christians – do not put their trust in an arm of flesh, i.e. attempts and alliances for self-preservation. God has promised to care for them, and in Him they trust as the Bible states – “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord”. They do not simply profess to believe that God will protect them from suffering, but that He is really able to do so, if it is His will; and if it is not His will, man cannot prevent it. If God wills it, He has a purpose in it, and we should pray to the Lord that His purpose may be accomplished in us, and that we may be made worthy to suffer for His name, and not to do anything impulsive whereby God may be dishonored. Mindful Christians know that “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong;” they glory neither in their wisdom, in their might, nor in their riches; but they glory in this, that they know the Lord, who exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. Their life, liberty, and worldly goods are in the hands of the Lord; He gave them, and He has many ways by which to take them away again. Christian concern is not so much how they may preserve these, as it is to preserve the life that is begotten in the soul by the power of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. They look upon the upheavals in the world as being in the hand of the Lord, who controls them according to His good pleasure. The interest they might take in those events, or the ineffectual efforts they make to control them, can have no effect, except the effect it would have on their own hearts, to draw their minds and affections away from the more important objects of love and trust, as the Bible states.

On this day of great celebration I challenge my Christian brothers and sisters to examine the fact that the liberty we so enjoy (and that I am thankful for) was accomplished and maintained, not by faith and trust, but by the arm of flesh.

 

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